Student Spotlight: click here

Honors Students chosen and McNair Scholars and SPUR Winners

On behalf of the Honors College, I offer hearty congratulations to the following Honors College students.  We are proud of you--and pleased to see the Honors College represented so well in these important programs!


 For their selection McNair Scholars, we congratulate:

  • Rebecca Aucoin
  • Anthony Curry
  • Kristen Dupard
  • Sabrina Graves
  • Danviona King
  • Angel Mechanic
  • Amanda Ponder
  • Alexis Sanders
  • Bianca Stewart
  • Grant Tingstrom


 For their selection as winners of Eagle SPUR awards:

  • Aaron Bermond
  • Natalie Griner
  • Druanna Mozingo
  • Rachael Kuehn
  • Joshua Polk
  • Samantha Russell
  • Joshua von Herrmann


Honors Students Receive English Scholarship

Two Honors students have received scholarships from the English Department. Chamara Moore was given the Howard W. Bahr Achievement Award, and Meredith McPhail received the Wilbur & Polly Stout English Scholarship.


Honors Students Place in Eagles Write! Competition

Comp instructors in the English department nominate various students whose writing is exemplary for the Eagles Write! competition. This round, there were many Honors students who were both nominated and won the competition. See their names below. Congrats!

Armendia Husley, winner: “Shhhh! An Investigation of Librarian Stereotypes”
Stephanie James, nominated: "Band Geek' Stereotype: Causes and Effects”
Conner Welch, nominated: "The Disconnection Connection"
Gabrielle Munn, nominated: “The Dirty Burg: Hattiesburg’s Sewage System and the Environmental Implications”
Erin Blackledge, nominated: "We are Mississippi"
Morgan Peoples, nominated: “radKIDS: Making Strides in Child Protection”
John Marshall Diffey, nominated: “What Children Can Learn From a Male Cinderella”


Honors Student's Experience with Internship

Meredith McPhail recently completed an internship with with a firm called Lawyers for Children in New York City. She said, "We represented children in foster care or children in the middle of custody or visitation disputes. As an intern, I was paired with a social work supervisor and had the opportunity to accompany her on home visits and sit in on client interviews. It was an incredible experience! I loved the hands-on work that also allowed me to see the cases in a legal context."

What a wonderful opportunity! We're very proud of you, Meredith!


Honors Student Earns Internship

Jessica McCord will participate in an internship with Sea Life in Hawaii in the Spring of next year. She'll get experience working with various sea animals as well as with training them for shows with the public.

We're very proud of you and happy that you get this amazing opportunity!

Active Learning Trip to Key Largo

Over fall break, students in Dr. Kuczaj's Psychology 110 class went to Kay Largo to learn about psychology through interacting with dolphins. Below are some picture of their trip.



Active Learning Trip to Washington D.C.

Over fall break, students in Dr. McBride's Political Science 101 class went to Washington D.C. to visit the Newseum, see a showing of Political Steps, and tour the political sights in the city. Below are some pictures of their trip.

Honors College Alum Featured in Computers in Human Behavior

Mo Ismail, a December 2013 graduate of the Honors College, co-authored a paper with his adviser, Dr. Donald Sacco, that recently appeared in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

We're very proud of you, Mo!

The article, "Social Belongingness Satisfaction as a Function of Interaction Medium: Face-to-Face Interactions Facilitate Greater Social Belonging and Interaction Enjoyment Compared to Instant Messaging," may be accesses through the University Libraries.

Fall 2014 University Forum Schedule

We're pleased to announce the Fall 2014 Forum Schedule. These events are open to the public, and we encourage the community to attend.

  • James Inabinet, Director of La Terre Bioregional Center
    Information forthcoming.

  • Julian Walker, USM theatre student & star in the movie, Blackbird
    September 16th at 6:30pm in the Thad Cochran Center, Ballroom II
    In January 2013, Walker made The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus his college home, where he studies theater and media production. Blackbird, a coming-of-age story, explores homosexuality, race and religion in a southern Christian community. Alongside Walker, Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington star in the movie that premiered in February 2014 to critical acclaim, and has been featured at half a dozen national and international film festivals.

  • Bob Jensen, Journalism Professor, University of Texas
    September 23rd 6:30pm in the Trent Lott Center, room 103 A-D
    Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas. His most recent books are Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialogue (City Lights, 2013); and We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out (MonkeyWrench Books/CreateSpace, 2013). The topic of his talk at USM will be “Crises, Ecological and Social”. Jensen writes for popular media, both alternative and mainstream. His opinion and analytic pieces on such subjects as foreign policy, politics, economics, and ecology have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and web sites all over the world.

