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Released February 20, 2003


HATTIESBURG - A diverse cross section of faculty, staff, students and community members has been tapped by The University of Southern Mississippi to select a dean for the College of Health.

The College of Health is among five new colleges created by the recent academic restructuring at Southern Miss, which will streamline nine existing degree-granting colleges into five starting July 1. Search committees for the other four colleges were announced earlier.

"The search committee for the dean of the College of Health is loaded with talented, accomplished and dedicated faculty, staff, students and stakeholders," said Dr. Tim Hudson, Southern Miss Gulf Coast provost. "We appreciate their willingness to commit time and effort to this important process."

Hudson said that once the committees have met and reviewed the candidates in late spring, they will be brought forth for faculty, staff and students to provide input on their ability to lead Southern Miss' newly configured colleges. The search committee, one of five overall, was formed with volunteers and through nominations by staff and faculty, including chairs and directors.

"We are excited about the strength and perspective that each and every committee member brings to their committee," said Dr. Jay Grimes, provost for the Hattiesburg campus.

Dr. Joan Exline, assistant professor and director of the Center for Community Health and the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation, will act as co-chair of the search committee, along with Dr. Karen Lundy, professor in the College of Nursing.

"The College of Health's dean search committee has an important job to do since health care is an area with many challenges and opportunities," Exline said. "The dean must be a strong entrepreneur who can take advantage of these opportunities while bringing together the members of our new college."

The College of Health will consist of nursing, which is in the current College of Nursing; community health sciences, nutrition and dietetics, institutional management, human performance and recreation, social work and human nutrition, all of which are in the current College of Health and Human Sciences; medical technology, currently in the College of Science and Technology; and speech and hearing sciences, which is currently in the College of Liberal Arts.

The search committee represents a wide range of strengths, interests and backgrounds. Members include:

– Wesley J. Belton, an associate professor in the School of Social Work. Benton's current research project is the involvement of faith-based organizations in providing social services in the Hattiesburg area.

– Janie Butts, an associate professor in the School of Nursing. A certified instructor and instructor trainer for the state of Mississippi in HIV/AIDS Education for the American Red Cross since 1992, Butts has had numerous presentations and publications on HIV/AIDS in the region, state and community.

– Steven J. Cloud, an assistant professor in the department of speech and hearing sciences. Teaching graduate-level courses in multicultural language issues, adult neurogenics and stuttering, Cloud has presented at six national and four state conventions since 1998 and has published three book chapters and one article.

– Joan Exline, who has maintained an active teaching load while managing two departments, directing 13 funded projects totaling $274,170, publishing four articles and 15 technical reports, presenting 10 papers at national conferences and serving on many college and university committees.

– Sandra K. Gangstead, a professor of Human Performance in the School of Human Performance and Recreation. Gangstead, who has written and procured external grant funding for various educational programs in excess of $1.3 million, is the author of 47 scholarly publications.

– Jane Hudson, chair and program director of the Department of Medical Technology. Hudson is the three-time winner of the Southern Miss Excellence in Teaching Award, one-time winner of the Southern Miss Excellence in Service Award and the Southern Miss HEADWAE Award. Hudson is the author of Principles of Clinical Laboratory Management: A Study Guide and Workbook.

– Karen Lundy, professor in the College of Nursing. A faculty member since 1990, Lundy teaches undergraduates and graduate courses in community health, philosophy of science and qualitative research. Lundy is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

– Mark Maneval, professor and coordinator in coaching and sport administration in the School of Human Performance and Recreation. Maneval has presented papers at International and State conferences, published articles in international and national journals and has procured external grant funding for various educational programs.

– Deolinda Mignor, associate professor in the College of Nursing. Mignor, who also serves as nursing coordinator on the Gulf Coast campus, has served on numerous College of Nursing committees and has been the Gulf Coast representative to the Academic Council for the past three years. Her research interests include the areas of home health nursing and caregivers.

– Mary Frances Nettles, associate professor of nutrition and food systems and director of the Didactic Program in dietetics. Her publications and research interests are in the areas of management of food service operations in hospitals and schools, child nutrition programs and food service equipment/faculty design.

– Michael Webster, associate professor of exercise physiology and director of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology in the School of Human Performance and Recreation. Webster's research focus in exercise metabolism and performance has resulted in 20 national and international peer-reviewed publications.

– Virginia Moffitt Crawford, medical director of student health at Southern Miss for the last 14 years. Board certified in internal medicine and adolescent medicine, Crawford is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

– Sid Gonsoulin, director of Recreational Sports at Southern Miss. Gonsoulin has numerous publications and national presentations to his credit on such topics as facility planning and management, student development, marketing and risk management. Gonsoulin secured a $400,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to construct the university's fitness trail, which opened in October 2002.

– Amanda Avis, project coordinator for the Breast Cancer Control Research Project and a full-time student working on a master's degree in public health. Davis is the recipient of the Lynn Cook Hartwig Policy Scholarship and is the co-author of "Breast Cancer and Environmental Risks: Where is the Link?," which is pending publication in the Journal of Environmental Health.

– Jessica Lynn Ross, a senior nursing student. She is involved in a variety of educational and extracurricular activities.

– Raylawni Branch, a retired lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force Reserves Nurse Corp. Branch currently serves as a clinical instructor in the College of Nursing at Southern Miss and is responsible for clinical instruction to students on a cardiac unit at Wesley Medical Center.

– Ginger Ferguson, president of Ferguson and Associates Consulting Company. Ferguson has retired as the senior vice president of Forrest General Hospital and has served as adjunct faculty to Southern Miss and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

– Allen Meadows, vice president of administration at Forrest General Hospital. With more than 18 years of hospital administration experience, Meadows serves as adjunct faculty at Southern Miss, where he teaches courses each summer for MBA/MPH students on understanding health insurance.

– Jim Payne, president and CEO of UAD Laboratories, Inc., a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Jackson. Payne has served as president of the Southern Miss Foundation, president of the Eagle Club and on the Commission on the Future of the University in 1997. He was inducted into the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame in 1990.

– William K. Ray, president of the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg Inc., president of the Mississippi Heart Association and chairman of the board for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi. He has held positions of president of Wesley Health Systems, president of the Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center and president of the Area Development Partnership.

– Diane Reidy, chief executive officer of Wesley Medical Center. Reidy has held the position of chief nursing officer at the Medical Center of Baton Rouge and positions of chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at North Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Reidy joined Wesley Medical Center as the chief operating officer in 2000.

– Douglas Rouse, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and co-founder of Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A. A former football player for the Golden Eagles, Rouse is president of the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation. Rouse has been inducted into Southern Miss's Alumni Hall of Fame and Sports Hall of Fame.

– Tommy G. Thornton, executive director of the Hattiesburg Clinic. Thornton has served as an adjunct field instructor for the College of Health and Human Services at Southern Miss and is a member of the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM