Gulfport – The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast campus is enjoying enrollment growth for the fall semester, marking an increasing demand for quality educators. To meet the growing trends, the university recently hired six new faculty members.
“We’ve taken steps to hire the very best faculty available. When you talk about a world-class university you’re not just talking about bricks and mortar. It’s the people who make it great,” said Dr. Pat Joachim, associate provost for the Gulf Coast.
“The students are our products, and we want to create citizens who contribute to our community and society.”
In screening new professors the university stresses four primary disciplines: instruction, research, service and economic development. Joachim says the disciplines reflect President Shelby Thames’ philosophy of community contribution, to not only educate its students, but also to encourage them to be proactive in service and community development.
With the frustrations associated with post-Katrina lifestyle, one might think college professors would look for other employment opportunities. However, many faculty members, such as newly-hired biology visiting assistant professor Jennifer Walker, see the opportunities lying within the debris and construction.
“I knew there were going to be challenges at the university (because of Katrina). I grew up with hurricane Fredrick in Alabama, so I’m familiar with life after a hurricane,” Walker said.
“This is a great opportunity, not just for the university, but also to make the biology department on the coast all that it should be.”
New Faculty Members at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Campus:
Jennifer Walker – teaching biology in the College of Science and Technology
Ph.D., biological sciences/marine science from the University of Alabama
Peter Pon – teaching chemistry in the College of Science and Technology
Ph.D., chemistry from the University of Alberta
Christopher Tingle – teaching history in the College of Arts and Letters
M.A., history from the University of Southern Mississippi
Bruce Waguespack – teaching workforce training and development in the College of Science and Technology
Ph.D., human resource education and workforce development from Louisiana State University
Lisa Johnson – teaching community health in the College of Health
M.S., public health from the University of Southern Mississippi
Karen Orcutt – teaching marine science in the College of Science and Technology
Ph.D., biological oceanography from the University of Wales