2015 - 2016 Honors Ambassadors
Communication Studies and Spanish
Long Beach, MS
I love talking and interacting with people, traveling, and experiencing new things. That's partly why I chose to double major. I would love to find a job that would allow me to travel and experience new cultures. The Honors College has given me so many experiences and opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.
My name is Josie Lami, and I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. Growing up as the oldest of five kids, I have developed a caring and helpful personality. I am always the one to run to my siblings' aid when they get hurt or grab the medicine and blankets when they get sick. Because of my desire to help in any way that I can, I decided that I want to be a nurse. The Honors College at Southern Miss offers so many things, such as honors classes, active learning classes, and Honors Forum. Through the Honors College, I have found a great group of professors and students that challenge me to be the best student and person I can be.
Chemistry (Minor: Biology)
I love Chemistry and Biology! If I had all the time in the world, I would spend it telling whoever would listen everything I know about the human body. I am excited to take biochemistry in the fall (this gives a hint of how nerdy I am) because I will get to connect bio and chem. HOCO gave me a fantastic opportunity to interact with my professors in smaller and more focused class settings. I have taken almost all of my science courses as honors and have absolutely no regrets. I wanted to become an Ambassador to promote and support the Honors College. It is my way of giving back to them for all that they did and continue to do for me. I wanted other students who are going to be in the same place I was at one point to be aware of how much the Honors College cares for its students. Plus, those professors will be great recommendation letters for whatever I plan to do after college.
Kinesiology (Exercise emphasis)
Lake Charles, LA
The Honors College has done everything to benefit my time here at USM! Coming to college as a home schooled student, I was a bit nervous to bridge the gap between high school and college; however, the Honors College gave the confidence and desire to become a leader in this community via allowing me to meet genuine professors and staff, attend active learning experiences (including study abroad!!!), and build relationships with others in this amazing family. Being able to share my involvement with the Honors College gives me a purpose that I enjoy tackling every day.
My major in Kinesiology is neither as brainy as my Polymer Science friends nor as eloquent as my English peers, but its requirements have allowed me to take varied general education classes through the Honors College and really see how the Honors College functions throughout the many disciplines across campus. Ultimately, I am Kinesiology major because I love helping people learn to love movement and fitness. (This is also why I teach a cardio drumming class at the Payne called Pound.) If anyone ever has questions about college, classes, life, or even Honors College experiences, my objective is to be a face that people would feel comfortable pulling aside to chat with.
Apart from the exercise that comes with my major, I love to dance, eat chocolate, watch really bad reality TV as well as scary movies, play video games, and plan out how I am going to win The Amazing Race one day.
St. Louis, MO
My name is Delaney Clouse and I am currently a sophomore Polymer Science major from St. Louis, MO. I have always had a love for chemistry and make-up so when it came to choosing a university, attending one of the top undergraduate schools in the country for cosmetic chemistry was an obvious choice. Plus, never having to worry about snow again was another big selling point. Although I am only a sophomore, being a part of the Honors College has given me opportunities that many students do not get until further on in their college career. I began working as a research assistant in the polymer science department my second semester of freshman year, a position that is normally reserved for upperclassmen. I have also had the opportunity to listen to world renowned speakers, know my professors on a personal level, and even get to travel to Europe in 2016. The Honors College has definitely made my Southern Miss experience one of a kind.
Public Relations Chair
Anthropology and Paralegal Studies
The Southern Miss Honors College, simply put, transformed the way I view education. Throughout my high school career, education meant sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher lecture on a subject. Thanks to Honors classes, I now know the benefit of smaller, discussion-based classes. In order to give back to the Honors community, I chose to become an HC ambassadors and mentor, and now serve as the PR Chair for the ambassadors. That being said, I am always here to help. I am also currently working as an RA in Century Park South, so you can direct any questions regarding on-campus living my way. I aspire to study Legal Anthropology in graduate school, and I am confident that being a part of this extraordinary, scholarly community will help me do so.