  • Whitney Miller, author and chef
    October 7th at 6:30pm in the Trent Lott Center, room 103
    Inspired by the hospitality of her 97 year-old great-grandmother and creativity of her mother, Whitney Miller’s passion for the art of cooking began at an early age. At twenty two, she won the show Masterchef, gaining the title of Fox’s 1st U. S. Masterchef. Soon afterward, Whitney obtained her degree, with an emphasis in nutrition, from The University of Southern Mississippi. As the youngest contestant and winner of Fox’s first America’s Masterchef, Whitney continues to inspire children, youth, and young adults, through cooking demonstrations and speaking events at public and private schools, culinary classes and colleges, and children’s museum events across the United States.
  • Dr. Andy Wiest, History Professor, USM
    October 14th at 6:30pm in the Trent Lott Center, room 103 A-D
    Specializing in the study of World War I and Vietnam, Dr. Wiest has served as a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in the United Kingdom and as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Warfighting Strategy in the United States Air Force Air War College.  In 2011-2012 Dr. Wiest held the Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Alumni Professorship in the Humanities. Since 1992 Dr. Wiest has been active in international education, leading a study abroad program on World War II to London and Normandy each summer, and developing the award-winning Vietnam Study Abroad Program.
  • Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party, Former Governor of New Mexico
    October 21st at 6:30pm in Bennett Auditorium
    Gary Earl Johnson (born January 1, 1953) is an American politician, businessman, and member of the Libertarian Party. Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, as a member of the Republican Party, and was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.

Welcome Dr. Ellen Weinauer, new dean of the Honors College!


On July 8th, Dr. Ellen Weinauer will officially begin her job as the new dean of the Honors College. Dr. Weinauer has served as an English professor and as the Director for Interdisciplinary Studies while at USM and will now join the Honors College. Join us as we welcome her!

Read the full story here.

SPUR Award Winners

The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Undergraduate Research and the Office of the Vice President for Research have approved research proposals of students competing for inclusion in the spring 2014 class of the Eagle Scholar Program for Undergraduate Research (Eagle SPUR). This select group of undergraduates received up to $1,000 each in the competition for research grants, with just over half of 30 proposals earning acceptance. The following Honors College students received awards and scholarships:

Richard Chambliss- Sports Coaching Education/Political Science, Hattiesburg, Miss. Faculty Mentor: Brian Gearity

Annalise Hays- Psychology/Pre-med, Jackson, Miss. Faculty Mentor: Tammy Barry

Elyse Garon- Mathematics/Biological Sciences, Gramercy, LA. Faculty Mentor: James Lambers

Dawne Kennedy- History/Foreign Languages, Hook, Miss. Faculty Mentor: Miles Doleac

Randi Reed- Biochemistry, Gulfport, Miss. Faculty Mentor: Vijay Rangachari


Mass Communication and Journalism Awards

The USM School of Mass Communication and Journalism recognized its top students at its annual awards banquet Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The following Honors College students received awards and scholarships:

Yolanda Cruz- Best Opinion/Editorial

Emily Evans- Top WUSM-FM Student

Hannah Hill- Dr. Barbara Rene Shoemake Public Relations Scholarship

Jessica King- Robert C. Cook Memorial Scholarship

Karelia Schmitz- Best Public Relations Campaign, Best Public Relations Writing and Design, Best Research in Public Relations, GodwinGroup Public Relations Award

Ardan Thornhill- Best Feature Story, Frank Buckley Scholarship Endowment

Kelsey Walsh- Best Graphic Design, Best Non-News TV/Video Production

CONGRATULATIONS!!! We are proud of you!


Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners

Congratulations to the following Honors College students on their awards from the USM Undergraduate Research Symposium held on April 11-12, 2014:

Suzanne Amadi- Best submission/presentation on a Local/Regional Topic, Best submission/presentation in Gender Studies

Tyler Brown- Best submission/presentation on Applied Science

Salma Dawoud- Best submission/presentation on an Environment/Sustainability Issue, Best submission/presentation on Applied Science

Matthew Germenis- Best submission/presentation on History, Heritage, and/or Legacies

Annalise Hays- Best submission/presentation on a Theoretical Topic

Don Holmes- Best submission/presentation on a Topic in Race/Ethnicity

Dawne Kennedy- Best submission/presentation on a Topic in Ethics, Best submission/presentation on History, Heritage, and/or Legacies

Kelsey Shinnick- Best submission/presentation on a Family Issue

Serena Williams- Best submission/presentation on a Topic in Education, Best submission/presentation on a Business or Public Policy Issue

Robert Williamson- Best submission/presentation on a Theoretical Topic, Best submission/presentation on a Business or Public Policy Issue, Best Submission/presentation Using a Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Approach


Southern Miss Student Employee of the Year

Congratulations to the following Honors College students who were nominated by their department or company for Southern Miss Student Employee of the Year:

John Lee McClain

Breshawn McNeal

Ashten Redell

Lauren Stealey

We are proud of you for all of your hard work!


Dance Appreciation Active Learning Trip

The Honors Dance Appreciation class traveled to New Orleans to see the famous Joffrey Ballet School perform on March 29, 2014. Here's a photo of the class with their professor, Shellie Nielsen, after the performance!



USM Founders' Day

Congratulations to the following Honors College students that were recognized at the annual Founders' Day Ceremony held on March 27, 2014. We are proud of you!

