Student Spotlight

Honors Student Receives College of Business Scholarship

Alexis Tymkiw has been awarded the Richard Vreeland Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Congratulations, Alexis, on your hard work! We are very proud of you!


House of Representatives Honors Southern Miss Student with Resolution

University of Southern Mississippi student Wilton Jackson received a special surprise recently with a resolution from the Mississippi House of Representatives honoring his scholastic achievements and internship as a USA Today correspondent.

District 69 Rep. Alyce Clark sponsored the initiative that led to House Resolution No. 57 in Jackson’s honor. A junior broadcast journalism major, Jackson is a member of the Southern Miss Honors College and the recipient of the 2014 Most Outstanding Male Student Eagle Award.

Congratulations, Wilton! We are very proud of you!

Read the full story here.

Wilton Jackson

Jack Lucas Award winner, Justin Baggett

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Justin Baggett, on receiving the Jack Lucas Award. Each spring, the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society grants the Jack Lucas Award to the best undergraduate research paper on a war and society topic.  The award pays tribute to the memory of Jack Lucas (1918-2008), a longtime Hattiesburg resident and the youngest Marine to win the Medal of Honor. The prize is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Richard McCarthy and Dr. Craig Howard.  Justin received this award on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at the War and Society roundtable. Way to go, Justin (pictured right)!


Kendall Moore's Scholarship

Each year, Robert Half Technology and the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) offers two $2,500 scholarships to two outstanding AITP Student Members pursuing studies in Information Technology. This year, USM Honors College Student Osler "Kendall" Moore was one of the winners! The scholarship award is based on demonstrated academic achievement, leadership activities, community service and future career interests. Kendall's scholarship award was announced during the 2014 AITP National Collegiate Conference at the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center in Atlanta. Congratulations, Kendall! We are proud of you!

Kendall, left, with his award


Monica Hesler's Outstanding Student Award

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Monica Hesler, on her recent recognition as USM Gulf Park Campus' College of Education and Psychology Outstanding Psychology Student. She was recognized at the 2014 Awards Day Ceremony in the Hardy Hall ballroom on the university's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. Way to go, Monica!


Cade Varnado's graduate school acceptance

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Cade Varnado, on accepting a 3-year, full funding spot at Virginia Commonwealth's MFA fiction-writing program in Richmond, Virginia. Way to go, Cade!


Kelsey Shinnick wins award at Undergraduate Student Symposium

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Kelsey Shinnick, on being selected for a Donald Drapeau Undergraduate Student Prize at this year's Undergraduate Research Symposium. She won First Place in the category of Best Submission on a Topic on Family, which comes with a monetary prize of $500. Kelsey says, "The symposium was a wonderful experience, and I am very blessed and excited to receive this award." We're proud of you, Kelsey!


Lauren Stealey's graduate school acceptance

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Lauren Stealey, on her acceptance into graduate school! She will be attending the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a Master of Science in Information Studies, with a specialization in Archives and Records Enterprise. The School of Information awarded her the Houston Endowment Graduate Fellowship for the 2014-15 school year, which is an in-state tuition waiver and a partial tuition scholarship. Way to go, Lauren!



Karelia Schmitz's graduate school acceptance

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Karelia Schmitz, on being accepted into the Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication & Journalism for the fall 2014. She will be obtaining a Masters of Mass Communication with a concentration in Political Communication. The best part is that they offered her a tuition waiver and stipend to attend! She even used her Honors thesis prospectus as her sample writing piece for the application, so being in the Honors College helped get her there. Way to go, Karelia!


Mississippi Young Bankers Scholars

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Tanner Jones, on being selected as one of five Mississippi Young Bankers Scholars. He attended the Annual Mississippi Young Bankers Convention in Point Clear, Ala. on March 8-12, 2014 where he received a plaque and $1,500 scholarship. Tanner said he was excited to even be nominated at the university level for this honor. Way to go!

To read the press release, click here.

Southern Miss students Benjamin Arnold, left and Tanner Jones, right with Finance Chair Dr. G.W. Kelly.


