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Released May 8, 2003

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - A pair of University of Southern Mississippi psychology graduate students have been accepted to two prestigious postdoctoral sleep research programs.

Chris Ward of Hattiesburg and Monique Lebourgeois of New Orleans, doctoral candidates at Southern Miss, will spend the summer advancing their education at Ivy League institutions Harvard University and Brown University, respectively.

Ward, whose emphasis area is experimental psychology, will study the basic mechanisms of sleep in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry, where he will study under Dr. Robert McCarley. "I'm just elated, very excited," Ward said of his acceptance to the program. "He (McCarley) is a big name in the sleep research field. Just to be able to work with someone of his stature is incredible."

Lebourgeois will continue her research on adolescent sleep patterns while studying at Brown's E.P Bradley Sleep Research Laboratory. She will work under the supervision of Mary Carskadon, whom Lebourgeois said is also a top name in the sleep research field.

Both Ward and Lebourgeois believe the preparation they received at Southern Miss was key to their acceptance to the programs.

"My graduate research at Southern Miss (under the supervision of Southern Miss psychology professor Dr. John Harsh) has provided me with a variety of opportunities, and those opportunities have increased my confidence and shaped my research interest," said Lebourgeois, who has supervised the Southern Miss Department of Psychology's Sleep Laboratory for the last five years.

Ward also credited Harsh and Southern Miss professor Dr. John McCoy for their guidance of his research at Southern Miss. "Those two have really done a lot for me and helped prepare me for this," he said.

Harsh said Ward and Lebourgeois' selection to the programs is a result of their dedication and sacrifice. "Both of them have worked very hard, both day and night and on weekends and during breaks to do the things that need to be done to be successful," he said.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM