Katherine Nugent

Making a Difference

Recently I had the pleasure to talk with several people who had recent experiences in health care facilities. The interesting information that I received was that each person told me a Southern Miss nurse took care of him or her during the hospital stay. The theme that emerged from these unsolicited conversations was that their nurse really made a positive difference in their experience.

These conversations caused me to reflect on an email that I received from a recent graduate stating that he enjoyed his job as a nurse and most of all, he enjoyed knowing at the end of the day that he had done something worthwhile that had made a positive impact on someone’s life.

Southern Miss Nursing is making a difference by providing quality programs that prepare our students to be competent in their practice. Nurses who have confidence in their knowledge base, clinical skills, and clinical decision-making instill trust in patients coping with health problems. This trust provides the foundation for positive health outcomes.

Southern Miss Nursing is Transforming Nursing, Impacting Health Care.

Jim Coll

Top Stories – July 2015

It’s been a great month for several Southern Miss alumni; you’ll get a chance to see them on some big stages very soon. Below is some information about their accomplishments and more top University of Southern Mississippi stories from recent weeks.

Southern Miss Alumni on Big Stages

Southern Miss alumni continue to have the opportunity to excel on some of the world’s biggest stages. On Tuesday, Minnesota Twins second baseman, Brian Dozier, will appear in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati. Brian led the Southern Miss baseball team to the 2009 College World Series. On August 23, Tori Bowie will lead the U.S. team in the opening heats of the 100-meter dash at the Track and Field World Championships in China. Tori was a two-time NCAA long jump champion for Southern Miss and is currently the fastest woman in the United States. And on September 13, Hannah Roberts will represent Mississippi in the Miss America Pageant. Hannah is a May 2015 graduate, a national Goldwater Scholar and headed to medical school at UMMC next year.

School of Social Work Contributes to Hattiesburg Honor

Youth education initiatives–that included guidance from The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Social Work–helped the City of Hattiesburg earn recognition as a “Most Livable” City in America by the 2015 City Livability Awards Program.

Mayor Johnny DuPree received the award on behalf of the city during the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s 83rd Annual Meeting in Dallas. The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve quality of life, focusing on leadership, creativity and innovation.

Former mayors selected Hattiesburg from more than 200 applicants. Hattiesburg was awarded first place for cities with populations less than 100,000 and Boston was selected among cities with populations greater than 100,000.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-school-social-work-contributes-hattiesburg-ranking

College of Nursing Receives $1.6M Grant for Education, Training

The College of Nursing has received a $1.6 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support advanced nursing education and practice.

Funded through the HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce Advanced Nursing Education program, the three-year award will provide support to educate and train nurse practitioners at the doctorate level through academic-practice partnerships.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-college-nursing-receives-16m-grant-education-training

Southern Miss and EPA Sign New Memorandum of Understanding

The University of Southern Mississippi and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program (EPA Gulf Program) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will serve to increase cooperation between the two in areas of mutual interest.

This alliance will allow USM and the EPA Gulf Office to offer combined technical skills and research to work toward resolving environmental and natural resource problems within the ecological system of the Gulf of Mexico.

The agreement will also promote equal opportunity in higher education, contribute to the capacity of the EPA Gulf Program to provide high-quality education, encourage participation of USM students and faculty in the Gulf Program’s activities, and assist the EPA Gulf Program in expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice while stimulating an interest in STEM. Activities under the MOU will include guest lectures, a student shadowing program, research opportunities, and outreach and engagement programs.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-and-epa-sign-new-memorandum-understanding

Athletics Launches New Eagle Logo

The Department of Athletics’ new Golden Eagle logo has officially gained trademark status by the United States Patent and Trademarking Office (USPTO). The logo process has taken over a year to complete and was spearheaded by Southern Miss alumnus Rodney Richardson, and his company Rare Design, which assisted with the creation and development of the new logo and brand identity.

Merchandise officially became available for purchase on Wednesday.

Rare Design is recognized for being an industry leader in logo and brand design and has worked with numerous different universities and professional teams including the New Orleans Pelicans, Florida State Seminoles, Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies.

Read More: http://www.usm.edu/news/article/southern-miss-set-launch-new-athletics-logo

Jim Coll

An Arizona Diamondbacks Fan is Likely the Twins Biggest Supporter

Shawn Miller: Superfan of Southern Miss baseball and Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier Superfan Shawn Miller and family cheer on the Golden Eagles. (Hattiesburg American File Photo)

This is the unlikely story of how an Arizona Diamondbacks supporter, who once lived in Mississippi, has likely become a Minnesota Twins fanatic.

