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USM Gulf Park’s Annulis Earns Coast Organization’s Top Award

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 03:33pm | By: David Tisdale

Dr. Heather AnnulisA University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Gulf Park administrator and faculty member recently earned the highest recognition given by a Biloxi organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace.

Dr. Heather Annulis, associate vice provost and director of the USM School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development at the USM Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, was named the Lighthouse Business and Professional Women’s 2020 Karen Sock Woman of the Year at its recent awards ceremony. She also earned the organization’s top award in its Women of Achievement in Education category.

The Lighthouse Business and Professional Women’s stated mission is to help women advance their careers by uniting professional women, supporting business and community relationships, and providing leadership skills and networking opportunities.

“This award is an amazing honor, one that was unexpected and a big surprise. I accept the award on behalf of all educators on the coast, especially those at USM Gulf Park,” Dr. Annulis said.

A professor of human capital development at USM, Dr. Annulis joined the University’s faculty in 2000. Her areas of research expertise include change readiness, competency model development, and determining return on investment of performance improvement programs. She formerly served as the Director of the Human Capital Development Master of Science and Ph.D. degree programs, and USM’s Training and Development Certificate program. She has chaired more than 30 dissertations.

Over the last 20 years, Dr. Annulis has been instrumental in generating more than $10 million in external funding for USM. Associated with this funding was research conducted through NASA to help develop a well-trained geospatial workforce. Her work has also been funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. She has presented at more than 150 regional, national and international conferences; her research has been published in the International Journal of Workforce Development, Performance Improvement Journal, Change Management Journal, Conference Board, and Human Resource Development International.

Other USM honorees at this event included current USM Human Capital Development program doctoral student Keva Scott, who was selected as the Women of Achievement, Non-Profit category winner; and USM Workforce Training and Development alumna Maria Salter, who was nominated in the Women of Achievement, Corporate category.

For information about the USM Human Capital Development Program, visit; for information about the USM School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development, visit