Outgoing SGA President 2013-2014: Ann Marie Chilcutt

SGA Vice President 2014-2015: Kyle Stoner

SGA Attorney General 2014-2015: Wilton Jackson

SGA Election Commissioner 2014-2015: Meredith Barefield

Phi Kappa Phi Bowl: Caitlyn Burkes

Outstanding Freshmen: Nina Bellipanni, Danielle Block, Wisam Buti, Kelly Hill, Mary Karnes, Savannah Steadman

Most Outstanding Freshman Female: Mary Millis Spooner

Most Outstanding Freshman Male: Matthew McMullan

Best Female Citizen: Kelly Rebecca Rake

Leave It Better Than You Found It Award: Alex Doleac

Student Hall of Fame: Torrel Bridges, Ann Marie Chilcutt, Brandon Hersey, Donald Holmes, Hannah Rice, Michael Sims, Owen Patrick Terry


Congratulations to our 2014-2015 Honors Ambassadors!

We are excited about this awesome group!




March 2014 Professor of the Month

Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Bell who was named the Honors College Professor of the Month for March 2014. Dr. Bell, a professor in the chemistry department, has mentored many of our Honors students with their Honors thesis. He was very excited to win this award! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our students, Dr. Bell!

Dr. Anthony Bell (middle) with Honors College students Arik Shams (left) and Ann Marie Brahan (right).


Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership program

Congratulations to these Honors College ladies for being selected to attend the Mississippi N.E.W. Leadership program! Way to go!

Suzanne Amadi

Afnan Buti

Rachael Reeves

Karelia Schmitz


Honors Students Present at Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting

On March 6 and 7, 2014, Honors College Science and Technology students presented oral and poster presentations at the 78th Annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg. Here is a list of those students and the names of their presentations:

Award Winners:

Meredith Barefield - Expression of the pcd Gene in Halothiobacillus neapolitanus - won 4th place in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology division

Arik Shams - The use of a small molecule to improve the thermostability of DNA junctions - won 2nd place in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology division

Other Presenters:


Salma Dawoud - Interaction of recombinant CbbO and CbbQ, of Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, with RubisCO

Jordan Lowery - Interleukin-17A Signaling Mitigates West Nile Virus Infection by Promoting CD8+ T Cell Cytotoxicity (She's the third author listed on the poster. This research is under Dr. Fengwei Bai.)

Kelly Scott Tracking Plastid (and Mitochondrial) Gene Migration in K. Brevis

Erin Smith - Study of the Function of the Mold-Specific Gene MS95 in DNA Repair in the Pathogenic, Dimorphic Fungus Histoplasma capsulatum

Congratulations on your research and accomplishments! To read more about the meeting, click here.



Honors Ambassadors Host Mardi Gras Party for Aldersgate

The Honors College Ambassadors hosted a Mardi Gras themed party for the elementary school children at Aldersgate on Friday, February 21, 2014. The kids feasted on King Cake and other treats, made Mardi Gras masks, learned Mardi Gras dances, chose a King and Queen to lead a Mardi Gras parade, and had an all around fabulous time! Here are some pictures from the festivities:


Three Honors Scholars Elected!

Congratulations to the following Honors College students on being elected to Student Government Association (SGA) positions!

Kyle Stoner - Vice President

Wilton Jackson - Attorney General

Meredith Barefield - Election Commissioner


Honors College Students Travel to India

Two Honors College students who are members of the Forensics Society recently competed at the Worlds Universities Debating Championship in Chennai, India. Seniors Brandon Hersey and Michael Sims, along with coach Frankie Glennis-Watts, left for India on Christmas day and spent over a week in the city of Chennai, India. They not only competed against teams from all over the world, they got to explore the city and surrounding areas. Congratulations on this achievement!

To read the full article, click here.

From left to right: Sims, Glennis-Watts, and Hersey


Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities

Congratulations to the following Honors College students who were selected for "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities:"

Tyler Albin

Jacob Barry

Ann Marie Brahan

Christopher Brewer

Torrel Bridges

Tyler Brown

Alanna Buckley

Kristopher Chandler

Ann Marie Chilcutt

Yasmin Cunningham

Alex Doleac

Brandon Hersey

Donald Holmes II

Paige Jones

Tanner Jones

Dawne Kennedy

Ginny Pampuro

Kelly Rake

Ashten Redell

Hannah Rice

Jordan Rimes

Jessica Rowe

Karelia Schmitz

Arik Shams

Michael Sims

Erin Smith

Owen Terry

Kristy Wilson

We are proud of you!


Honors College student selected as USA Today Correspondent

Honors College student Wilton Jackson, a junior broadcast journalism major, has been chosen to participate in the USA Today Collegiate Correspondent Program which runs from Jan. 13 – May 9.  He earned one of the coveted spots on the 20-person correspondent team after completing two rounds of competitive writing submissions.  Congratulations on this accomplishment, Wilton!

To read the news article from WDAM, click here.




