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Released May 16, 2005


HATTIESBURG – The University of Southern Mississippi held a reception Thursday on its Hattiesburg campus to celebrate the success of a research magazine launched by undergraduates of Southern Miss' Honors College in spring 2002.

Titled Catalyst: A Multidisciplinary Review of Undergraduate Scholarship, the journal's purpose is to create new knowledge and to catapult current knowledge to a new level.

"Our ideal of research is broad; we are interested in all creative projects and creative methods of learning," said Catalyst Executive Editor Carrie Gray. "Undergraduate research can involve internships, externships, study abroad programs, service learning, laboratory discovery and library research."

During the afternoon reception, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul and Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames applauded the magazine's nine-member staff for devising a publication that provides research experience to undergraduates and a platform in which researchers can have their work recognized.

While the Catalyst is the brainchild of undergrads, Vice President for Research and Academic Development Dr. Cecil Burge can be credited for its lifeline. Impressed with the overall potential of the magazine, Burge donated nearly $3,000 to help the publication get up and running.

"We want to create opportunities that enhance the education of our students," said Burge. "We want to offer as many participatory opportunities as we can."

"This kind of effort is what Southern Miss is all about," said Dr. Thames. "It's rare that you will find an institution that would embrace undergraduate research. Why? Because it takes a lot of time, effort and money, but we believe in giving maximum opportunities to folks who want to attempt to be different and be successful."

Southern Miss sophomore Joshua Bird will take over as managing editor in the fall as Gray heads on to law school at the University of Alabama. Bird, a finance/insurance major, said he plans to maintain the high standards set by his predecessor and work diligently to make the magazine even better than before. The publications' next edition is scheduled for fall 2006.

For more information on how you can contribute to the research journal, please contact the Southern Miss Honors College at (601) 266-4533 or log onto



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July 22, 2005 2:20 PM