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Released October 20, 2004

PI BETA PHI MEMBERS' ACTIVITIES
BRING ABOUT INTERNSHIP, SCHOLARSHIP
By Leigh Anne Wilson

HATTIESBURG -One of the many outstanding student organizations on the Southern Miss campus has a spotlight on two of its members. Pi Beta Phi, a national fraternity for women, pushes its members to become better in every aspect of their lives.

One member, Tabitha Epperson, a senior history major from Pass Christian, has achieved more than most young women her age. This summer she interned for Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) in Washington, D.C., where she worked in the press office. Her main duties included attending press conferences with Lott, attending Lott's weekly radio shows, distributing Lott's weekly radio address tapes and weekly columns, and accompanying Lott to live news shots.

While in Washington, Epperson was able to visit the lying in of a former president, Ronald Reagan, as well as spy current President George W. Bush, Sandra Day O'Connor and Hillary Clinton. "Through my experience in Washington, D.C., I was able to see how the government works firsthand and created memories to treasure for a lifetime," said Epperson, who serves as chaplain of the Southern Miss Pi Beta Phi chapter and is a senate member for the College of Arts and Letters.

Pi Beta Phi member Terra Rae Firth, a junior audiology major from Biloxi, received the $1,000 John Stone Scholarship through the Pi Beta Phi Foundation. The national scholarship process included submitting an application, an up-to-date transcript and recommendations from both a professor and an alumni advisory committee member. Firth, who also had to write a personal statement explaining the reasons she deserved the scholarship, serves as membership chair for Pi Beta Phi and as secretary for Gamma Beta Phi. She is also a Luckyday Scholar, a McNair Scholar and a member of Show of Hands Sign Choir.

Firth encourages all students to seek out scholarships and honors at Southern Miss. "My involvement on campus helped tremendously," she said. "Not only does it look good on a résumé, but it also opened many doors for me. It was through these organizations that I learned of scholarships and honors that I (eventually) received," Firth said.

She advises students looking for scholarships to write down all deadlines and requirements "and stick with them," she said. "The process may be time-consuming, but in the end it really pays off."

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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM