Three faculty members at the University of Southern Mississippi with stellar backgrounds in teaching, scholarship and administration have been chosen to lead its College of Education and Psychology.
Dr. Ann P. Blackwell, who joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1991 and has served as chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies, will serve as interim dean of the college, said Southern Miss Provost Dr. Robert Lyman.
Dr. Mitchell Berman, professor of psychology and a former associate dean of the college, and Dr. Diane Fisher, lead professor for the Department of Technology Education’s Business Technology degree program, will serve as interim associate deans.
“I’m pleased to have a team with such outstanding qualities to lead the college,” Lyman said. “As we continue our search for a candidate to fill the post of dean of the college permanently, we’re fortunate to have such able individuals to fill these important positions on an interim basis.”
Lyman also praised former interim dean Dr, Wanda Maulding and interim associate dean Dr. Ron Styron for their service to the college. “Dr. Maulding and Dr. Styron provided able and devoted leadership during our search efforts, and we look forward to their continued work to advance the college as members of its faculty.”
Dr. Blackwell is the recipient of the 2001 University of Southern Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2005 Aubrey Keith Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award, and the 2007 Aubrey Keith Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas University Excellence in Service Award.
She has secured more than $1.5 million in external funding, primarily from the U.S. Department of Education, to support parent education and the preparation of teachers. She has more than 60 refereed publications and presentations at the state, national, and international levels.
“It is a privilege to work with colleagues in the College of Education and Psychology to promote the excellent academic programs that we have to offer,” Blackwell said.
Her service to the university has included membership and leadership positions with its Faculty Senate; Academic Council, Professional Education Council; Strategic Planning Committee; NCATE Oversight Committee; and Graduate Council.
Dr. Berman joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1996 and has served the college as associate dean and interim associate dean. He also served as the director of clinical training for Southern Miss’ American Psychological Association accredited clinical psychology doctoral program from 2001 through 2005.
His research has been supported by grants from a variety of prominent organizations, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the Guggenheim Foundation, and along with his students has published extensively in leading journals.
Dr. Berman has held leadership roles with the university’s Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, the University Drug and Alcohol Policy Committee; and the university chapter of the American Association of University Professors, among others. He is the recipient of the College of Education and Psychology Research Award and the University Research Council Basic Research Award.
Dr. Fisher has been with Southern Miss since 1999 and has served the college and university as a member of its Professional Education Council; NCATE Committee; Faculty Senate; and University Assessment Committee.
She is advisor to the university’s Phi Beta Lambda and Pi Omega Pi chapters and is serving as president-elect of the National Association for Business Teacher Educators (NABTE) and president-elect for the Mississippi Business Education Association. She served as editor of the NABTE Review from 2007-2009.
Dr. Fisher received the University Business Educator of the Year Award from the Mississippi Business Education Association in 2006 and the Aubrey K. Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award in 2008. She has also authored several publications and presented workshops at state, regional, and national conferences.
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 www.usm.edu.