Honors College mentioned in scholarly article

Honors College professor Dr. Douglas Masterson along with Emily R. Vogel and Maureen E. Smith published an article in the Chemical Educator journal entitled "Utilizing Smart Devices as Educational Tools to Study First Order Substitution Reactions of tert-butyl Halides in the Classroom Setting."  Look for the shout-out to the Honors College and Honors students Chase Tretbar, Hannah Roberts, Christopher Keller, and Brittany Compton in the acknowledgements!

Click here to read the article.


Forensics Society Wins Awards at Tournament

Congrats to these Honors College students on their recent awards at the Red River Swing Tournament at LSU:

Rachael Reeves, freshman - sixth in Communication Analysis

Lakelyn Taylor, freshman - Top Novice in Information Speaking, fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking

Joshua von Herrmann, junior - second in Extemporaneous Speaking, quarterfinalist in debate, fourth place speaker in Varsity IPDA debate

Mary Beth Wolverton, junior - octofinalist and fifth place speaker in Novice IPDA debate

We are proud of you!


Fall 2013 Eagle SPUR Winners

Congrats to the following Honors College students for being recognized as Fall 2013 Eagle SPUR (Scholars Program for Undergraduate Research) winners:

Hannah Bahe

Matthew P. Germenis

JoAnna Gunnufsen

Laken Kendrick

Ashley N. King

Natalya Ortolano

Robyn Riley

Kelsey Shinnick

We are proud of you and your accomplishments!


Southern Style 2013-2014 members

Congratulations to these Honors College students who were selected as Southern Style team members:

Amy BroganStephen CobbJamie JacksonKelly LilesElena LoftonCourtney McMullanDaniel PaulKyle Stoner

We are proud of you for this accomplishment!


HoCo Professor of the Month

Congratulations to Dr. Jameela Lares for being the Honors College Professor of the Month for September!  Honors Ambassador, Alisha Randall, presented Dr. Lares with one of our "I Am Powerful" t-shirts as a small token of our appreciation for all she does for the Honors College.  Thanks, Dr. Lares!


October 2013


HoCo Students in Breast Cancer Cake Walk!

Honors College Gulf Coast coordinator, Dr. David Holt, took his HON 300 class to the Breast Cancer Cake Walk today, October 4, 2013.  Who doesn't love cake for a good cause?


HoCo Students Receive Top Awards at Forensics Competition

Congratulations to Honors College students Brandon Hersey, Joshua von Herrmann, Lakelyn Taylor, Rachael Reeves, Mary Beth Wolverton, and Michael Sims. As members of the Southern Miss Forensics Society, they represented USM at The University of Louisiana-Lafayette’s Swing on the Swamp debate event Sept. 12-15, 2013, placing 4th overall. Click on the link to read about their individual awards: Congrats again to these amazing Honors College students!  


Fall 2013 Student Success Series

Below are the topics that will be covered in the fall 2013 Student Success Series.  All presentations will take place in McLemore 215 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. on the dates below.  Refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday, September 17: Campus Involvement

Tuesday, September 24: Choosing/Declaring a Major

Tuesday, October 1: Advisement andRegistration

Tuesday, October 8: "But No One Ever Told Me:" Understanding University Policies and Procedures

Tuesday, November 5: Preparing for Finals

Tuesday, November 26: What's Next?


Golden Eagle Welcome Week (GEWW)

Need information on Move-in and GEWW? Please click here:


NEW Leadership Mississippi Program Experience

Check out what Rachel Luckett, junior Speech Pathology and Audiology major, participated in this summer!

"At the end of May, I attended the NEW Leadership Mississippi program at the Mississippi University for Women. Two other USM students, Yolanda Cruz and Domonique Jackson, attended the program too. We attended many sessions and panel discussions about the leadership and involvement of women on the local, regional, and national levels. I have attached a photo of us from our trip to the Capitol in Jackson as well.

Also, while I was there, I blogged about my experience throughout the week at

Our director, Bridget Pieschel, saw my posts and shared them on the program's Facebook page! Soon after, I was extremely excited to find out that our Rutgers University representative, Kelly Dittmar, wanted me to share my experiences in a blog for the Rutgers CAWP website, so she worked with me to compose something for their site. You can see it here:"

L to R: Yolanda Cruz, Dominique Jackson, and Rachel Luckett


Lots of congratulations are in order!

These awesome Honors College students deserve to be recognized:

Congratulations to Honors alumna Jessica DeJean (2010)!  Jessica was admitted to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for the upcoming fall semester.

Congratulations to Spring 2013 graduate Jocelyn Lockhart who was among the 22 honorees named to the 2013 Conference USA Track and Field All-Academic Team.  Read the full story here.

Congratulations to Honors College graduate (2010) and theater student Stephanie Abby who recently brought home top honors from the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  Abby, a Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) - Costume Design candidate of Millington, Tenn., won first place in costume design in the competition, beating out every other competitor in the nation. Read the full story here.

