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Released November 30, 2004

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - The University of Southern Mississippi's award-winning Vietnam Studies Program recently received notable coverage in a national publication.

The Nov. 7, 2004, issue of Washington Post Magazine references the story prominently on the cover of its annual educational review under the headline "Lessons Far From Home." The article, written by 2002 program alumna Ylan Q. Mui, includes perspectives from students, faculty and veterans who participated in the study-abroad program this past summer.

Established five years ago, the unique three-week course brings students and veterans together to examine the Vietnam War on the very terrain where the battles were waged.

"The focus of the program is on the war and its many legacies," said Dr. Brian O'Neil, a Southern Miss history professor who leads the program under the auspices of the Southern Miss Center for International and Continuing Education. "We believe the course offers participating students a chance to learn about an event that had a profound impact on our nation's society and its politics, while at the same time learning about a foreign culture and expanding their academic experience beyond the classroom. The program has also helped the healing process for some of the veterans who have participated."

The Washington Post Magazine article, titled "Not Someone Else's War," includes the perspective of Southern Miss medical technology major Michelle Heard, whose husband, Vincent Clay, has just been deployed to Iraq with his Army National Guard unit. While learning about the Vietnam War from firsthand accounts of American veterans John Young of Picayune and retired Maj. Gen. Ben Harrison of Belton, Texas, Heard constantly had thoughts of the current war in Iraq on her mind.

"This (article) is confirmation that we have a quality program that is making an impact on students not only by expanding their academic experience at Southern Miss but their global perspective, and people all over the country and world are taking notice," said Susan Steen, director of the Southern Miss Center for International and Continuing Education.

For more information on the Vietnam Studies Program, contact the CICE at (601) 266-4344 or Dr. Brian O'Neil at (601) 266-6494.


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December 10, 2004 9:59 AM