Shawn Miller—it’s a common name. But if you frequented University of Southern Mississippi baseball games in the late 2000s, you know that “Superfan” and his family were anything but common fans of the Golden Eagles and star shortstop Brian Dozier, now an All-Star candidate for Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

I have not thought much about Superfan in recent years, and haven’t heard from him in longer, but I couldn’t help but picture the smile on his face when this week the Twins released a promotional video and accompanying images in support of Dozier’s All-Star candidacy featuring a bulldozer.

The story goes that Miller and family, including wife Teresa, son Matt and daughter Michelle, were Arizona natives who moved to south Mississippi where Shawn had received a job offer. In 2006, for no particular known reason, Superfan and family became fans of a then little-known freshman shortstop from Fulton, Mississippi. The Millers were huge Diamondbacks supporters, even painting the family car in D-backs colors, but often rode their bicycles to Southern Miss baseball games at Pete Taylor Park with a homemade drum and shakers in tow. If they were out of your line of vision among the thousands of fans at The Pete, you still couldn’t miss their somewhat rhythmic, slightly annoying, but always enthusiastic chant to the beat of the drum, “Here comes the Bull. Here comes the Dozier. Here comes the BullDozier.” For hours. Every game. Little did they know at the time that the lightly recruited Dozier would go on to lead Southern Miss to a berth in the College World Series a few years later and become one of Major League Baseball’s best second basemen.

Prior to this season, I sat down with Dozier, one of five American League finalists in a fan vote to determine that league’s final All-Star selection, to talk about some of his Southern Miss memories—including those of Superfan. Brian indicated that for a few years after he was picked in the 2009 MLB draft by the Twins, he heard from Superfan, getting periodic updates on where the family was living and working at the time. He hadn’t heard from Superfan for a few years but mentioned that some players in the majors, who were once Southern Miss opponents, still ask him about Superfan, inquiring if the Millers were a group of relatives, among many other questions.

I’m not sure what the former Diamondbacks fan is doing these days, but it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that he’s dusting off an old drum, donning a Twins hat, and making plans if Dozier is selected for the All-Star Game.

If that happens, get ready, Cincinnati, because here comes the Bull. Here comes the Dozier. Here comes the BullDozier—and a Superfan.

Dr. Michael Forster

Sugary drinks kill

Newly published research indicates that sugary drinks are killing 184,000 people each year worldwide, via the diabetes, heart disease, and cancers that they either cause or exacerbate.  Knowing this, says Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., senior author and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University,  “It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet.”

Here, here.  Next to smoking, there’s no single more remarkably bad-and-totally-unnecessary substance than sugar.  And sugar – especially in the form of heavily consumed sweet drinks – doesn’t have to kill you to make you seriously unhealthy, or to contribute mightily to a wide range of health problems, from common colds to cancer.

“This is not complicated. There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year,” Mozaffarian said.

Sorry, Coca-Cola and all your soft drink kin.  Sorry, sugar-sweetened fruit and “sport-energy” drinks.  Sorry, myriad homemade frescas and other glucose-driven concoctions.  We can get along so much better without you.

Source: Singh GM, Micha R, Khatibzadek S, Lim S, Ezzati M, and Mozaffarian, D. “Estimated global, regional, and national disease burdens related to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in 2010.”  Circulation. Published online ahead of print 06-29-15. DOI:10;1161/CirculationAHA.1140101636

 

 

 

Dr. Michael Forster

Water shortage not just a California problem

Protracted drought conditions in California have drawn a lot of ink lately.  Not merely one of the more populous states, California is responsible for an inordinate amount of America’s corporatized food production, and moreover has a long history of conflict and corruption over water rights (if you haven’t seen Chinatown in a while, check it out).

But California’s overtaxed aquifers are not the only ones under intense stress.  Indeed, the problem of water depletion is far, far more serious.  NASW has just completed a 10-year study of the world’s major aquifers, and finds the majority of them (21 of 37) experiencing depletion – i.e. the water’s being pumped out faster than it’s being replenished through natural processes.

NASA scientist Matthew Roddell told the publication Quartz that aquifers running dry is a real threat.  “The potential consequences are pretty scary.”  That may qualify as the understatement of the yet-young 21st century.   Nearly 70% of water usage goes to producing food for a hungry world population, a hefty percentage of which is already undernourished and suffers myriad health problems as a result.  Water deprivation is already provoking some population displacement and is predicted to promote more in the future.  Food shortages are a frequent contributor to political conflict, even the revolutionary toppling of regimes.

And climate change – according to many scientists deeply implicated in the severe California drought – for sure ain’t helping matters any.  Get ready – looks like a rough (and parched) ride ahead.