July 29, 2014  

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Southern Miss Gulf Coast Instructor, Student Presented Disability Accommodations Awards

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The University of Southern Mississippi Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) recently presented awards to both a Southern Miss Gulf Coast faculty member and student for their outstanding commitment to community and the integration and inclusion of people with disabilities into campus life.

Billie Tingle, visiting instructor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, was presented the Outstanding Instructor Award at the ODA Awards Reception held on the Hattiesburg campus. Alongside Tingle, recent elementary education graduate Ashlen Johnson was presented the Student Academic Excellence and Community Involvement Award.

Tingle, who has been with the university since 2008, was presented the award for her commitment to create a welcoming and accessible campus for persons with disabilities. Nominated by a student, Tingle was described as going above and beyond to ensure students were equipped to succeed.

Overcoming challenges, Johnson maintained a 3.5 grade point average during her academic career. In addition to being a member of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale, Johnson has been involved in a music sorority and international honor society. Her honors include Alpha Lambda Delta, an academic honor presented to first year students, and most recently the Outstanding Elementary Education Student Award.

In addition to the student and instructor awards, the Outstanding Staff Award was presented to Denise Bounds with the Department of Residence Life in Hattiesburg.

The (ODA) is the university’s designated office to verify students' eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ODA works with eligible students on an individual basis in developing and coordinating plans for the provision of reasonable accommodations that are specific to their disabilities.

For more information about the ODA, visit www.usm.edu/oda.