My name is Samantha Bull, and I am an International Studies major with a Spanish minor. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but I attended high school in Wiggins, MS. I am currently involved in multiple groups on campus, such as Honors Ambassadors and Stage Monkeys Hattiesburg. I enjoy singing, dancing, traveling, going to music concerts/festivals, playing the ukulele, and being very, very busy. The Honors College at the University of Southern Mississippi has allowed me to travel to New York City, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. this October. It has also provided me with multiple opportunities to grow as a student and become a leader within the USM community. I hope to spend a semester abroad during the fall of the 2015-2016 school year to work on my minor and do research for my ever-looming thesis. My long term goal is to attend graduate school at GWU and receive my MBA and JD in three years, and I know that the Southern Miss Honors College will help me get there!
Southern Miss has been a tremendous blessing for me. Originally, USM was not even on my radar as a potential college, but after the Honors College contacted me, I learned about the program and all the opportunities it offered. Then I knew it was the place for me. Therefore, I like to say that I did not choose USM...it chose me. Similarly, being an English teacher was a choice that I made and loved only because of an amazing teacher that showed me my unexpected passion. Since coming here, I have grown so much as a person. I have become more confident, joyful, and independent. The Honors College and English Department both have reinvigorated my love of learning and of English with classes and professors that are involved, caring, and stimulating. I love Southern Miss and the Honors College because as they go to the top, they pull me and encourage me to rise to the top, too.
New Orleans, LA
My name is Samantha Eshleman. I am a Kinesiology major with an emphasis on Exercise Science from New Orleans, Louisiana. I decided to become a kinesiology major because I want to be a pediatric physical therapist. I've always had a passion for this field because it is amazing to understand how the body works and what's the best things to do to help a patient become active. The Honors College has truly helped me to become a better scholar as well as a better person. While being involved with other things on campus such as honor societies, Greek life, and student government, the Honors College had allowed me to make connections I might not otherwise have made. I've been able to have a personal relationship with my professors and other faculty members which allows me to be a successful student. Honors College is enabling me to leave Southern Miss better than I found it.
My name is Shelby Auer, and I am a Kinesiotherapy Major. I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, but most of my family is in either New Jersey or Australia. My passions include horseback riding, dancing, reading, and playing with my wonderful black Lab. I chose Southern Miss and the Honors College after I witnessed my older sister experience the best four years of her life here. I have known I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist since I was in the fifth grade and an Honors College Ambassador at Southern Miss since I was in the ninth grade. I also know that the students, faculty, and staff in the Honors College are some of the best people I will ever get to know, and there is nothing I would rather be than a Golden Eagle! SMTTT!!!
Hi! My name is Anne Tullos, and I’m a sophomore Speech Pathology major and Piano minor from McComb, Mississippi. I chose Speech Pathology because I would love to have the ability to help someone overcome a crucial challenge while also getting to encourage them, watch them progress, and get to know them in the process.
My Honors Mentor group gave me a comforting sense of support during a tough transition to college. Finally, coming from a small high school, I really appreciate having small Honors classes where I can get to know my classmates and professors on a more personal level.
Outside of the Honors College, I am a Leadership scholar, a church pianist, a member of Chi Omega sorority, the Wesley Foundation, and Women In Science and Engineering. I’ve had an incredibly personal, rewarding experience at Southern Miss, and as an Honors College Ambassador, I am so excited to help other students find that same experience!
My involvement in the Honors College has been great for my college experience. I have gotten to meet most of my friends through it, I have thoroughly enjoyed the closeness and smallness of the Honors classes, and above all, the free printing at the Honors house!
In all seriousness, the Honors College has shaped my experience at USM to be better than I could have dreamed before coming here. It is absolutely one place where the members are always focused on helping each other succeed and making Southern Miss a better place.
If you are reading this as a student here, you made the right choice of school; you're gonna love it here. If you are reading this as someone considering USM in the future, then you're on the right track, just send any of us an email, or stop on by campus!
