Susan Brown


HPR Program of Study: BS in Kinesiotherapy
Graduation Year: 2004
Current Employment: James A. Haley VA Hospital Tampa, FL


Susan Brown’s kinesiotherapy career had an unlikely start. “As a high school athlete I pulled my hamstring running in a 400 meter race. My coach sent me to a therapist and ever since I have been infatuated with the human body and how it moves.”

Originally from Louisiana, Susan was determined to spread her wings and attend an out-of-state school. One of her high school teachers suggested the University of Southern Mississippi. Faced with unanticipated out-of-state fees, she met with the Dean of Admissions to discuss her options. During this meeting she learned of the Academic Common Market and School of Human Performance and Recreation’s Kinesiotherapy program.  (Please note: For the state of Louisiana, Kinesiotherapy is no longer offered through the Academic Common Market). She chose to pursue the major, a decision she now considers one of her proudest academic accomplishments.

Despite working full time while attending Southern Miss, Susan made the Dean’s list and President’s list numerous times. She believes her HPR classes prepared her for her current job at James A. Haley VA Hospital. She stated, “the teachers really stressed application. They really wanted the textbook knowledge to complement real world experience. Because of the knowledge I received from USM I am able to work through any situation.”

Susan acknowledges her advisor and mentor, Mr. Jerry Purvis. “He wants to make sure every student achieves not just employment but success. If not for him I may not have been as confident entering the workforce. To this day I can contact him when I need advice. He is a blessing.”

Susan is currently working towards her master’s in business administration with a certification in health management and leadership from the University of South Florida. After completing her MBA, she aims to pursue a position in healthcare leadership.

Being the mom of two boys, Susan is passionate about playing games with her children, participating in school activities and maintaining a balanced life. She stressed, “I want my children to love their bodies and physical activity, so I keep them moving in school as well as sports clubs.”

Susan knows she made the right decision to attend Southern Miss and is a strong advocate for the university. She proclaims, “USM is the perfect school. It has all of the accessories (football, track and field, hang out spots, sororities, fraternities, etc.) of a big school bundled in a small package. It is a place where your teacher knows you by name, not by number.”

She would like to leave the following advice for students in the School of Human Performance and Recreation: “Find that one thing that makes you tick. Absorb the knowledge. And college will be a joy instead of ‘the next assignment.’”