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Southern Miss News Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Welcome to the daily email for media members that includes news and notes from The University of Southern Mississippi. Today's message includes news releases about the VEX Robotics State Championship held last weekend on USM's Hattiesburg campus and a Quality Enhancement Plan initiative geared toward student success. In addition, public health Professor Susan Dobson is available to discuss the significance of vaccinations in young children.

Media inquiries can be directed to Van Arnold at 601.266.5568 orvan.arnoldFREEMississippi or David Tisdale at 601.266.4499 or d.g.tisdaleFREEMississippi.

Today's Top Story

Hundreds of Students Compete in Robotics State Championship

Hundreds of students from across Mississippi showed off their innovative skills during the VEX Robotics State Championship held March 1-2 at The University of Southern Mississippi's Payne Center on the Hattiesburg campus. This marked the second straight year that USM hosted the event.

The competition included elementary, middle and high school students from approximately 50 Mississippi schools in an educational competitive robotics program.

Additional News Release

Quality Enhancement Plan for Core Course in History Focuses on Student Success

Three years ago, University of Southern Mississippi faculty members teaching select core courses embarked on a major effort to strengthen student success and student learning as part of the University Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, a component of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Successful completion of core undergraduate courses in the humanities, math, and sciences is required to earn a degree at USM, and at 4-year colleges and universities across this state and the nation. The principal behind this is to ensure that no matter what students major in, they are broadly trained to be successful decision makers in the complex world in which they work and live.

Expert Availability

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing debate about the effectiveness/dangers of vaccinations for children. Many parents have chosen to forego what were once routine vaccinations. USM public health Professor Susan Dobson is available today to discuss the vaccination of children. To schedule an interview, email mediaexpertsFREEMississippi. For a full list of USM media experts visit:

Photo/Video Opportunity

Dr. Janet Allured, professor of history and director of the Women's Studies Program at McNeese State University, will present “Mississippi Methodist Women and The Woman's Society of Christian Service: Leaders of Social Justice in the South” Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. in room 116 of Asbury Hall on The University of Southern Mississippi's Hattiesburg campus. The focus of Dr. Allured's talk will be on how a select group of mid- and late-20th century Mississippi Methodist laywomen made their voices heard in advocating for social justice, crusading to eradicate racial and gender inequities in their life's work, and who have been the subject for her research examining southern Methodist women as agents of change. To schedule coverage, contact Van Arnold or David Tisdale.

Did You Know?

Two University of Southern Mississippi nursing programs are ranked as the best in Mississippi by U.S. News & World Report. The Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice were the top programs in the state based on factors such as research activity, student-faculty ratio, faculty credentials and number of faculty active in nursing practice.

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education's "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 35 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 21 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit