Skip navigation

Dr. Kent Newman Honored with Arts and Sciences 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award

Tue, 04/21/2020 - 03:41pm | By: Ivonne Kawas Prado

Dr. Kent NewmanThe University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Arts and Sciences recently announced the recipients of its annual awards commemorating alumni, faculty and staff, which recognized Dr. Kent Newman as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award for his professional accomplishments and significant contributions to the field of polymer science. Dr. Newman holds two degrees from Southern Miss, a bachelor of science degree in 1981 and a Ph.D. in polymer science in 1993. To celebrate the success of the award recipients, the College plans to host a dinner once the pandemic has subsided.

Dr. Newman joined the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in 1993 as a civilian research physical scientist. He has earned 28 research achievement and recognition awards, the initial award in the first year of employment, and recent awards including the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for Support of the UROC Reachback Center (2011), USACE Sustainability Award (2011), Department of the Army ERDC Award for Research and Development Achievement Award for Biostabilization of Soils (2009), and the Department of the Army, ERDC Superior Civilian Service Award (2007). Dr. Newman holds two patents, more than 20 refereed journal publications, and more than 30 refereed conference proceedings.

Dr. Derek Patton, interim director of the School of Polymer Science and Engineering, commends Dr. Newman's successful career trajectory and his impact in student success through his continuing engagement with Southern Miss.

“Dr. Newman is an internationally recognized scientist, a senior scientific leader at ERDC, and a strong supporter of Southern Miss. He has made an impact in student success, as he has been instrumental in supporting our students for internships, hiring graduates of our chemistry and polymer science and engineering programs at ERDC, and developing collaborative research opportunities with the University,” he said. “He epitomizes the career success and high level of commitment to his alma matter that we would like our students to aspire to.”

Dr. Newman serves as adjunct graduate faculty for participation on USM polymer science and engineering graduate committees.

The College will also recognize faculty and staff for their recent accomplishments in creative and scholarly research, teaching, advising and mentoring, and service. “Our faculty and staff play a critical role in our mission to prepare the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Chris Winstead, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We are proud to honor their exemplary achievements and contributions that positively impact the lives of our students.”

Award recipients include:

Creative Research Scholar of the Year

Jennifer Torres

School of Performing and Visual Arts


Faculty Advisor and Mentor of the Year

Dr. Craig Carey

School of Humanities


Faculty Service Award

Dr. Jeff Wiggins

School of Polymer Science and Engineering


Junior Faculty Award

Dr. Ilian Iliev

School of Social Sciences and Global Studies


Scholarly Researcher of the Year

Dr. Jason Azoulay

School of Polymer Science and Engineering


Teacher of the Year- Teaching Track

Emileigh Sones McCardle

School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences


Teacher of the Year-Tenure Track

Dr. Kari Kozlowski

School of Social Science and Global Studies


Staff Service Award

Jaide Hollingsworth

School of Humanities


To learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences Award recipients visit