Congratulations to Natalya Ortolano who was accepted into an extremely selective program called Microbiology in the Post Genome Era at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, VA.  She will be working with Florian Schubot who is currently working with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its structural and biophysical basis for virulence mechanisms.  It is a ten week long program in which all expenses are paid and there is a stipend. 

Way to go, everyone!!!


Congrats to the HoCo Nursing Graduates!

Congratulations to our Spring 2013 Honors Nursing graduates Kirstin Kellar, Robin Smith, and Nikki Relan, on their recent presentations of their theses.  They are pictured here with their thesis advisers.

From left to right:

Thesis adviser Dr. Marjorie Geisz-Everson

Honors student Kirstin Kellar

Thesis adviser Dr. Janie Butts

Honors student Robin Smith

Thesis adviser Dr. Elizabeth Harrison

Honors student Nicki Relan


Congrats to HoCo Women!

Congratulations to some of our Honors College women who were selected to participate in the NEW Leadership™ Mississippi Institute:

Ashley Betts

Jazmyne Butler

Yolanda Cruz

Reem Dawoud

Domonique Jackson

Rachael Luckett

We are proud of you!!!


Congratulations to the new Honors Ambassadors!

We are very pleased to announce – in no particular order – the NEW 2013/2014 University of Southern Mississippi Honors College Ambassadors:






















We welcome this wonderful new class of Ambassadors and look forward to working with them in the coming year!  Congratulations!


USM Founder's Day

Congratulations to the following Honors College students that were recognized at the USM Founder's Day Celebration!

Meridith McPhail- 2013 Outstanding Freshman

Kyle Moore- 2013 Outstanding Freshman

Jordan Nettles- 2013 Outstanding Freshman

Sarah "Lizzy" Roberts- 2013 Outstanding Freshman

Aleke Vehos- 2013 Outstanding Freshman

Bailee Alexander- Most Outstanding Freshman Female

Benjamin Knaus- Best Male Citizen

Timothy Wells- Leave It Better Than You Found It Award

Mohamed "Mo" Ismail- Barbara Ross Gold Leaf Scholarship

Ashley Nicole Barnes- Hall of Fame

Jazmybe Butler- Hall of Fame

Benjamin Chad Lyman- Hall of Fame

Jordan Rex Mathews- Hall of Fame

Blakely Owens- Phi Kappa Phi Bowl

Kristen Mechanic- Judge R.J. Bishop Mississippian Award

Ann Marie Chilcutt- Student Government Association President

Owen Patrick Terry- Student Government Association Vice President

Christopher Glenn Brewer- Student Government Association Attorney General


 Check out this cute picture!

Dr. Dan Capper gives a bear a hug in Muir Forrest while on the REL 131H active learning trip to San Francisco.


HoCo Students in France

Honors College students Anna Rikki Nelson and Justin Baggett wanted to check in with us to let us know how their studies in France are going!  Here is message from them:

Justin and I are really enjoying France! We wanted to check in with HoCo and thank everyone for all their help with getting us here!  I've actually made a lot of progress on my thesis (I have plenty of reading time here while we're on trains and buses).

I've included a picture of us at Omaha Beach in Normandy. We did a D-Day tour last weekend while we stayed in Bayeux.  If anyone in HoCo
wants to keep up with our adventures, we do have a blog:

Our language skills are progressing nicely. We are able to communicate solely in French whenever we feel like it. 


Anna Rikki Nelson and Justin Baggett


January HoCo Professor of the Month

Congratulations to Shellie Nielsen, the January Professor of the Month. She is the professor of Honors Dance Appreciation and was also a huge supporter of our December philanthropy project, Aldersgate Christmas Toy Drive.  She is pictured here with Honors Ambassador Anna-Claire White. Congrats again, Ms. Nielsen!


HEADWAE Award goes to HoCo Student

Congratualations to John Caleb Grenn, recipient of the HEADWAE award and senior Honors College student. HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence) was established by Mississippi Legislative Resolution to annually honor the academically talented students and faculty members of each of the state’s higher education institutions who have made outstanding contributions in promoting academic excellence.  John Caleb is a biochemistry major and Presidential Scholar with a 3.95 grade point average, and he will attend the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS in the fall. He is also a former member of the Southern Miss men’s track and field team, earning three varsity letters in the sport, and is listed in Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities.  He is doing his Honors thesis project on cancer drugs in Dr. Faqing Huang's biochemistry lab.  Congrats, John Caleb!  We are proud of you!

You can read the press release here:


Aldersgate Christmas Party

Thanks to the help of Stacey Ready, Honors College Ambassador Philanthropy Chair Anna Claire White, and the rest of the Honors College Amabassadors and students, we were able to share a little Christmas spirit with the Aldersgate children.  There was even a special guest appearance of a jolly man in a red suit who delivered the presents.  Below you will find some pictures from this successful event.  You can also read more about this event on the USM news page:

December 2012


ENG 203H explores Washington, DC

This is Dr. Stan Hauer’s ENG 203H class in Washington, DC. They went to visit the Folger Shakespeare Library and to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at The Shakespeare Theatre – Harman Hall in the first weekend of December.

