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School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Interdisciplinary Investigations

Call for Proposals for 2021-2022

Submit by 5 p.m., March 15, 2021

ISPD is proud to announce a call for proposals for its 2021-2022 Interdisciplinary Investigations series. The aim of the series is to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and to engage students and the public in interdisciplinary research and creative activities taking place at Southern Miss.  

A successful proposal will involve two or more faculty from multiple disciplines, and collaboration across schools, colleges and campuses is encouraged. Proposals may include students.  

The Interdisciplinary Investigations initiative is underwritten by the Southern Miss Fund for Academic Excellence.  We thank the donors for their support of these exciting interdisciplinary projects at Southern Miss.  We also thank the Provost for his long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary projects and scholarship.

The fund paid for the 2019-2020 projects and will also fund the upcoming 2021-2022 projects.

The Structure of the 2021-2022 Series 

  • Spring/Summer 2021: Planning time for presentations.
  • Fall 2021: Two presentations/events during the semester.  These presentations can be on-campus or off-campus at community venues.
  • Spring 2022: Commitment to team-teach a section of IDS 350 Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies course based on the theme of the series.  The course may be cross-listed with special topics/variable content courses in the faculty members’ home disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Fellows and Affiliated Faculty and Students

  • Faculty that take the leadership roles in the series, present during the fall semester, and commit to teaching the IDS 350 course in the spring will be designated Interdisciplinary Fellows. A maximum of four Interdisciplinary Fellows will be funded per group. All faculty should commit to team teaching the entire spring semester.
  • Each group is encouraged to include other faculty and students in their programming.


  • Interdisciplinary Fellow Stipends: each Faculty Fellow will receive a $500 stipend. For groups up to three. Fellows teaching out-of-load will also receive $1,500. For groups of four, each Fellow will receive $1,200. Faculty may choose to receive stipends directly as pay or as travel/research/scholarship/creative activity funds.
  • Presentations: Budget requests may cover costs associated with renting space, food, technology, and PR, etc. Generally paying stipends to outside speakers will not be covered; however, travel expenses for outside participants may be considered.

Proposals should include an overview of the project including:

  • A clear statement of the interdisciplinary theme to be explored in the series.
  • A list of all faculty involved with their school/program affiliations. Contact person for group should be identified.
  • A brief description of each Interdisciplinary Fellow’s participation/contribution to the Fall programming and Spring course.
  • A preliminary description and timeline of presentations/events to be staged as part of the series
  • A preliminary budget, including an indication of potential sources of additional funding if applicable.
  • A brief description of a proposed IDS 350 course.  Please specify which courses may be cross-listed if applicable.
  • A brief email/memo of support from the School Director of each Interdisciplinary Fellow indicating support for their participation and agreement with how course will be taught
    (in- or out-of-load, any cross-listing).

Submit proposals in PDF format via email to Dr.%20Ann%20Marie%20Kinnell, Director, ISPD-HBG, by 5 p.m., March 15, 2021. Funded proposals will be notified by March 30, 2021. Please contact Dr. Kinnell with any questions. 


Need Ideas? Take a look back at past programming

Proposal: Topics included:
(1) history of uses, including religious, medical, and recreational uses;
(2) sources of drugs, such as opium poppy plants in this case;
(3) the mechanisms of action, or pharmacology, of drugs in reducing pain;
(4) the legal and illegal business of producing, marketing, and selling drugs;
(5) intervention and the treatment of addictions; 
(6) the public policy of dealing with drugs, drug users, and drug dealers.

Coordinators: Mac Alford, Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences; Ragan Downey, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security; Michael Madson, Psychology; and Julie Pigza, Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Spring 2020 course: IDS 350-H002 (8505), TTh 1:00p.m. - 2:15p.m. 
Topic: Opioids: From Painkilling to Pain Causing, A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Opioid Epidemic.
Instructors: Mac Alford (Biology), Michael Madson (Psychology), Ragan Downey (CJ/Forensic Science)

This class considered opioids and the opioid addiction crisis from the angles of history, medicinal plants, chemistry/pharmacology, pain treatment, addiction interventions and treatments, medical professional training, policies and practice in criminal justice, and societal impact. Students developed a multifaceted view of, and be better prepared to help address, this important and timely public health epidemic.


Proposal: This project investigated civil rights and social justice issues in Mississippi jails through an examination of the conditions within jails and the opportunities for reform. The series included a documentary being made by undergraduate students as well as through panels featuring civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials, reporters, and Southern Miss faculty members.

Coordinators: Douglas Bristol, Humanities; Vincenzo Mistretta, Communication; Team: Deanne Stephens, Humanities; Chris Campbell, Communication; Cheryl Jenkins, Communication/Black Studies; Wes Johnson, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security; Alan Thompson, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security; and Michael Wigginton, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security


Proposal: This project investigated aspects of Native American life and ways in the Gulf South from ancient to contemporary times, using a variety of research methods and sources. Faculty and students examined ethnographic and qualitative data collection as well as perspectives on indigenous life collected from primary colonial sources (Spanish, French, and English)  

Coordinators: Tammy Greer, Psychology; Joshua Haynes, Humanities; Jeanne Gillespie, Social Science and Global Studies; Team: Bridget Hayden, Social Science and Global Studies; Jennifer Lemacks, Kinesiology and Nutrition; Deanne Stephens, Humanities

Spring 2020 course: IDS 350-H001 (8163), MW 1:00p-2:15p, HYBRID 

Topic: In the Footsteps of the Ancestors: Native American Travel, Trade, and Natural Resource Use in the Gulf South
Instructors: Jeanne Gillespie (World Languages), Tammy Greer (Psychology), Josh Haynes (History)

Come learn about our American Indian heritage along the Gulf Coast.  Did you know Pascagoula, MS has been a city known for boatbuilding for more than 5000 years? Did you know tamales got to Mississippi before Europeans did? Did you know that some of the first contacts between Europeans and American Indian communities occurred in our region and that there are archives filled with documents describing American Indian ways of life and cultures in Spanish, French and English?  If you are interested in exploring more about these questions and the lives of our American Indian neighbors, take IDS 350.


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