Southern Miss AOP Honors Administrators at Annual Luncheon
Friday, July 30, 2010
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   

University of Southern Mississippi administrators were honored by the Southern Miss Association of Office Professionals (AOP) at its annual Bossesí Luncheon in May.

The honorees included Dr. Frances Karnes, founder and director of the universityís Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies, who received the AOPís Educational Administrator of the Year award; and Dianne Coleman, assistant to the dean for recruitment and special projects in the College of Health, who received the AOPís Office Professional of the Year award.

Karnes is a University Distinguished Professor and an internationally recognized advocate of gifted education who joined the faculty in 1974. She has authored or co-authored more than 60 books and more than 200 published papers, and is a recognized expert on gifted children and the law. The Centerís programs for youth, including its Summer Program for Academically Talented and Gifted Youth, Summer Gifted Studies Program and Leadership Studies Program draw hundreds of participants to campus each year.

She has received multiple honors from Southern Miss, including being named University Distinguished Professor; its Faculty Research, Professional Service, Basic Research and Lifetime Innovation Awards. Karnes is also a recipient of the Mississippi Legislature Award for Academic Excellence in Higher Education, the Woman of Achievement Award from the Hattiesburg Womenís Forum and Rotary Internationalís Jean Harris Award.

Coleman has been a member of the Southern Miss staff for 27 years and is an alumna of the university, earning a bachelor of science in journalism with honors in 1991 and a master of science in communication in 1995. She has served on the universityís Staff Council since 2007 and is serving as its president for 2010-2011. She is a longtime member of the AOP and served as chair of its Ways and Means Committee in 2008-09, and has served on the Southern Miss Paint Southern Miss Pink and University Club Planning Committees.

She has worked as coordinator of academic and administrative services for the College of Health (and Human Services) and independent desktop design and publication consultant, and as an adjunct instructor for community first aid and CPR and several journalism and technology education courses.

Karnes and Coleman will be nominated for similar awards in November given by the Mississippi Association of Educational Office Professionals (MAEOP).

For more information about the Southern Miss chapter of AOP, online visit



About The University of Southern MississippiThe University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at