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Released April 21, 2004

By Christopher Mapp

HATTIESBURG -- University of Southern Mississippi doctoral student Stephen Fuller plans to spend a lot of time driving from Hattiesburg to Jackson this summer. In the capital city, Fuller will pour through the photographic archives of Eudora Welty and interview people who knew the famous Mississippi author.

Thanks to a $500 mini-grant made possible through the Office of Graduate Studies, Fuller will have a little spending money for gas and food on his frequent trips.

A Ph.D. candidate in English, Fuller is one of five recipients of the doctoral research travel grants, the first-ever awarded at Southern Miss. The mini-grants are intended to help doctoral students defray the cost of travel associated with conducting research.

"This money will help with lodging and food, and every little bit helps," said Fuller, who is trying to make the case through his research that Welty was a part of the Surrealist Movement of the 1930s. Fuller, whose major professor is Dr. Noel Polk, said grants like his are "absolutely essential for this kind of work."

"I'm just going up the road to Jackson, but imagine if your research takes you farther away. It can become very costly," he said.

One recipient whose research will take her farther is Dana Powell, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology under advisement by Dr. William Goggin. Powell will travel to the Renfrow Center in Philadelphia to study the role of weight expectations among women with eating disorders.

Some will go even farther than that. Michael Boyd, a student of music professor John De Chiaro, will travel to Europe to conduct research into the life and work of Federico Moreno-Torroba, the most prolific Spanish composer of the 20th century.

Katherine Davis, a student of Dr. Denise Brown in nutrition, will travel to the Twin Lakes Diabetes Camp to study the effectiveness of diabetes camps on developing self-care management, particularly among children.

Gayle Chesley, a student of Dr. William Wagner in psychology, will travel between Mississippi and Chicago to examine the attitudes of African-American and European-American children towards a multiracial child.

"The descriptions of the students' research gives one only a glimmer of the great variety of research that students and faculty at Southern Miss undertake," said Associate Provost Dr. Bradley Bond. "The Office of Graduate Studies is pleased to be able to provide a small measure of assistance to these students, all of whom are working hard under the supervision of their mentors to complete significant and meaningful research."


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April 23, 2004 12:27 PM