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Faculty Research Activities to be Highlighted During Letters Day Sept. 8 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499   


HATTIESBURG – The innovative research activities and achievements of University of Southern Mississippi faculty will be recognized Sept. 8 at the university’s new Thad Cochran Center during Southern Miss’ annual  LETTERS Day (Lives Enriched Through Their Endeavors: Research and Scholarship).

In addition to presentations made during the day, five faculty members will be recognized in the categories of Lifetime Contribution, Basic Research, Applied Research, and Academic Partnerships.

“This event is a celebration of the outstanding and important work that members of our faculty are doing,” said Dr. Cecil Burge, vice president for Research and Economic Development.

Dr. Jeanne Gillespie, associate professor of foreign language and literature, is coordinator for the University Research Council. “This day provides an opportunity to see the different kinds of research that is ongoing across campus and to share these kinds of things with our colleagues,” said Gillespie. “It also is an opportunity to bring an academic focus into the grand opening week activities at the Thad Cochran Center.”

The day’s schedule includes hourly presentations by selected faculty members from 9 a.m.-noon. Office of the President and Faculty Senate award winners for 2005-2006 will be recognized during a 1:30 p.m. ceremony, and five more faculty members will be presented with Innovation Awards during a 2 p.m. ceremony. All events will be held in the Thad Cochran Center’s Ballroom 1.

LETTERS Day recipients include the following:

  • Dr. R.D. Ellender of the Southern Miss Department of Biological Sciences is the recipient of the Lifetime Contribution Award. Dr. Ellender received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1969. He joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1972 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 1980. He is an expert in environmental microbiology and virology, and in recent years, has concentrated his research in the area of microbial source tracking, resulting in external grants amounting to more than $2.5 million since 2001 alone. In addition he has received numerous other grants, published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and mentored more 18 graduate students. 
  • Dr. Vernon Asper of the Southern Miss Department of Marine Sciences is the recipient of the Basic Research Award. Asper received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1986 and joined the Southern Miss faculty that same year. He was promoted to professor in 1997. His field in ocean particle dynamics, a specialty which has involved him in field research throughout the world, from the Black Sea to the equatorial Pacific and to Antarctica. He has recently been named director of the national Underseas Vehicles Technology Center. He has authored numerous refereed articles, made more than 60 presentations at national and international conferences and received external grants totaling nearly $7 million during his tenure at Southern Miss. 
  • Dr. Philip Kolin of the Southern Miss Department of English and Dr. Kathleen Yadrick of the department of nutrition and food systems are recipients of the Applied Research Award. Dr. Kolin received his doctorate in 1973 from Northwestern University, joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1974 and was promoted to professor in 1983. Kolin has published more than 30 books and more than 200 articles in such diverse areas as Renaissance literature and Shakespeare, contemporary African American women playrights and business writing. His textbook, “Successful Writing at Work,” now in its eighth edition, is the most widely-used book in the business writing market.
  • Dr. Yadrick of the department of nutrition and food systems received her doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1986 and joined the Southern Miss faculty that year. After focusing early in her career on the toxicity of pesticides and dietary minerals, Dr. Yadrick became affiliated in 1995 with the newly formed Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative, a consortium designed to address nutrition and health problems in the lower Mississippi Delta of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. She became Principal Investigator of Delta NIRI at Southern Miss in 1998 and in that capacity has attracted external funding amounting to more than $4 million. She has authored numerous articles and presentations at professional conferences, and has achieved distinction in a unique area of community-based participatory research, working within a diverse collaborative consortium.
  • Dr. Agnes Hinton has received the Academic Partnerships award. Dr. Hinton received her Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996, joined the Southern Miss faculty the same year Director of the Center for Community Health, and was promoted to professor in 2003. Earlier she was active in such projects as breastfeeding promotion and nutrient intake studies, and her current research relates to the promotion of community health workers through the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO). Dr. Hinton has developed partnerships with a wide variety of institutions and agencies, ranging from Vanderbilt University and UAB to the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative to promote a variety of public health projects throughout the region. She has authored numerous articles, reports and public presentations, and has generated grants totaling millions, including more than $6 million alone for the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach.
Office of the President and Faculty Senate award winners for 2005-2006 will also be recognized on LETTERS day. The winners of these awards include Dr. Brent Wolfe, Junior Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award; Dr. Stephen Sloan, Junior Faculty Creative Activity Award; Dr. Michael Madson, Junior Faculty Research Award; Dr. Marie Danforth, Mentoring Award and Hugo Ley, Community Service Award.


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