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Southern Miss Gulf Coast Student among Doctoral Program’s First Graduating Class PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Contact Charmaine Schmermund, 228.865.4573   

As the Centennial Celebration Commencement approaches at The University of Southern Mississippi,
John Joseph Kmiec, Jr. of Biloxi looks forward to the significance of the event and the excitement of being one of the first graduates from the Human Capital Development doctoral degree program at Southern Miss Gulf Coast.

Kmiec, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, began working on his doctoral degree in 2007 after receiving his master’s degree in the workforce training and development program at Southern Miss.

With the doctoral degree, Kmiec plans to continue to do the kind of research tied to practical application. This includes projects that make for better workforce, organizations and communities. In addition to working on his doctorate, Kmiec has been teaching a workforce analysis course at Southern Miss Gulf Coast.

“This program sets people up for success from the beginning,” said Kmiec. “Also, my committee was fantastic and my classmates were a great resource to bounce ideas off of and get moral support.

“What you begin to realize at the end of the dissertation is that it’s more of a community project than an individual undertaking. I learned that it’s designed that way to help the individual grow, because at the time, you’re stretched and you’re challenged. In the end, all the pieces come together.”

In the years Kmiec has been working on his doctorate, he has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Science and Technology at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, the Graduate Student Research Symposium Yarbrough Scholar Award, and he was named one of the Gulf Park campus Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities for 2010.

“As we graduate our first students in the human capital development Ph.D. program, we are honored to share this milestone during the university’s Centennial Celebration Commencement,” said Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, professor and director of the Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute at Southern Miss. “John’s success is a result of his commitment to excellence, and we are pleased to have him represent Southern Miss.”

Among the 1,629 participants for the Centennial Celebration Commencement in Hattiesburg, more than 200 will be Southern Miss Gulf Coast graduates. The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 15 at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will serve as keynote speaker for the ceremony.

Providing a few words of encouragement to his fellow graduates, Kmiec says, “Don’t stop learning – it should be lifelong process. It isn’t until we stretch ourselves in learning that it increases our capability to deal with the world.”

For more information about the Centennial Celebration Commencement at The University of Southern Mississippi, visit

John Joseph Kmiec

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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