Members of The University of Southern Mississippi faculty from across disciplines shared highlights of their research with audiences Friday, Nov. 9 during the annual University Research Day program. The event was held at the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus.
In addition to formal presentations by select faculty honorees, more than 50 poster presentations detailing research projects were also made available by professors and instructors for members of the university community to examine.
“The whole notion of dedicating a day to celebrating research at the university is a great idea,” said Dr. Stan Kuczaj, professor of psychology and recipient of the 2012 Basic Research Award. “It’s an opportunity to not only to discuss our own work, but learn what our colleagues are doing. It also shows that our administration is supportive of a variety of research initiatives.”
Dr. Carol Connell, associate professor in the College of Health’s Department of Nutrition and Food Systems, discussed her research examining and understanding issues that underlie challenges for individuals in low-income situations to eat healthy. Connell said the desired outcome of her research is to use that knowledge to promote healthy eating within the constraints of a small budget.
She praised the university for setting aside a day to focus on faculty achievements in research. “It’s important for us to recognize the great work that’s being done across campus,” Connell said. “There are many different areas of research that we’re supporting, and this day has offered me the chance to learn about the work that’s going on outside my department.”
Kuczaj, who is also director of the university’s Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory in the College of Education and Psychology’s Department of Psychology, presented “Why Can’t We Speak with Dolphins?” in discussing his internationally-recognized research.
“These faculty members have really worked hard and brought credit to themselves and to the university,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, vice provost for research and coordinator of the program.
Other University Research Day program honorees included:
*Dr. Jeffrey Wiggins, associate professor of polymer science, College of Science and Technology, recipient of the Academic Partnerships Award.
*Dr. Andrew Wiest, distinguished professor of history, College of Arts and Letters, recipient of the Creative Activity Award.
*Dr. Jay Dean, professor of music and director of orchestral activities, College of Arts and Letters, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.