College of Education and Psychology News Briefs
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Contact David Tisdale - 601.266.4499   

This briefs package highlights newsmakers and events from The University of Southern Mississippi College of Education and Psychology, including publication and presentation of research by its faculty. For more information on any of the stories below or for assistance in arranging interviews, contact the Department of Marketing and Public Relations at 601.266.4491.

For more information about the Southern Miss College of Education and Psychology’s academic programs and research, online visit

 Deaf-Blind Project Co-Hosting Helen Keller Events
• Barry Co-Authors Book
• Federal Language Arts Grant Coordinated by Karnes Center
• Roberson Serving as Evaluator, Assessor
• Karnes, Former Student Co-Author Book

 Mississippi Deaf-Blind Project Co-Presenter for Events set for Helen Keller Week

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Mississippi Deaf-Blind Project in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education is working with other organizations at the university and across the state to present two events in conjunction with Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week June 27-July 3.

The first event will be held Thursday, July 1 at Turtle Creek Mall from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and will include exhibits and simulation activities of disabilities, in particular deaf-blindness to increase the public's awareness, sensitivity and understanding of those who live daily with both a vision and hearing impairment.

Others collaborators presenting this event include Southern Miss’ Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, Institute of Disability Studies and Office of Disability Accommodations; The Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Deafblind Services under the Mississippi Department of Vocational Rehabilitation; the Bureau of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ Community Living Program of Ellisville State School; and the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities.

On Friday, July 2 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Gulfport at the LightHouse for the Blind/Lions Low Vision Technology Lab, the Southern Miss Deaf-Blind Project will co-host a reception with the staff employed at the LightHouse, the Lions of Mississippi, and the Deaf/Blind Services under the Mississippi Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. The address for the event is 424 34th Avenue, Gulfport, Miss.

For more information on these events, call the Mississippi Deaf-Blind Project in the Southern Miss Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at 601.266.5247.

Barry Co-Authors Book on Child, Adolescent Personality and Behavior

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Dr. Christopher Barry, an assistant professor in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Psychology, is co-author of the recently published book “Clinical Assessment of Child and Adolescent Personality and Behavior.”

The book, published by Springer (, is a valuable updated resource for graduate students and clinicians across disciplines, including clinical child and adolescent psychology, school psychology and counseling psychology.

A licensed psychologist, Barry specializes in child and adolescent psychology. His research interests also include risk and protective factors related to the development of child conduct problems and adolescent delinquency; and self-esteem, narcissism, and psycopathy in children and adolescents. 

 Karnes Center Coordinating Federal Language Arts Grant

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A U.S. Department of Education grant providing support for area school districts to advance elementary school students’ performance in language arts is being administered through The University of Southern Mississippi’s Frances Karnes Center for Gifted Studies.

Titled “Continuous Progress Curriculum Model for Elementary Schools in Language Arts,” the project is designed to organize schools around the acceleration of students through their established elementary curricula. It provides training and technical support for elementary educators and administrators to establish an individualized plan for a continuous progress curriculum in language art, considered a critical academic need area in the state.

Target areas to be served by the elementary component will be language arts instruction in kindergarten through third grade, said Dr. Frances Karnes, director of the Karnes Center for Gifted Studies, who is assisted by Southern Miss graduate students in coordination of the project. She hopes that the project’s format can be followed throughout a school’s curricula. The project will be administered through May 2011.

Following an orientation meeting for each superintendent, principal, and selected teacher leaders, each school will be provided initial training by an educational consultant who visits each school at least once a month to provide technical assistance and guidance to establish a curriculum committee charged with creating the individualized plan for implementation.

The project’s two-part focus is now underway, which began with the creation of multiple entry points in an instructional setting for students of any age or academic strength in order to advance their progress in the school’s language arts curricula. This is followed by training and continued support for teacher leaders and administrators through periodic monitoring of student progress and data gathering and interpretation.

A review of the students’ periodic progress is also facilitated by assisting teachers and administrators on scheduling methods and flexible instructional grouping scenarios.

The elementary level project director and educational consultant assess the schools’ progress toward completion of the implementation plan monthly, assisting school personnel as needed. At the end of the school year, a viable plan will be created based on the data that is collected and analyzed.

Learn more about the Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at

 Roberson Serving as Program Evaluator, Assessor

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Dr Thelma Roberson, an associate professor in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Educational Studies and Research, is serving as an assessor this summer for the national principal licensure exam, SLLA (School Leader’s Licensure Exam) for Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. She also served the National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education ((NCATE) evaluating principal preparation programs across the country.

She is also in the process of completing an evaluation of 21st Century Grant Programs for Lumberton Schools. As a grant evaluator, she makes site visits, collects and analyzes data and consults with district personnel regarding these federally funded programs.

Roberson’s research interests include supervision, curriculum development, program development, leadership, the history and foundations of American education, educational facilities and design and staff development.

Karnes, Former Student Produce New Book

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dr. Frances A. Karnes, Distinguished University Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, and one of her former graduate students, Dr. Kristen Stephens, an assistant professor of practice at Duke University have written a book entitled “The Book of Questions” for students, parents, grandparents, and teachers.

The book provides young people with a variety of questions on multiple topics. It is also a valuable resource for parents, grandparents and teachers of the gifted and is available through Royal Fireworks Press For more information, contact Southern Miss’ Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at 601.266.5236.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The 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