December 2012


Swimming with the dolphins

Despite braving the weather from Hurricane Sandy, Dr. Kuzjac's PSY 110H class enjoyed sun, sand, dolphins, and great food in Key Largo.  Here are some great pictures with the dolphins from the trip!

November 2012

Miss USM Scholarship Pageant Winners

Congrats to Honors College students, Hannah Roberts and Elizabeth Kiehn, for placing in the Miss USM Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, October 27th, 2012.  Hannah was crowned Miss USM 2012 and Elizabeth received second alternate.  We are proud of you!

October 2012


Honors College Professor of the Month

On behalf of the Honors College Ambassadors, we would like to honor Professor Jason Dawsey as the Honors College Professor of the Month for October 2012.  Ambassador Jordan Rimes presented Mr. Dawsey with a HoCo Smarties t-shirt as a token of our appreciation.  Mr. Dawsey teaches HIS 101H and 102H at the Honor House on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Soon to be Dr. Dawsey, he will present his dissertation in December 2012 and graduate in March 2013.  Congrats, Mr. Dawsey!!  We appreciate you!

October 2012



Congrats to Honors College students John Caleb Green, Danielle Williamson, Jessica Hill, and Ashley Villarreal on being offered admission to medical school at the University of Mississippi's Medical Center!  Job well done! 


Active Learning Trip to Disney was a Success!

Two of our Honors Composition sections are approaching college writing by focusing on the topic of Disney and its far-reaching, and often surprising, influences in contemporary culture.  We have been asking questions about what ways, and to what ends, Disney has shaped our ideas about gender, race, education, the family, and the meaning of community.  In the active learning portion of this class, we (re)visited Disney over fall break, bearing in mind the vantage points of the readings and writing we have already done.  Our trip was an opportunity for field research for our final research projects, and students had the opportunity to attend a Disney institute on "Leadership Strategies."



Next Honors College Lecture Series

The Honors College Lecture Series will host Dwight Owens, author of Still Standing on Tuesday, October 9th in Stout Hall Auditorium A at 6:30 pm.  A light reception and book signing will follow the event.


Successful Aldersgate "School is Cool" Party

On Friday September 14 fifteen or so Southern Miss Honors Scholars journeyed from the campus to a modest building in downtown Hattiesburg on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Evans Street. Most of them really didn’t have a clue what to expect; many of them were frankly a little bit nervous. All they really knew is that they were hosting a philanthropic event, a back to school party named - “School is Cool”! This was organized for the children of Aldersgate Mission.

Any nervousness or uncertainty quickly vanished! This was truly a fun-filled community outreach project that focused on reaching out and showing these children how important they are to others and how important education is in the lives of these children.

Honors Ambassador Anna-Claire White coordinated the project and once the Honors Ambassadors had decided to make this party their focus, she really went to work to make it a reality. Her contact at Aldersgate was the Director, Reverend Linda Dixon. Together they worked out all the details about when to have the event, what the children needed and what activities they would enjoy.

At the Honors College we conducted a college-wide school supply drive so we could provide the children with pencils, pens, glue sticks, markers, erasers, notebooks, and so forth. In addition to providing school supplies though we also wanted to provide FUN and that we did. We had a fantastic celebration with them; some scholars provided face-painting, others played kickball and other games, we provided supplies and helped them create foam nameplates or wall décor for their rooms/doors. And of course what party would be complete without food? After hotdogs, chips and juice, the students were treated to cake on the outside pavilion. It was a very fun and memorable day for all of us and hopefully for the children of Aldersgate as well.

I know that I left with a smiling heart as did the Scholars of the Southern Miss Honors College!

Stacey Ready


A Wonderful Volunteer Opportunity!

Hawkins Elementary in Downtown Hattiesburg requires that their teachers eat with the students. This of course ensures well-behaved kids at lunch, but leaves the teachers with no time to themselves throughout the day.

A constant request from Hawkins teachers is that someone - or a group of people - might come and sit with their kids during lunch thus giving them a much needed break.

The first lunch period is around 11 am and the last lunch period ends by 1 pm. So if you are interested in giving a teacher a break during the day while helping them maintain a pleasant lunchroom environment contact Neighbors at Hawkins Elementary 601.467.5333 and speak with Ms. Sharon Miles. You can also visit the website for further information


London Calling

This summer, Dean Davies as well as many of our students ventured abroad to London with the British Studies program, part of Southern Miss Study Abroad. The program runs from June 28 to July 29, 2012. Students will spend one month living and learning in central London and earn 6 hours of undergraduate academic credit. Students also have the opportunity to travel mid-program with their class to Edinburgh, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris or Brussels. 

