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Released May 27, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- The University of Southern Mississippi's Honors College has announced its Presidential Scholars for the 2004-2005 school year, including 13 students choosing Southern Miss for a wide variety of academic programs.

Prospective freshmen with an ACT score of 30 or higher (or corresponding SAT score) and/or National Merit or National Achievement semifinalist status who have been accepted into the Honors College are invited to compete for these scholarships in February each year. The Honors College offers scholarships based on academic and leadership abilities.

The number of Presidential Scholars for the 2004-2005 academic represents an increase in the number of placements in the Honors College, said Dr. Ken Panton, dean of the college. Panton credited university administrators, including Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul, and Southern Miss Hattiesburg Provost Dr. Tim Hudson, along with Recruitment Director Mathew Cox of the Office of Admissions for their assistance in recruiting the new scholars.

"The students who applied for Presidential Scholarships were all very highly qualified, articulate students," he said. "We are delighted that they are joining us in the fall and look forward to working with them in our freshman classes."

Honors College students will take part in a new curriculum that places an emphasis on active learning, with experiences through field trips and visits, as well as by learning in the classroom. "We will have more than 40 classes to offer during the next academic year and they will be taught by some of the finest scholars in the university," Panton said.

The new Presidential Scholars and their intended majors include Matt Darby of Hattiesburg, graphic communication; Joey Emfinger of Meadville, chemistry; Leslie Gaddis of Collinsville, premedicine; Jennifer Gillis of Jackson, history; Frank-Joseph Greer of Hattiesburg, polymer science; Ryan Jones of Purvis, polymer science; Jacob McCann of Spanish Fort, Ala., general studies; Daniel Murin of Hattiesburg, microbiology/biochemistry; Matthew Rook of Braxton, history; Joseph Sapp of Lumberton, biochemistry; Thomas Simon of Biloxi, computer science; Jason Thompson of Slidell, La., general studies and Lauren Wozniak of Birmingham, Ala., nursing.

"We welcome our new Presidential Scholars to Southern Miss, and look forward to providing them with a rewarding academic experience that can help them achieve their life and career goals," said Thames.

The Southern Miss Honors College offers students a broadly based, liberal education within the framework of a large, comprehensive university, and works with any degree program offered at Southern Miss. It was established in 1965 as an honors program and became a separate college in 1976, making it the sixth-oldest honors college in the nation.

"These students show great promise for success, and the Southern Miss Honors College can play a key role in developing their potential," said Hudson.

For information about the Southern Miss Honors College, call (601) 266-4533.


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June 4, 2004 2:49 PM