September 21, 2014  

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Longtime Communication Studies Professor Retires: The Conville Legacy Lives On

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Dr. Richard Conville

The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Communication Studies’ Professor Richard Conville retired this past May after 35 years of service.

Conville was hired in 1978 by the university and became the first full-time chair of the department. He led the development of curriculum as well as the hiring of the first five faculty members. He charted the course for the department’s growth and role at the university.

Current chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Dr. Charles Tardy, explains that Conville was instrumental in the department’s creation and success and has been a long-time Southern Miss advocate.

“Dr. Conville had a long and productive record of service to the university, profession, and community,” said Tardy.

While at Southern Miss, Conville was actively involved on and off campus. He served as President of the Faculty Senate and Chair of the Research Council, and as a member of the Academic Council.  He also was chair of the Masters Facility Planning Committee. Conville received the “Service Learning Faculty Innovation Award” from the Office of Community Service Learning, was an instructor of the Lucky Day seminar for undergraduates for 12 years, and served as chapter president for Phi Kappa Phi, a national academic honorary society, for four years. He was the Hattiesburg Junior Auxiliary’s 2012 recipient of the Humanitarian of the Year award, and he was appointed by Governor Haley Barbour to serve on the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service from 2011-2014.

Conville remains an involved and enthusiastic part of Southern Miss.

“He led our university’s efforts to foster student engagement and civic values for more than 15 years. He has been active in the promotion of service learning as a discipline by his involvement in the Gulf South Summit for Service Learning. Just last year he hosted that group of approximately 400 professionals as they visited our campus for their yearly conference. He was also active in our professional associations, most notably the Southern States Communication Association, who selected him for a distinguished service award, and the National Communication Association, where he also promoted service learning,” said Tardy.

Conville remains a prized and respected part of Southern Miss, the Department of Communication, and the community.

“We are fortunate to have had Dr. Conville as a champion of service learning at Southern Miss and a member of the college faculty and he will certainly be missed,” said Dr. Steven Moser, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “His influence and wisdom have left an impression on students, faculty and staff alike and on behalf of the College of Arts and Letters, I wish Dr. Conville the best as he enjoys his retirement.”