Follow travelers as they blog abroad at Learn more about all study abroad programs offered at Southern Miss by visiting

June 2012

Honors student to film "subSIPPI: An exploration of subcultures within Mississippi"

Vincent Chaney, a Senior Honors student from Diamondhead, Miss., is on his way to filming the documentary, "subSIPPI," which will be used in his Honors thesis. The documentary is to be made as "an honest portrayal of Mississippi. A search for diversity that is to be found within the State that has otherwise gone unnoticed."

To fund the project, a Kickstarter fundraiser page was made in May, and nearly $1,000 was raised in the first week alone. Today, the Kickstarter page has exceeded its original $3,000 goal, raising a total of just over $4,000. subSIPPI tanks and t-shirts are also being sold to support the cause. 

Chaney plans to drive the entire state during the months of August and September to film a variety of individuals living in Mississippi. He plans to live and film among the residents of the represented subcultures. The end goal of post-production is December 2012. 

Learn more about subSIPPI:

"From young to old, I want to understand what people feel about Mississippi and what it means to be a Mississippian."

June 2012

May HOCO Professor of the Month

Dr. Dan Capper, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, was recently chosen as the Honors College Professor of the Month for May. Capper teaches an Honors comparative religion class, as well as classes on Buddhism, religion and healing, Himalayan religions, religions of India study abroad and mysticism.

Capper earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago Divinity School as well as a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in religious studies from the University of Virginia. He was a Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Capper's areas of research include Tibetan Buddhism, religion and psychology, religion and anthropology, alternative religion in the United States, and religion and nonhuman animals.

Dr. Capper is the author of the book, Guru Devotion and the American Buddhist Experience, from the Edwin Mellen Press. This book is an ethnographic exploration of Tibetan Buddhist practice and guru devotion among non-Tibetan Americans.

Dr. Dan Capper and Honors College student Ashten Redell

May 2012


End of the semester party held Thursday, May 3

The annual end-of-semester party will be hosted by the Ambassadors on Thursday MAY 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at the Honor House. The theme is WATER PARTY. We'll have water balloons filled with tokens for prizes like t-shirts and exam essentials, along with other games to enjoy with friends. We recommend students come in clothes they don't mind getting soaked over a swimsuit.

Say good-bye to Spring 2012 with the Honors College! We can't wait to see you there! 

May 2012


Honors students win big at Athletic Awards ceremony

We had lots of students recognized at the spring Athletic Awards ceremony. Winners include the following:

Conference USA All-American Academic Team; Conference USA Student Athlete of the Year Nominee; College of Health Award; Conference USA Academic Medalist - Lisa Knecht

Other Conference USA Academic Medalists: John Caleb Grenn, Kara Moylan, Krista Moylan, Michael Sims

Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll: Ashley Grillot, Ethan Hoff

Southern Miss Academic Recognition of Cheerleaders and Southern Misses: Nicolet Hopper, Jamie Jackson, Whitney St. Mary, Sarah Stetelman, Maggie Williams

Congratulations to these students and all of the Athletic Award winners!

May 2012

Honors Ambassador Officers elected

On Friday, April 27, at the Honors College Ambassador retreat, new members voted in four officers for the 2012-13 school year.

President- Ginny Kramer
Vice President- Patrick Hollingsworth
Secretary/PR- Ashten Redell
Philanthropy Chair- Anna-Claire White 

Kramer, Honors College Ambassador President 

April 2012

Honors Dance Appreciation class travels to ballet performance 

This April, Professor Shellie Nielsen's Honors Dance Appreciation class traveled to New Orleans, La., for the Complexions contemporary ballet performance in the Mahalia Jackson Theatre. 

Honors Dance Appreciation class outside the Mahalia Jackson Theatre after the Complexions contemporary ballet performance.

April 2012

Communication Studies professor publishes book

Wendy Atkins-Sayre, assistant professor of Communication Studies and Speaking Center director at Southern Miss and Honors College professor, recently published a co-edited book on communication centers and oral communication programs in higher education.

The first book to address the role of communication centers in the university setting, the book was recently highlighted on the Chronicle of Higher Education web site.

Communication Centers and Oral Communication Programs in Higher Education, edited by Eunkyong L. Yook and Atkins-Sayre, is a collection that examines the centers that support communication departments or across-the-curriculum programs as higher education focuses more attention on the communication field.

The authors in this text address theoretical issues covering topics such as the importance of communication centers to higher education, the effects of communication centers on retention, critical thinking in the center, ethics, and more. These essays also explore ideas about a center's set-up and use of space, staff training, technology applications, and campus advertising and outreach.

Communication Centers organizes cutting-edge knowledge of the theory and empirical research so as to practically serve peer tutors and directors, newcomers to the study of communication centers, and seasoned experts. Furthermore, this collection introduces administrators and those interested in higher education to the potential value of communication centers in higher education.

For more information about Communications Studies or the Speaking Center, visit or call 601.266.4271.

April 2012

Theater class gets tough

They're smart AND tough... Professor Robin Carr's Honors theater appreciation class learns to fake bruises with theatrical makeup.