Here's a cheesy quote from my favorite author to finish:
"Set impossible goals for yourself; for what's the fun in reaching the attainable ones?"-Moist von Lipwig, in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal
Hello! I am 19 years old and a Sophomore here at USM. I love the medical field, which is why I chose to pursue a career in Forensic Pathology. I am seeking my degree in Forensic Science, with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and I plan on attending medical school after I graduate. I am a member of the Forensic Science Society and on the leadership team for the Baptist Student Union. I love old English books, 90s TV sitcoms, and basically every type of music ever invented! The Honors College at Southern Miss is incredible, and it has given me unbelievable opportunities to expand. The helpful staff and community feeling that the Honors College provides were essential in allowing my Freshman year here to be a success!
Olive Branch, MS
My name is Nathan Barron and I am a Junior Political Science major from Olive Branch, MS. I chose Political Science because of our rocking faculty and my interest in political theory and civil law. I am proud to be a second-generation Golden Eagle as I pick up where my grandfather left off at Mississippi Southern College in 1959. I chose Southern Miss because of the inviting atmosphere that breeds the engaging academic community. In the Honors College, I know that I am surrounded by the most talented students, faculty, and staff who are personally interested in my individual success. In my Honors Classes, we have analyzed modern perspectives through historical depiction in movies, we have argued over Oreos and Twinkies to practice our rhetorical skills, we have had a lot of pizza and study nights, and we have even been to Washington, D.C. The Honors College always strives to innovate, but high-quality instruction and a fantastic time are always guaranteed. The Honors College has given me the tools to build a bright future--so welcome to the construction zone. To The Top!
My name is Mary Spooner. My interests include creative writing, film, and visual arts. I also love vegan cooking, horseback riding, riding my fixie, and playing with my dog, Harper. Outside of Honors Ambassadors I am the Co-director of Special Projects for the Student Government Association and a member of the Crew at USM. After graduation I hope to work in film production and continue writing poetry and fiction.
My name is Janine Nowak, and I am a polymer science and engineering major from Gulfport, MS. I graduated from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in 2013. My hobbies include reading, painting, drawing, playing guitar, and traveling. For me, after I discovered the polymer program and the Honors College at Southern Miss, there was no other school I wanted to attend. I chose polymer science and engineering because I love being in a lab and researching new ideas. I chose the Honors College because I wanted a challenge and to be surrounded by students who were like me. The smaller class sizes give students more one-on-one time with the professor and provide more opportunity for in-class discussions. Furthermore, Southern Miss and the Honors College have provided me the opportunity to do undergraduate research, giving me the chance to research under a professor, as I would in the field. These advantages provided to me by choosing USM and the Honors College are really what put Southern Miss to the top!
Nutrition and Dietetics
My name is Ashley Hobson and I am currently seeking a Nutrition and Dietetics major, which I hope to one day use to help children in underdeveloped areas. I graduated from Lamar Christian School in 2014 and began attending Southern Miss the same year. I graduated with big dreams of travel and success (I'm also kind of a romantic) and the University of Southern Mississippi is setting me up to accomplish all those dreams. A native of Hattiesburg, the University of Southern Mississippi has given me the opportunity to invest myself in my community while also preparing me for my future. Deciding to attend the University of Mississippi could be considered one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life, but deciding to become apart of the Honors College family is definitely a close second. The Honors College at USM has provided me the opportunity to be exposed to different ideas and interesting people that I might have missed out on otherwise, as well as other students who share my drive, goals, and similar difficulties and achievements in life. The Honors College at Southern Miss is more than a good decision, it is a great investment.
Accounting and Mathematics
My name is Rachel Williamson, and I am an Accounting/Mathematics double major from Columbia, Mississippi. I am currently in the Spanish Club, International Club, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and I am the treasurer of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society. My hobbies include learning languages(I am currently working to finish learning Spanish and Japanese and am starting German this fall), drawing and painting, running, dancing and singing, and traveling. This is my second year at Southern Miss, but I've already had lots of great adventures because of USM, such as attending a ballet in New Orleans and studying abroad in Japan. I became an Honors College Ambassador because I love the Honors College, and I love the Honors College because I love the people in it! When I came to Southern, I didn't know anyone and I was terrified. Being in HC allowed me to meet lots of like-minded students and incredible faculty members. I am currently serving as the Community Service Chair of the Honors College Ambassadors Executive Board, so contact me if you have any questions about upcoming philanthropy events, or if you have suggestions for projects!
