April 16, 2014  

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Southern Miss Gulf Coast Opens Think Center for Students

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Dr. Michele Williams, instructional services specialist for The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Think Center, is photographed in the new facility located in the library room 101 on the university’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. (Southern Miss University Communications photo by Charmaine Schmermund)

A new and creative learning space, known as the Student Think Center, opened this week for students and faculty at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

The Think Center, whose goal is to help students understand their learning personality, offers instructional support for faculty, active and experimental environments for collaborative or individual learning, and various student development activities. These activities include exploring how one’s personal preferences influence ways to best learn and indentifying practical ways to be more deliberate in learning processes.

Modeled after the university’s Think Center on the Hattiesburg campus, the center is centrally located on the Gulf Park campus in room 101 of the Gulf Coast Library. Equipped with flexible, collaborative furnishings, the center provides opportunities for students to work in small groups, interact with others, and experience real-world team and learning environments.

Dr. Michele Williams, who earned her doctorate in educational psychology and research from the University of Tennessee, has been named the instructional services specialist for the Think Center’s Gulf Park campus facility. In addition to earning her master's degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, Williams is an alumna of Southern Miss where she earned her bachelor's degree in English and psychology.

“I look forward to working with students and faculty at the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Think Center,” said Williams. “Like the USM Hattiesburg Think Center, we are funded by a federal grant aimed at improving student achievement through student development, faculty engagement, and learning space design. I believe that the Think Center offers students a wonderful opportunity to become more deliberate and aware of their thinking processes and approaches to learning and offers faculty new ways to increase active learning in their classes.”

Undergraduate students are offered free membership to utilize the services within the Think Center. After becoming a member, students are able to use the Think Center as a learning space either individually or for their group. Members are also invited to attend workshops provided by the Think Center, as well as participate in events for the Think Center’s learning community.

The Student Think Center, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Strengthening Institutions Program, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the library room 101.

For more information about the Gulf Coast Student Think Center, call 228.214.3222 or visit www.usm.edu/thinkcenter.