April 2012

Hafer named Honors College Professor of the Month for April

Dr. Edward Hafer, assistant professor of music history, is named April's Honors College Professor of the Month. Hafer will be teaching the active learning Honors class, the enjoyment of music, this upcoming fall semester. We in the Honors College thank him for his work with students (as well as the delicious cakes he often bakes for the staff's birthdays). Congrats Dr. Hafer!

Hafer holds a B.A. in Music History and Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an M.M. and Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has had additional training at Millersville University (PA); Goethe Institutes in Düsseldorf and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany; and he has participated in a seminar on the works of Richard Wagner at the University of Bayreuth. His teachers have included William Kinderman, Alexander Ringer, John Hill, and Bruno Nettl.

Hafer’s research interests lie in the music and aesthetics of the nineteenth century. His dissertation addresses the role of the Wanderer in the music of Franz Schubert and the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. He has presented research on Wagner, Schubert, and Music & Painting.


Dr. Edward Hafer

April 2012


2012-13 Honors College Ambassadors selected 

Selected by their peers, Honors College Ambassadors provide a variety of services for the Honors College, including hosting special events such as tailgating tents and HOCO picnics, mentoring new Honors students and helping with recruitment of potential students. The members of this group of volunteers represent the Honors College with enthusiasm and spirit. 

2012-13 members include: 
Lance Tyler Albin, Meredith Barefield, Ann Marie Brahan, Tyler Brown, Kevin Buckley, Yolanda Cruz, Reem Dawoud, Salma Dawoud, Taylor Herring, Patrick Hollingsworth, Blake Houston, Jamie Jackson, Ben Knaus, Ginny Kramer, Elena Lofton, Meredith Manguno, Erin McLeod, Courtney McMullan, Virginia Pampuro, Ryan Parker, Alisha Randall, Emilee Randall, Ashten Redell, Jordan Rimes, Arik Shams, Erin Smith, Stormy Speaks, Kristin Sumrall, Elizabeth Suss, Owen Terry, Anna-Claire White, Robert Williamson, Corey Yeates

2012-13 Honors College Ambassadors

April 2012

University forum presents the 19th Annual Armstrong-Branch Lecture

On Thursday, April 12, 2012, the Honors College presents the 19th Annual Armstrong-Branch Lecture to honor Lieutenant Colonel Raylawni Branch and Mrs. Gwendolyn Armstrong-Chamberlain, who first integrated the University in September 1965. The speaker for the night will be Dr. Kim LeDuff from the School of Mass Communication and Journalism for a talk titled, "Speaking across difference: From on-campus to on-line."

Dr. LeDuff is the author of "Tales of Two Cities: How Race and Crime Intersect on Local TV News" and co- author of "Race and News: Critical Perspectives." She teaches a course on race, gender and media at the graduate and undergraduate levels, which is reflective of her research on race and representation in the mass media. In February, a State Institutions for Higher Learning (IHL) panel chose LeDuff as this year's IHL Black History Month Educator of the Year for 2012.

The University Forum series is presented by the Southern Miss Honors College each fall and spring semester.This lecture is free and open to the public and will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium.

Austin Simmons, left, an Honors College student majoring in broadcast journalism, talks with Gwendolyn Elaine Armstrong Chamberlain, center, and Raylawni Branch at last year's lecture. (Photo submitted)

April 2012


Goldwater Scholarship awarded to Honors student

Tyler Brown of Biloxi, Miss., a sophomore chemistry and polymer science double major in the Southern Miss Honors College, was recently named the school’s 19th recipient of a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. The coveted national award supports academic achievement in science and mathematics.

Named for the late presidential candidate and longtime U.S. senator from Arizona Barry M. Goldwater, the program was established in 1986 as a way to bolster the number of active scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college sophomores and junior studying in these fields. The one and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to $7,500 per year.

Brown credits Southern Miss for putting him in position to qualify for the Goldwater award by making available research opportunities with faculty in its School of Polymers and High Performance Materials and department of chemistry. He is currently spending the spring semester at England’s University of Exeter, and last summer conducted research at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India.

“This honor opens so many doors for me as an undergraduate, and being at Southern Miss helped me find out where I belong,” he said. “There are so many opportunities that are just around the corner here.”

Another Southern Miss sophomore polymer science major and Honors College student, Michael Sims of Hattiesburg, earned an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation.

Since 1989, the Goldwater Foundation has given more than 6,200 scholarships worth approximately $39 million. Its Trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2013–2014 academic year.

Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 78 Rhodes Scholarships, 112 Marshall Awards, 104 Churchill Scholarships and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

Southern Miss students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship and other national scholarships should contact Southern Miss National Scholarship Office Robyn Curtis at 601.266.4263 or e-mail

Tyler Brown

April 2012


Swimming with dolphins in Key Largo

Dr. Stan Kuczaj's Honors psychology active learning class visited Dolphins Plus in Key Largo, Florida this past March. This dolphin and marine mammal research and education facility provided a unique opportunity for students to swim with dolphins while conducting their own research.

To view more photos, visit our Facebook album.

April 2012