My name is Mary Catherine Cazalas, and I am a sophomore from Mobile, Alabama. Upon coming to Southern Miss, I didn’t put a whole lot of thought in to choosing my major. Honestly, I just picked one that sounded interesting to me, which ended up being Speech Pathology. It isn’t the first method I would recommend for choosing a major, but it worked for me. It has been a year and I could not be happier with my decision and I am so excited to see what the future holds. The best decision I have made in my college career so far was to be a part of the Honors College. In just a short year it has given me numerous opportunities that would have otherwise been out of my reach. The small class sizes have allowed me to cultivate relationships with both my peers and professors that large, auditorium-style classes simply cannot offer. Being a part of the Honors College has given a newfound confidence—confidence to speak up in class, to interview for other organizations, and even to become one of its ambassadors. I am so thankful to be a part of an organization that has given me the tools to become the very best version of myself.
My name is Gillian Purser and I am a sophomore Political Science major. I'm from Petal, MS, and in my rare free time I enjoy playing the piano, baking, reading the news, and binge watching Netflix. Growing up about twenty minutes away from USM, I always assumed I knew everything there was to know about campus. However, after diving into the Honors College, Greek Life, and a branch of the SGA, I have found so much more than I ever anticipated. I love the close relationships and challenging curriculum available through honors level classes, and the constant support of professors and Honors College faculty is a fantastic asset that I have rarely encountered elsewhere. I was a little leery to choose Political Science as a major based solely on my love for politics, but I have found that taking classes that I am passionate about makes my time at Southern even more enjoyable. I can't wait to tackle the upcoming year as an Honors College ambassador!
Political Science and Spanish
I chose USM for many reasons. Both my father and my grandfather attended Southern Miss, and so growing up, I spent a lot of time at USM. By the time I had to apply to schools, this place already felt like my home away from home. As a high school junior, I went to Black and Gold Day and learned a lot about the Honors Program. I knew that being in Honors would be great experience and it certainly has not disappointed me. I have traveled to great places with my honors classes, gotten to know many of my professors on a personal level, and most importantly, met some great friends along my journey. The Honors College has done so much for me and has enhanced my experiences at USM. My best advice for those considering Honors is just to do it. No matter how hard it gets you will never regret the experiences and friends you will gain.
I believe Broadcast Journalism is my calling, because I'm blessed with the gift of gab along with an intense curiosity for the world around me. I love meeting and interacting with new people, and I knew my career could not leave behind a desk all day. I plan to work in the field and eventually become an evening anchor for a Mississippi news station. From discussion based classes I thrive in, to leadership positions that allow me to share my love for Southern Miss, the Honors College has provided me an avenue to leave USM better than I found it.
Maggie L. Dickerson
After receiving my Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences, I plan to attend Medical School and become a doctor in the field of Pediatrics. On the side, I am in the process of turning my hobby of photography into a job. The Honors College has helped me in both of these areas. The Mentor Program paired me up with a group of people in my major. These people, especially my mentor, have helped me to be successful in my classes. In association with my photography, it has allowed me to build up a network and even connect me to a job! The Honors College has been nothing but helpful with my college endeavors.
Hi! My name is Jessica Bourgeois, and I am a sophomore from Mandeville, Louisiana. I am currently studying Elementary Education, and I hope to one day be an administrator at an elementary school. It took me forever to decide where I wanted to go to college, but I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. My mom, two of my aunts, and both of my grandmas are teachers and I have one aunt who is an assistant principal. I grew up knowing how rewarding this profession was and I wanted to do something where I could make a real difference in the world. I love everything about my experience at Southern Miss, and that includes being a part of the Honors College. My favorite part of the Honors College is the relationships I am able to make with my peers and my professors. The smaller class sizes allow for each student to thrive in their own way which is a unique experience for a college setting. I cannot wait to see what my sophomore year has to hold!