The Janet Sims Study Abroad Scholarship winner

Congratulations to Honors College student Emma Reeves on receiving the Janet Sims Study Abroad scholarship through the English department. She will be attending the British Studies program this summer from June 26-July 27, 2014 and studying Victorian Literature with Dr. Timothy Carens from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Emma will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland as a side trip with the class, as well as several other cities during some time set aside for student exploration. Congratulations on your accomplishment and enjoy your trip!


Congratulations to Yasmin Cunningham

Congratulations to Honors College senior Yasmin Cunningham on being accepted to Mississippi College School of Law. She recently received the Gerald E. Mumford $1,000 scholarship as well as an internship with Attorney Shakita Gayden-Taylor in Hattiesburg. She was also selected for "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities." We are proud of your accomplishments!


Victoria Souhlas accepted to graduate school

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Victoria Souhlas, on her recent acceptance into graduate school. She will be pursuing a Master's of Speech-Language Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans starting this summer, 2014. We are proud of you, Victoria!


Selena Smith accepted to physical therapy school

Congratulations to Honors alumna (Fall 2013 graduate), Selena Smith, who was accepted into the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She will start her studies there in May 2014. Way to go, Selena!


Salma Dawoud makes scholarship history

Congratulations to Honors College senior, Salma Dawoud, who was just named USM's first Critical Language Scholarship recipient! She will be studying Arabic this summer at a site in the Middle East. Way to go, Salma!

Robert Williamson presents thesis at conferences

Honors College senior, Robert Williamson, presented his Honors Thesis at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Conference in Washingon, D.C. earlier in February, 2014.  Last October, he attended the 2013 Annual Emerging Scholars Conference in Ann Arbor, MI with his Honors thesis adviser, Dr. Marek Steedman.  Congrats, Robert!  We are proud of you and your accomplishments!


Alumna Hannah Rice receives prestegious scholarship

Congrats to Honors College alumna, Hannah Rice, who just received the A. Wallace Conerly, MD scholarship to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This scholarship will pay for all of her tuition and fees for her MD and PhD (7 years) and bestow her a yearly stipend allowing her to focus on her studies. She starts the program this summer (2014). Way to go, Hannah!


Jasmine Thomas Attends Conference on Greek Life Scholarship

Congratulations to Senior Honors student Jasmine Thomas who was awarded the Mary Peterson Scholarship to attend the Association of Fraternal Leadership Values National Black Greek Letter Conference held earlier this month (Feb 2014) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Based on her academic achievement and leadership involvement, she was the only student out of more than 200 applicants selected from Mississippi. Jasmine represented the Eta Tau Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, The University of Southern Mississippi and the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC). Way to go, Jasmine!

To read more, click here.


Hannah Bahe Selected for Eagle SPUR Program

Congratulations to Honors College student Hannah Bahe on being one of four Gulf Coast students selected for the Eagle Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research. Under the direction of psychology professor Dr. Heidi Lyn, Hannah's project, titled “Choice and Control of Enrichment for Captive Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins,” will explore the effect of choice on the effectiveness of enrichment for dolphins in human care. Congratulations, Hannah!

Click here to read more.


Honors College Student Honored in National Writing Contest

Honors College freshman Rachael Reeves recently placed second in the national “Press the President” writing contest for her submission, “The Government’s Responsibility in the American Obesity Epidemic.” The contest was designed to encourage political journalism in college students on relevant topics. Congratulations on this recognition, Rachael!

To read the press release, click here.



Congratulations to Tyler Albin

Honors College senior, Tyler Albin, was recently accepted to medical school at Louisiana State University - Shreveport. Way to go, Tyler!


Congratulations to Hannah Berman

Honors College senior, Hannah Berman, was recently awarded the Gonzales Study Abroad Scholarship through the History department. It is also known as the Jubilee Scholarship, provided by USM's Alumni Foundation. Great job, Hannah!


