Hattiesburg Area Couple Honored for Supporting Southern Miss International Education
Friday, February 19, 2010
Contact David Tisdale, 601.266.4499
Allan and Carolyn Nation live the adage “think globally, act locally” by supporting international education at The University of Southern Mississippi.
The Hattiesburg area couple was recently honored at a luncheon on campus for their longtime financial support of scholarships for Southern Miss students to participate in its international exchange and study abroad programs. They also serve as a host family for international students studying at Southern Miss for a semester or an academic year, and Allan is a member of the university’s International Programs Advisory Council and Internationalization Council.
“Their scholarship support makes a difference in the ability of a student to participate in our programs, and they make those who come here from other countries feel so welcome by opening their homes to them,” said Dr. Susan Steen, director of International Education at the university.
Khalita Hicks, a junior Spanish major from Florence, Miss. was able to study in Spain last fall through the Semester in Granada program after qualifying for a scholarship supported by the Nations.
“It was a truly amazing, rewarding experience. I was able to go and see things I thought I would never see in my life, and my Spanish definitely improved,” Hicks said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without them.
Both Southern Miss alumni, the Nations recognize the benefits of international travel and study, with Alan having travelled abroad through work in the publishing industry and Carolyn’s writing for travel publications.
Carolyn said she remembers the first time she went to Europe it felt like “a living dream” and said that it is rewarding for her and Allan to contribute to the dream of young students who want to experience other cultures, languages and places.
“That first trip abroad always becomes the benchmark for all subsequent trips,” she said. “It stays in the memory and allows students to see that people are kind and welcoming all around the world, and helps create more openness and understanding of others,” she said. “It broadens their awareness and builds confidence.”
Allan agrees, saying it’s harder to truly know your own country if you never leave it and by studying abroad, students gain a broader understanding of the world and their place in it. He said he and Carolyn also continue to learn more about the world as a host family, getting first-hand knowledge about the language, culture and politics of other countries from their student house guests.
“I wish we had these programs when I was at the university, but being involved with them now and serving as a host familly has been as enjoyable for us as it has been for the students,” he said.
For more information about Southern Miss international programs and how you can support international education at the university, call 601.266.4344; online, visit http://www.usm.edu/internationaledu/ or e-mail
Southern Miss students who received scholarship assistance from Allan and Carolyn Nation of Hattiesburg to participate in the university’s international study abroad and exchange programs recently attended a luncheon honoring the couple. The students include, from left, Ashley Jones, a junior from Jackson, Miss.; Khalita Hicks, a junior from Florence, Miss.; Allan and Carolyn Nation; Nicole Sheperd, a junior from Ridgeland, Miss.; and Mary Emma Smith, a sophomore from Flowood, Miss. The Nations have provided funding for scholarships for 15 years and have participated as a host family for international students who come to the U.S. to study at Southern Miss. (Southern Miss photo by David Tisdale)
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.