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Southern Miss College of Science and Technology Honors Faculty and Staff PDF Print E-mail
Monday, May 17, 2010
Contact Beth Taylor - 601.266.5170   

Graduation, celebration and awards presentations mark the end of another semester for the College of Science and Technology on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

“We are delighted to recognize the contributions of this select group of award winners who exemplify the quality of faculty and staff in the College of Science and Technology,” said Dr. Joe Whitehead, dean of the College of Science and Technology.

The College’s Outstanding Faculty Research Award has been presented to Dr. Faqing Huang, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  He has spent 12 years at Southern Miss during which time he received nine federal grants totaling more than $2 million, published 37 research papers, filed four patent applications and made more than 140 oral and poster presentations locally, nationally and internationally. In 2004 he received the Lucas Faculty Excellence Award.  

“Dr. Huang has worked very hard to establish a research program here at Southern Miss,” said Dr. Robert Bateman, department chair. “To his credit, he has written numerous grants to fund his work and has been highly successful in obtaining research funding including recent awards from both the National Institutes of Health and NASA.” 

Dr. David Beckett, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, earned the Outstanding Faculty Service Award. He is an aquatic biologist and studies the ecology of freshwater invertebrates and the ecology of large rivers. More recently he added salamanders, snakes, and bats to his repertoire.

“Dave Beckett is a teacher-scholar who is contributing measurably and significantly in pursuit of the core mission of the Department of Biological Sciences, the college, and the university,” stated Dr. Frank Moore, department chair.

Beckett is active in scholarly pursuits and has had grant funding from a number of different sources.  He teaches biology courses for both non-majors and majors including introductory biology, environmental biology, conservation biology, freshwater biology, and aquatic insect ecology.

Beckett has been on numerous department and college-level committees, serving as the departmental representative on the Dean’s Faculty Council since 2005 and the Summer Faculty Research Committee.  His other service assignments include membership in the Faculty Senate, Academic Council, the Grade Review Committee, and most recently the University Priorities Committee.  Most notably, Beckett was president of the Faculty Senate from 2004 to 2005.

The Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award was presented to Dr.  Mark Miller, a professor in the Department of Geography and Geology. 

Miller is considered to be a master teacher with classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. He teaches both large introductory courses and smaller upper division courses. He has directed students on numerous study abroad experiences, including classes in Jamaica, Cuba and Belize. Miller incorporates technology into his classes in various ways including the use of videos and internet web sites such as Google Earth. 

“Teaching students in Geography, Economic Development, Business, and the Honors College – all in a single academic year; he is not a one department brand,” stated Department Chair Dr. Skeeter Dixon.

Gary Cook, senior laboratory coordinator for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was given the Outstanding Staff Award.  He has a master’s degree in chemistry education and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Southern Miss.

Cook presently develops syllabi and overall course structures and administers grading for all upper level undergraduate lab courses.  He also supervises graduate assistants, instructs department personnel on instrumentation use, and maintains inventory control.  Prior to his present position, he spent 19 years coordinating organic chemistry labs for the department. 

For more information on the College of Science and Technology visit

The Outstanding Faculty Service Award is presented by College of Science and Technology Dean (left) to Dr. David Beckett, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southern Miss.

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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