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USM Undergraduate Students Earn Research, Travel Support

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 08:00am | By: David Tisdale

DCUR logoThe Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research (DCUR) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) provides funding for students to pursue research goals and travel to present their work to a broader audience at conferences, through the Eagle Scholar Program for Undergraduate Research (Eagle SPUR) and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Travel Support Program.

Recipients for the current academic year will have the opportunity to advance their ideas for research, and to share what they’ve discovered at the Undergraduate Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity on campus and at the 2020 NCUR, to be held March 26-28 in Bozeman, Montana.

The Eagle SPUR program approves funds, provided by alumnus Don Drapeau and the USM Office of the Vice President for Research, for scholarly or creative project proposals on topics from a wide range of disciplines, done in collaboration with a faculty mentor. Recipients have up to two semesters to complete their projects.

The NCUR program provides travel and lodging support for students to share their research in a variety of formats at the annual conference, which typically draws approximately 4,000 students from college and universities nationwide.  

“Breadth and quality of the scholarly and creative activities our undergraduate students are pursuing always amaze me,” said Dr. Sabine Heinhorst, director of the Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research. “Without financial support from the Drapeau Center, many students would not be able to engage in research or creative activity, much less present their work at a professional conference.”

The following students earned Eagle SPUR and NCUR travel awards for the current academic year; listings include students’ majors and their research mentors:

Eagle SPUR

*Lacey Wallace, marketing (mentor: Joanna Cao)
*Tatum Freeman, psychology (mentor: Michael Madson)
*David Hii, English (mentor: Joshua Bernstein)
*Jesse McAlary, psychology (mentor: Donald Sacco)
*Kaitlyn Birkhoff, chemistry (mentor: Matthew Donahue)

*Cailyn Bobo, biological sciences (mentor: Shahid Karim)
*Amie Geary, biological sciences (mentor: Shahid Karim)
*Regina Rhodes, psychology (mentor: Lin M.L. Agler)
*Kaitlyn Holified, psychology (mentor: Donald Sacco)
*Jesalyn Davis, marine science (mentor: Alan Shiller)


*Lacey Wallace, marketing (mentor: Joanna Cao)
*Ahmed Mohamed, biological sciences (mentor: Shahid Karim) 
*Joseph Smith, psychology (mentor: Mark Huff)
*Clara Ellis, chemistry (mentor: Matthew Donahue)

For more information about undergraduate research at USM, visit; for information about the Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research, supported by USM alumnus Donald Drapeau and the Office of the Vice President for Research, visit; on Facebook, visit or @USMDCUR; on Instagram, visit or @usm_dcur.