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USM Interdisciplinary Investigations Series Begins on Oct. 13

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 10:54am | By: Ivonne Kawas

COVID-19 under a microscopeThe University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development (ISPD) and its series of collaborative projects, known as Interdisciplinary Investigations, will kick off a Medical Encounters series on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. in-person at the Trent Lott National Center, Room 103 A-D, and streamed.

Interdisciplinary Investigations encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration and engages students and the public in interdisciplinary research and creative activities.

The Medical Encounters series will begin with a Hybrid Roundtable titled, “Resilience, Healing, and Moving beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic,” and will feature five guest panelists from primarily local government, school, and healthcare organizations, who will discuss ways to help us all heal and move forward from the current pandemic.

The four faculty members and student collaborating in the series include: Dr. Emily Stanback, English; Dr. Katie Anthony, Communication Studies; Dr. Ian Dunkle, Philosophy; Dr. Michelle McLeese, Sociology; and Brooklynn Smith, a Biomedical Sciences major, in the role of Student Liaison.

The interdisciplinary team explains that they will be exploring how using multiple disciplinary lenses enhances our understanding of medicine and medical encounters.

“The goal of the full series is to initiate interdisciplinary conversations about human health, focusing particularly on the sites of tension, and even breakdown, between patient and provider, as well as the public and medicine writ large,” said the team.

Drs. Anthony and McLeese, co-hosts of the upcoming roundtable and moderators, highlighted that, "Medical Encounters will bring experts from medicine, public health, education, and the non-profit sector into dialogue to discuss the collective experience of COVID-19, consider the lessons learned, and describe strategies for moving forward as a more resilient community.”

The five panelists who will participate in the roundtable include:

  • Maria Braman, Chief Medical Officer for ARH (Appalachian Regional Hospital) System in Eastern Kentucky;
  • Chad Driskell, Vice President for External Affairs for The University of Southern Mississippi;
  • Anita Henderson, Pediatrician at the Pediatric Center in Hattiesburg;
  • Ann McCullen, Executive Director at Edwards Street Fellowship Center in Hattiesburg;
  • Robert Williams, Superintendent of Hattiesburg Public Schools.

Drs. Emily Stanback and Ian Dunkle will co-host a panel for this series on November 9. Details will be announced at a later date.

In the Spring 2022 semester, the four faculty members will co-teach an interdisciplinary topics course, IDS 350, which will focus on bioethical questions raised by pandemics—both current and historic.

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,” said Dr. Ann Marie Kinnell, Director of the School of ISPD. “We also thank the Provost for his long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary projects and scholarship.”

Learn more about the series and stream by visiting:

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