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Released December 17, 2003


HATTIESBURG - A doctoral candidate in The University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Educational Leadership and Research has received a prestigious award that includes scholarship funding.

Scott Rudes, a teacher at Bloomingdale High School in the Hillsborough School District in Valrico, Fla., is one of just six graduate students in the country to receive the Finnis E. Engleman Award, presented annually by the American Association of School Administrators. The award includes a $2,000 scholarship.

"I'm extremely honored to have been selected to receive this award," Rudes said. "The scholarship money will help me realize some of my dreams I've had about my career."

Recipients of the Engleman Award will be presented with a plaque and check at the 2004 AASA Conference in San Francisco in February.

Rudes is taking part in a unique opportunity offered at Southern Miss that allows individuals seeking advanced degrees in educational administration to do so by attending courses on campus during the summers and completing courses off campus during the fall and spring semesters. This plan, the Summer Program in Graduate Education, allows individuals currently employed in school districts around the nation to take advantage of advanced education opportunities without having to quit their current teaching job.

The program offers degrees at the master's, specialist's and doctoral level, which are NCATE accredited and nationally recognized

"Scott is extremely talented and dedicated to the field of education," said Dr. Thelma Roberson, assistant professor of educational leadership at Southern Miss. Roberson is Rudes' major professor and dissertation chair. "He has natural leadership abilities coupled with the dynamic learning experiences he is receiving at Southern Miss that make him an ideal candidate for educational leadership positions anywhere in the United States."

Rudes' goal is to become a school superintendent. He comes from a family of educators, as both of his parents are school guidance counselors.

"I love teaching, but I want to move into administration where I can better serve and be a part of the decisions that need to be made in education," he said.

For more information about the summer program in graduate education, contact Dr. Bobby Moore, director of the Southern Miss Summer Program in Graduate Education, at (601) 266-4487, or


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM