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Released May 2, 2003

BUSINESS STUDENTS AT SOUTHERN MISS EXCEL ON NATIONAL EXAM

HATTIESBURG - Scores on the capstone course administered to graduating seniors in Management 400 at The University of Southern Mississippi suggest these students know their business.

Seventeen students from Southern Miss' Hattiesburg campus and six students from the Long Beach campus scored in the top 10 percent nationally on the recently administered Educational Testing Services Major Field Test. The test measures students' knowledge on a wide range of business principles.

"While in the past our business majors have consistently performed well, this year's test performances are the most outstanding we've ever seen," said Dr. Farhang Niroomand, professor of economics and associate dean for academics.

He added, "I think the results demonstrate that the College of Business Administration is attracting top quality students, and those students receive a top quality education from our dedicated faculty at Southern Miss."

Out of 163 students given the ETS test at the Hattiesburg campus, 49 students - or about 30 percent - scored in the 80th percentile. At the Gulf Park campus, the Management 400 class finished overall in the top 20 percent nationally.

The ETS Major Field Test consists of examinations in 14 disciplines, including accounting, economics, management, finance, marketing, legal and social environment, international business, and quantitative business analysis. Nationally, the test is administered to about 65,000 students each year.

Walt Taylor, chair of the division of business at Southern MissGC, said he thinks students on the Coast scored so high because they tend to be nontraditional students with full-time jobs who understand the workings of the "real world" better than many.

"We have more mature students here," Taylor said, adding that students in business courses at Southern MissGC usually range between the ages of 25-35. "Most of our students are employed full time and are going to school part time, so these are folks who have positions of responsibility."

Students in Hattiesburg scoring in the 99th percentile were Jeffrey Babcock, Leslie Hair, Eric Jarvis, William Martin, Ramona Stevens and James Matthew Tyrone.

Students scoring in the 90th percentile were Andrew Young, Aaron Zumwalt, Mirenda Bedwell, Bradley Coburn, Uwe Gneiting, Blake Hamm, David Moncrief, Barry Navarre, Francisco Nazario, Amanda Puckett and Dustin Rinaldi.

At Long Beach, one student, Justin Wadsworth, scored in the 97th percentile. Those finishing in the 90th percentile were Tracy Bozeman, Jeni Hornbeck, Charles Fairley, Regina Lawrence and Patricia Porrata.

Taylor also said that three former students from Southern MissGC who recently took the CPA exam passed on their first attempt, with one taking a statewide medal in the process. Warren Ladner received a silver medal for having the second best score in the state of Mississippi. Jeff Pokorny passed on his first attempt, taking the CPA exam in Alaska. Melissa Smith Dickinson was the third student to pass on the first try, Taylor said.

"First-time passers are rare, and statewide medal winners are rarer still," Taylor said.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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