Congratulations to Jamie Jelinski

Honors College student, Jamie Jelinski, has been very busy this semester.  Check out the list of her accomplishments:

  • Outstanding Dixie Darling for 2013, which is voted on by the entire Dixie Darlings team. The award includes a scholarship from the Dixie Darling Alumnae Association and is their biggest award.
  • 3D art piece selected for USM Department of Art and Design Annual Student Show 2013
  • Anderson Retail Award for 2013-2014, with scholarship, in recognition as the most promising rising junior Interior Design Major at USM
  • Honorable Mention in the Beginning Studio category of the ASID South Central Chapter Career Day student design competition

Way to go, Jamie!


Congratulations to Ann Marie Brahan

Honors College senior and Honors Ambassador, Ann Marie Brahan, has been accepted into optomotry school!  We are proud of you!


Freshman Homecoming Maid Gabrielle Munn

Congratulations to Honors College freshman, Gabrielle Munn, on being selected for the 2013 Homecoming Court as the Freshman Homecoming Maid. She is pictured below as the first one standing on the left.

2013 Homecoming Court


Jordan Mathews receives national fraternity award

Congratulations to Spring 2013 Honors College graduate, Jordan Mathews, on being recognized by national fraternity Pi Kappa Phi as the 2013 Dr. Phillip M. Summers Student of the Year.  Mathews was chosen based on his academics and community involvement.  To read more about his award, click here.  We are proud of you, Jordan!


Congrats to Robert Williamson!

Honors College senior, Robert Williamson, has been selected to attend the 2013 annual Emerging Scholars Conference.  The conference is held in Ann Arbor, MI on October 25th, and Robert will be attending with his Honors thesis adviser, Dr. Marek Steedman.  Congrats, Robert!  We are proud of you and your accomplishments!


Congrats to Ashten Redell!

Honors College student and Honors Ambassador General Board President, Ashten Redell, is the newest recipient of the Wilbur and Polly Stout English Scholarship, which is awarded each year to the rising senior English major with the highest GPA who has completed three years of coursework at Southern Miss.  Congratulations on your outstanding academic record!  We are proud of you!


HoCo Alum Derik Wood

Check out what Honors College Alum, Derik Wood, is up to since his graduation!

"After graduating from USM in 2009 I was able to go to LSU and obtain my Master's Degree in Library and Information Science and graduated from there in 2011. I worked for a little while at the Cook Library at the campus of USM in the serials department before landing a job at the Archdiocese of New Orleans as a Processing Archivist."

Great job, Derik! We are proud of you!


HoCo Student to present research at conference

Congratulations to Honors College student, Dawne Kennedy, for being selected to present her paper entitled "There Goes the Neighborhood - From Invaders to Settlers: Scandinavian Assimilation in the Viking Age" at the 2013 Southeastern Medieval Association (SEMA) Conference in October.  Way to go, Dawne!


Congrats to a HoCo alumna!

Robyn White, Honors College graduate in 2008, just completed her Master's degree in Political Science at the University of New Orleans! Congratulations, Robyn!


HoCo student Linell Bonnette's Internship

Check out what Linell Bonnette, senior Computer Science major, is doing this summer!

"I am doing an internship with CTS, which is a consulting firm who develops software. The internship is in a combination of Mobile, Birmingham, and Atlanta. I am primarily located in the Mobile office. A total of seventeen interns are developing a web application for internal use using the .NET technology stack. We also get to use all sorts of fun stuff like jQuery and Bootstrap. The company is putting us through a mini version of their new hire bootcamp, which is really awesome since we're getting to learn all sorts of stuff that school doesn't usually teach. Application of the theory type things, like how to gather requirements for a project among a distributed team, work with clients to develop use cases, and even create a complete and useful application using the stuff that real companies do. 

I was notified of the position via a School of Computing's email, and I later met the recruiter at a career fair. The first interview was set up through Eagle Employment, and was a telephone interview. After being vetted there, I qualified to go drive out to Mobile for an interview. The company offered to pay for us a hotel and gas, which I figured was a good start. That interview was a group interview (which I thought was weird, but ended up really enjoying), and there were two students from Southern (both of us are now interns), a few from University of West Florida (both now interns), and two from University of South Alabama. There are two other interns, both from USA, although they weren't at the interview.  The interview process really focused on technical qualifications, which is mostly stuff that I've picked up outside of class. The company mostly avoided those funky interview questions that start with "tell me about a time when," thank goodness. A week after the interview, the company made me a pretty generous offer for an eight week internship.  After that, I invited the recruiter to come speak at an ACM meeting, and she obliged. The company is growing pretty rapidly, so they're looking for as many quality people as they can hire. Judging from her feedback so far they're going to try to ramp up recruiting at good ole USM over the next few years."

