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Diversity and Inclusion

Awards and Honors

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Each year during Black History Month, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) recognizes a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated excellence in diversity and inclusion through outstanding contributions to the positive advancement of diversity on campus and/or within the university community, has implemented new and progressive best practices of effective teaching and learning strategies, has exemplified the service our universities provide to local communities and the state, and whose accomplishments have benefited all Mississippians.

Meet the Southern Miss Recipients

 Dr. Lawanda Baskin accepting IHL Diversity Award

2022 Diversity Educator of the Year 

Baskin Recognized for Advancing Diversity at USM

Dr. Baskin is actively engaged in developing the Rural Scholars Program, a collaboration between Alcorn State University and USM to expand diversity and inclusion by increasing recruitment of underserved rural students. She was also selected to serve as part of the USM’s founding Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission & Vision working group. 

Baskin's Contributions

 Bush Honored by IHL and President Bennett for Advancing Diversity at USM
2021 Diversity Educator of the Year

J. Theresa Bush

J. Theresa Bush, a USM Theatre program faculty member, has been recognized for advancing diversity at USM through her efforts, including her research in theatre for social justice, the implementation a Theatrical Intimacy Education (T.I.E.) for Costume Designers and Technicians training in the classroom, and more!

Bush's Contributions

Susan Mayfield Johnson

2020 Diversity Educator of the Year

Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson

A USM alumna, Dr. Mayfield-Johnson, and at the time associate professor in the USM School of Health Professions, has made numerous contributions to diversity and inclusion at the University and the broader community. 

Dr. Mayfield-Johnson's contributions

Eddie Holloway


2020 Karen Cummins Community Service Award

Dr. Eddie Holloway

Growing up in Mississippi in the 1960s, Dr. Holloway was a first-hand witness to the historic Civil Rights movement and Freedom Summer activities. These experiences influenced his life's work, helping students at USM achieve their goals and influencing countless others across the country as he gave talks and presented workshops on various topics, including cultural diversity and leadership.

Dr. Holloway's Contributions


 OBrien USM Recipient of IHL Diversity Award Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:26am | By: David Tisdale  Dr. Thomas O'Brien Dr. Thomas O'Brien

2019 Diversity Award for Excellence

Dr. Thomas O'Brien

A mentor for numerous young scholars studying opportunities for and obstacles to diversity and inclusion, Dr. O'Brien's own research on race, class and gender has led to more than 50 journal articles, two books, and more than 100 conference presentations. He is the author of The Politics of Race and Schooling: Public Education in Georgia, 1900-1961, and co-editor of Bridging Theory and Practice in Teacher Education.

Dr. O'Brien's Contributions

Dr. Chin-Nu Lin


2018 Diversity Award for Excellence

Dr. Chin-Nu Lin

An associate professor in USM's College of Nursing, Dr. Lin, has made numerous contributions to diversity and inclusion at the University and the broader community. 



Dr. Mohamed Elasri

2019 Diversity Award for Excellence

Dr. Mohamed Elasri

While working in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field, Dr. Elasri believes the inclusion of more minority students will bring much needed diverse viewpoints into STEM fields and will enhance the diversity of the workforce in various areas that hire STEM graduates in Mississippi and throughout the United States.

Dr. Elasri's Contributions


Dr. Kevin Greene

2016 Diversity Award for Excellence

Dr. Kevin Greene

Dr. Greene's research investigates the intersections of African American community and identity development with consumer and music culture from both a national and transnational perspective, while focusing closely on the importance of blues and jazz in those formations.  

Dr. Greene's Contributions



Dr. Tammy Greer


2015 Diversity Award for Excellence

Dr. Tammy Greer

As a member of the United Houma Nation and director of the Center for American Indian Research and Studies (CAIRS) at USM, Dr. Greer has worked with Southeastern Native tribal members on numerous projects, including the formation of CAIRS and the building of a 1,000 square foot Medicine Wheel garden located on the USM Hattiesburg campus, for which she is caretaker. 


Contact Us

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Lucas Administration Building 
118 College Drive #5173
Hattiesburg, MS  39406

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