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!
Born in Lake Charles, LA, John moved to Poplarville, MS where he spent most of his childhood. Although he was home schooled, John became very active in local fitness groups and community theatre, both of which influenced his decision to major in Exercise Science and to minor in Dance. He chose to pursue these passions at USM mostly because of the Honors College and the opportunities he knew HC could offer. Being a member of the Honors College has allowed him to visit a hippie commune, study religion in San Francisco, explore the culture of London, challenge himself academically, and make some of the best friends of his life. The mentors he has had in HC have helped him learn so much about college life, and he hopes to pass on that knowledge to other upcoming students. In addition to being a HC Ambassador, John is also Secretary of the Southern Miss Activities Council, Media Consultant for the SGA Judicial Board, a Lambda Sigma honor society member, a Phi Eta Sigma honor society member, and a group exercise instructor at the Payne Center.
Major: Exercise Science
Mary Ryan Karnes
Myka Murphy is a Junior Vocal Performance major from Roswell, GA. She is a member of Lambda SIgma Honors Society and many others. She sings in the Southern Chorale and has been a part of many of USM's opera productions. When she first walked into the Honors College house, she knew it was where she wanted to be. She wanted to become an Honors College ambassador so that others can feel the love and camaraderie that the Honors college has given her. The smaller classes allow for a sense of academic camaraderie and friendships. She loved forum because it allowed her to expand not only her cultural awareness but also made her aware of how many talented and intelligent people are a part of USM. She knows that when she graduates in the next couple of years that she will have great friends and great memories from being in the Honors College. Speaking of graduation, after she graduates, she plans on pursuing some form of a Master's degree in Vocal Performance. The end goal is to perform opera around the world. She loves the feeling of connecting with the audience and people, which is why she wanted to be an Honors College ambassador. Even though she has big plans, she knows that Southern Miss and the honors college will always have a piece of her heart.
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 Southern. 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 and my experience at Southern! 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.
Majors: Political Science and Spanish
My name is Madison Ralph, and I am going into my junior year at The University of Southern Mississippi. I am a Special Education major hoping to pursue Occupational Therapy graduate school after my time at Southern Miss. I have a particular passion in helping autistic kids further develop social, learning, and physical abilities. Going into my senior year at Spanish Fort High School, I had little knowledge of Mississippi and even less of Southern Miss. One campus tour was all it took for me to fall in love with the small campus atmosphere and the welcoming staff. I became even more in awe of the campus as I began attending Honors College events. The Southern Miss Honors College is truly like no other. The professors become your best friends, your education is enriched through extensive research, your life experiences broaden as you participate in active learning courses, and you make the most diverse and supportive friends you could imagine. My time at Southern Miss would not be nearly as memorable without the Honors College. Serving as an ambassador has been the most valuable experience I've obtained thus far, and I cannot wait to see what it will bring me these last two years.
Alisha Randall DeFatta
Growing up in Hattiesburg, I always wanted to attend USM because it felt like home. I never realized as a freshman how much more Southern had to offer than just a comfortable feeling. Coming in as a freshman honors student, I was given so many opportunities and ways to be involved. Throughout my time at Southern Miss, I have become involved in greek life, honors societies, a professional fraternity, and various student organizations. Honors College gave me the confidence and connections that I needed to become successful during my short time as an undergraduate. I have learned so much these past few years, and I am always happy to answer any questions about HC or Southern Miss in general. I am looking forward to another great year with the best Honors College there is. HCTTT!!
My name is Emma Reeves, and I am in my second year at USM. I am majoring in English w/ Licensure and minoring in Spanish. I am from Meridian, MS, and I graduated in 2013 from Meridian High School. I love USM; coming here 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 Honors College and all the opportunities offered at USM. Then I knew it was the place for me. Therefore, I like to say that I did not choose USM...it chose me. Since coming here, I have grown so much as a person. I have become more confident, calm, and collected. The Honors College specifically has reinvigorated my love of learning with classes and fellow students that are personal 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.