Way to go, Linell (pictured front and center in the blue polo with the other interns and mentors)!



HoCo Ambassador Tyler Brown's Internship

Check out what Tyler Brown, senior Polymer Science major, is doing this summer!

"This summer (2013), I was selected to be one of 27 undergraduates to participate in the Amgen Scholars program at Washington University in St. Louis (Wash U) in St. Louis, MO.  Amgen Scholars is an international program funded by the Amgen Foundation that collaborates with 10 U.S. universities as well as 3 European universities to provide students with hands-on lab experience in the biomedical field. I was very excited when I was told I was accepted into this 10-week summer research program at Wash U since this university is one of the top in the US for medical school and biomedical research. This program is exclusively for individuals hoping to pursue a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.  I plan on applying to become an M.D./Ph.D. this summer; however, the future is unpredictable. Scholars were given an extensive list of research groups to choose where they wanted to conduct their summer research. I was granted the opportunity to become a member of Dr. Sheila A. Stewart’s laboratory, conducting cancer research. Aging is the primary risk factor associated with cancer. One aspect of her research group aims to study the role of the stromal compartment during cancer development. Interestingly, senescent, or “old,” fibroblasts exhibit remarkably similar characteristics to fibroblasts isolated from tumor microenvironments. Thus, we hope to understand more about how the aging process correlates to increased risk of cancer. Because I am an Amgen Scholar, we will not only present our research findings at Wash U at the end of the summer, but we will also be flying out to the University of California, Los Angeles, to participate in an Amgen Symposium to understand more about the company, enhance our networking skills, and see what other projects colleagues have been working on at their respective Amgen-sponsored research experience."

Way to go, Tyler!  We are proud of you!



Congrats to Kyle!

The Honors College would like to recognize one of our graduate assistants, Kyle Ethridge, on his recent award for student teaching!  He was chosen by USM's College of Education and Psycholgoy to receive the Outstanding Teacher Intern Award for 2012-2013, awarded by the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Teacher Education (MACTE).  He represented USM and the English department for the second year in a row at the award ceremony at the Mississippi Department of Education on April 5th.  The university had approximately 350-400 student teachers from both semesters and all departments last year, and Kyle was chosen for this award from all of these students based on these qualities:

    • Has earned a high grade point average in comparison with other candidates within the institution’s degree program;
    • Has demonstrated outstanding teaching ability through performance in the teacher internship and other field experiences;
    • Has demonstrated outstanding character and interpersonal skills, through performance on teacher candidate disposition assessments, and other contributions such as leadership and service while at the university.

Congrats, Kyle!  We are proud of you!!!


Meet HoCo student, Rachel Payne

Check out what Honors College student and transfer to USM, Rachel Payne, is up to on campus!

USM Research Internship

Honors College, May 2012 – Present

I currently have the privilege of participating in research under the mentorship of Dr. Yan-Lin Guo of the Biological Sciences Department. We are studying the innate immunity of mouse embryonic stem cells, with the long term goal of cultivating endothelial tissues from stem cells that will have the protection of a fully functional innate immune system. I will be involved with this project until I graduate from USM.

MS-INBRE Scholar

May 2012 – February 2013

The Mississippi Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence was a wonderful opportunity for me to receive hands-on training and bench research experience. It opened the door for me to work with Dr. Guo in the field of stem cell research and I was able to present a poster at the MS-INBRE science symposium in February of 2013.


Congratulations, Stormy!

Congratulations to Honors psychology major Stormy Speaks!  Stormy won the Mississippi Press Association’s award for Best Feature Story by a College Newspaper earlier this year.