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Released January 30, 2003

For the week of January 27 - 31

CHINESE DISSIDENT SOUTHERN MISS SPEAKER FEB. 11

HATTIESBURG - Harry Wu knows firsthand the repercussions of fighting for human rights in a country where the government is hostile to political dissent.

Wu will recount his 19 years as a political prisoner in China's "Bamboo Gulag"- which included time in solitary confinement under brutal conditions - and his struggle against forced labor in his native land during The University of Southern Mississippi's next University Forum Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

A renowned author and speaker on human rights issues, Wu has returned to China since his release to document the atrocities committed in Chinese prison camps and forced labor camps. He twice has testified before the U.S. Congress on the abuses.

Wu is the author of two books, Bitter Winds, in which he recounts his life as a political prisoner; and Troublemaker: One Man's Crusade Against China's Cruelty, in which Wu details his decision to return to China and the victories he has achieved for human rights.

Southern Miss's University Forum series is sponsored each fall and spring semester by the Honors College. All presentations are free and open to the public, and are held at Bennett Auditorium. For more information, call (601) 266-5762.

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"LARGEST AEROBICS CLASS" PART OF FEB. 20 EVENT

HATTIESBURG- The University of Southern Mississippi Division of Recreational Sports will hold a day-long program of physical and educational activities Feb. 20 - including Southern Miss's "largest aerobics class" - to observe National Recreational Sports Fitness Day.

"The university's largest aerobics class will be among the day's highlights," said Stacey Ready, assistant director of recreational sports. "This event will start at 5:30 p.m. and once again, the surrounding community is encouraged to attend.

"Good health and wellness are goals for many Americans, and we want to showcase several ways to reach those goals," she added.

Ready said the day's program at the Payne Center fitness and recreational complex will start at 10:30 a.m. with a "climbing wall" event. A health fair scheduled at 11 a.m. will involve participants from Forrest General Hospital, the Institute for Wellness and Sports Medicine, the Southern Miss Clinic, the Southern Miss Counseling Center and personal fitness instructors from Recreational Sports.

"Also at 11 a.m., fashion merchandising students, under the direction of Mary Swoope, will produce a fitness fashion show to highlight fitness wear," Ready said.

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GULF INVADERS TOPIC OF GCRL PROGRAM FEB. 12

OCEAN SPRINGS - A University of Southern Mississippi fisheries expert will examine the issue of invading species of plants and animals in the Gulf of Mexico during a Feb. 12 seminar at the university's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

The presentation, "Invasive Species," will feature speaker Harriet Perry, director of the Southern Miss Center for Fisheries Research and Development. She will cover how alien invaders make their way to northern gulf estuaries, how they survive and their potential for impacting regional fisheries.

The presentation will be held from 10 a.m.-noon in Room 103, Caylor Building. Lunch and informal discussions with the speaker will be held from noon-1 p.m. Registration, including a brown-bag lunch, is $5. To register, call Dale Fremin at (228) 872-4256.

The program will mark the sixth in a seminar series on the health of gulf estuaries and fisheries. GCRL's pioneering research has provided state agencies, industry and organizations with scientific information on northern gulf marine and coastal resources for more than a half century.

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SCIENTIST TO DISCUSS "LIFE ON MARS" FEB. 13

HATTIESBURG - A planetary scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will discuss life on Mars during a Feb. 11-13 event at Hattiesburg's Lake Terrace Convention Center.

Dr. Christopher McKay will present "Life on Mars: Past, Present and Future" at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13 as the concluding Dodgen Lecture portion of the 67th annual conference of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, one of the largest and most active academies in the nation.

Mckay has conducted research since 1980 in Mars-like environments such as the Antarctic dry valleys and is a co-investigator on a probe looking at the atmosphere of Titan, one of Saturn's moons.

More than 100 University of Southern Mississippi scholars will be among presenters of nearly 300 papers during the three-day conference on topics ranging from marine and atmospheric science to psychology, the social sciences and science education. Faculty, staff and students from each of Mississippi's four-year universities and colleges, community colleges and governmental agencies will be among presenters.

Other special events will include symposia on molecular visualization in biochemistry, supercomputing, forensic science and genomic networking. There also will be technology-related presentations and exhibits.

The convention center is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 49 and Interstate 59 in northwest Hattiesburg. A complete schedule of presentations is available at the Web site www.nsacad.org. For more information, contact Marie Danforth, MAS publicity director, at (601) 266-5629 or e-mail mdanforth@comcast.net.

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SCOTT AQUARIUM EVENTS SET IN FEBRUARY

BILOXI - A "subs and sweets" social and a look at ocean babies are on tap at the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium during February.

A free, members-only valentine celebration Feb. 8 will feature submarine sandwiches and desserts from 5-7 p.m. at the aquarium, located on U.S. 90 at the Biloxi end of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge.

The aquarium will offer a peek into the family lives of sea creatures during the program, "Ocean Babies," Feb. 22 from 10-11 a.m. Participants will meet some of Scott Aquarium's own offspring of the sea. Aquarium educators also will explore just how new sea creatures come about – from fish that release millions of eggs to creatures that rear just one baby.

Family memberships to the Great Scott! Membership program are $50. Other membership categories range from $15 for individual students to $1,000 for corporate memberships. For more information on memberships or to make reservations for the member social, call (228) 374-5550.

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Southern MissGC ASSUMES NEW SMALL BUSINESS CENTER ROLE

LONG BEACH - Operations for the Small Business Development Center in Jackson, Stone and George counties have been reassigned to The University of Southern Mississippi.

Formerly under the control of Gulf Coast Community College, these three counties, under the university's management since Jan. 1, will continue to offer the same services to the business community, said SBDC Director Lucy Betcher.

"We want people to be aware that the same good services are available, that we're still present and things will go on just like before, now that Southern Miss is responsible for those counties," Betcher said.

The SBDC is a nonprofit, government-funded organization designed to provide comprehensive management and technical assistance to owners and potential owners of small businesses. There are 20 development centers throughout Mississippi. Before taking over the additional counties, Southern Miss was responsible for Harrison and Hancock counties.

"We see about 500-plus clients a year and do about 40-50 workshops, so we'll expand on that," Betcher said.

Offices of the SBDC for the five counties are located at the Gulf Park campus. For more information call (228) 865-4578.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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