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Thursday, September 03, 2009
Contact David Tisdale - 601.266.4499   

This briefs package highlights timely news and events from The University of Southern Mississippi. 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.

• Kuczaj Elected Fellow in Explorer’s Club of New York  (with photo)
• Day of Sharing for Teachers of the Gifted Oct. 2
• Parenting Gifted Children Conference Oct. 3
• Kolin Publishes New Book of Poems

Southern Miss’ Kuczaj Elected Fellow in Explorer’s Club of New York 

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – University of Southern Mississippi professor of psychology Dr. Stan Kuczaj has been elected a Fellow of the Explorer's Club of New York in recognition of his long-standing efforts to conduct meaningful psychological research in real world settings at many locations around the globe, including the Galapagos Islands, Honduras, India, Japan, Nepal and Thailand. 

The Explorer's Club was founded in 1904 and is a multi-disciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Election as a Fellow reflects documented contributions to exploration and scientific knowledge, and is the highest level of membership offered by the Explorer's Club.

Kuczaj is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. “I’m delighted my field research has resulted in this honor,” said Kuczaj, who considers his election as Fellow to be another demonstration of Southern Miss’ commitment to internationally recognized scholarship.

Kuczaj's recent field work has focused on dolphin and whale behavior in the Bahamas, Honduras, the Gulf of Mexico and Japan. During the past year, he has presented invited talks on his research in France, Honduras, Japan and Sweden. He and his students will present more of their research at the upcoming meeting of the Society for Marine Mammalogy in Quebec City.

Parenting Gifted Children Conference set for Oct. 3

HATTIESBURG, Miss.  – The Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi will hold its 26th annual Parenting Gifted Children Conference Oct. 3 at Joseph Greene Hall on the Hattiesburg campus.

The conference will offer assistance to parents and other concerned adults to better understand the unique intellectual, academic, and social/emotional needs of the gifted and talented. The registration fee is $30.

Dr. Suzanne Bean, director for the Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning and Emeritus Professor of Education at Mississippi University for Women, will be the keynote speaker and present “Developing Leadership Potential in the Home.”

Other sessions during the conference will include “Mississippi Association for Gifted Children and Parenting Groups,” “Continuous Progress Curriculum,” “Gifted Education in Mississippi,” “Encouraging Your Child to Write and Publish,” and “Your Child and You: Social Networking Sites.”

To register for the conference, contact the Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at 601-266-5236; online, visit

Day of Sharing for Teachers of the Gifted Oct. 2 at Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Day of Sharing for Teachers of the Gifted, a biannual conference held in the spring and fall, provides professional development for gifted education teachers. This year’s conference will be held Friday, Oct. 2 at the R.C. Cook University Union at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The conference is designed to educate teachers on current curriculum and instructional issues in gifted education. Teachers of the gifted, regular education teachers, psychologists and administrators are encouraged to attend. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Suzanne Bean, Director for the Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning and Emeritus Professor of Education at Mississippi University for Women. She will give a presentation entitled “Developing Leadership Potential in The Classroom.”

Other presentations by professional educators will include Tracy Williams, former administrator for the Hattiesburg Public School District, who will present “Continuous Progress Curriculum”; Carol Paola, executive director for the Mississippi Association for Gifted Studies, who will present “Preparing for a Site Visit”; Dr. Diane Fisher, interim associate dean and associate professor in the Southern Miss College of Education and Psychology, who will present “A Primer on Social Networking for Teachers”; and Trecina Green, bureau director of the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the Mississippi Department of Education, will present “Gifted Education in Mississippi.”

Time will be allotted for participating teachers of the gifted to share their ideas, strategies and other information. The conference is offered at no charge to participants. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available. For more information, contact the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at 601.266.5236; online, visit

Kolin’s Poetry Published in New Book
-- Dr. Philip C. Kolin, professor of English at The University of Southern Mississippi, recently published a new book of his poetry, “A Parable of Women” with Yazoo River Press.

The 23 poems comprising Kolin’s book include the voices of women, ancient and contemporary, who are trapped in finite time or who discover the infinite, the “perfect equipoise” where past and future meet. Using a variety of poetic genres/categories, Kolin’s poems are laments, lyrics, satires, arias and meditations.

“This collection deals with entrances and exits, and between these two portals the women speakers conduct us with their contouring metaphors drawn from dancing, food and scripture,” Kolin said.

A Parable of Women is Kolin’s fourth book of poetry. In 2000, his  “Deep Wonder: Poems” (Grey Owl Press) won an award from the Catholic Press Association, and this summer The Penwood Review awarded him their “Editor’s Choice” for  his  poem, “Praying the Icons,” the journal published last year.

Kolin has already received high praise for this volume. Sue Walker, the Poet Laureate of Alabama, said, “Kolin’s Parable delights with its prodigious play of words, with its impressive images, and with its capacity to convey the subtleties of meaning,” while Distinguished Tulane University poet Peter Cooley said “Kolin undoes our expectations poem-after-poem as he refashions myth and metaphor.”

A leading Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare scholar, Kolin has published poetry throughout his 35-year career at Southern Miss. His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Anglican Theological Review, South Carolina Review, Paper Street, Blue Collar Review, and Christianity and Literature.

In 2006 he co-edited with Susan Swartwout the nationally acclaimed anthology “Katrina Blues: Poems about Katrina and Rita.” He was recently published in “Kaleidoscope: Exploring the Experiences of Disability through Literature and the Fine Arts” with his poem “Burial at Sea.” His work was selected from among more than 350 submissions considered for publication.

Copies of A Parable of Women are available from Yazoo River Press at This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it .

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

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