Ocean Springs, MS
I am an Honors College Ambassador because I truly believe in the power of knowledge that is provided by the Honors College. I chose to attend Southern Miss Honors College because I knew it would be vital to creating a successful future for myself. I have benefited by knowing that in a campus with so many students, the Honors College staff knows me and is personally invested in my academic career. I chose my major because I have always had a passion for learning about the way microscopic organisms can infect its host without any notice. It is amazing the things that the eye cannot see, and I am determined to learn more about deadly viruses and diseases as I pursue my education. I aspire to one day work at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital so that I can find a cure to deadly childhood diseases.
Polymer Science and Engineering
I grew up in Hattiesburg. I found out that I wanted to go into Polymer Science when I was in the fifth grade and my class had a professor give a demonstration to us. Coming to the University of Southern Mississippi was a natural choice for me for several reasons. First, Southern Miss has one of the top polymer programs in the nation. Second, it is near home, which for me was important. Finally, the Honors College here presented me with some great opportunities, including an active learning trip to Key Largo to swim with dolphins and personal academic development through one-on-one interactions with professors in my honors classes. Now, my studies in polymers have led me to consider medical school with the intent to research the potential polymers have in the treatment of cancer.
My name is Aubrey Sanders, and I am a sophomore accounting major at Southern Miss. Hattiesburg is my home - I've lived here my entire life, so I'm always asked, "Why choose Southern Miss?" But why not choose Southern Miss? Beyond the university alone, the Honors College provides unique opportunities for learning in a challenging but personal environment. The faculty and upperclassmen pass along their experiences and knowledge to create an atmosphere that generates an exciting outcome. I am so thankful that the Honors College is guiding me through my journey here at Southern Miss. I'm confident that the differences fostered here will make all the difference in my future.
History and Political Science
My name is Erin Blackledge, and it is my third year here at the University of Southern Mississippi. I graduated from Taylorsville High School in Taylorsville, MS. I am a junior history and political science double major. I became a history major after participating in the British Studies Program two summers ago. It was an amazing and life changing experience! The Honors College has been an amazing resource for me at USM. Not only has it provided me with countless opportunities to travel and learn, the faculty, staff, and professors have been supportive and caring -- genuinely taking interest in me as a person. The Honors College has been instrumental to my success as a student at Southern Miss. It has helped me love to learn!
Kay Ann Simmons
Hello! My name is Kay Ann Simmons and I am a Microbiology Major with a Spanish and Chemistry minor. I absolutely love taking science courses, but I also intend to move onto Medical School after graduation. With this being said, the honors college has given me an abundance of opportunities to enhance my education as a prepare to become a doctor. The honors level sciences courses I took during Honors Foundations has given me a wonderful scientific background to fall back on as I begin my Honors thesis. Without the Honors College, I would not be where I am today.
Human Resource Management
My name is LaVita Williams and I am a junior Human Resource Management major and a Geography minor. I was born in Gulfport, MS but raised in California. I know I made an excellent decision when choosing to come to Southern Miss and the Honors College. I enjoy the close knit, welcoming, friendly community that the Honors College has provided. The Honors College has help me have a more rigorous, fun, and enriched education. The small classroom sizes allows you to really get to know professors and truly understand the subject. Also the active learning trips are amazing hands-on learning opportunities that few students get to experience. In addition, to the wonderful Honors College the Southern Miss campus is so lovely and allows you to express yourself through all of the different clubs and organizations. I am apart of several organizations and honor societies on campus. When I left home I was extremely nervous and scared, but as soon as I arrived at Southern Miss I felt like I was at home and being apart of the Honors College reassured my decision to be a Golden Eagle. SMTTT!!!
Philosophy/ Finance and Banking
Hello! My name is Erik Caves, and I enjoy reading, video games, and traveling. I'm a finger-pistol wink kind of guy, and I'm currently pursuing a career to work in the financial sector of business. However, I love reading and studying classical works that speculate about life, thus my rather polar double major in Philosophy and Finance. During my time at Southern Miss, the Honors College has allowed me to travel across the country, meet many of my closest friends, and have much more personal relationships with my professors, all of which has made my college career absolutely fantastic!