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USM Alum Returns to Lead Center for Pathway Experiences

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 08:48am | By: Van Arnold

Elyssa KlipschAfter a brief hiatus, Elyssa Klipsch is returning to a place she affectionately calls “home” as the new Program Director of the Center for Pathway Experiences at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).

Klipsch, a Mandeville, La., native has spent the past four years serving in a variety of student-assisted roles at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. In her most recent position, she served as Director of Pathways and First-Year Experience at Millsaps. In that role, she worked with faculty to begin laying the foundation for a new academic initiative – Pathways. She developed a First-Year Experience course that focused on the transition to college, while introducing the Pathways Program to first-year students.

Klipsch explains that her time at Millsaps paved the way for her new position at USM.

“I am extremely excited to be the new Director of the Center for Pathway Experiences. Throughout the years I have really gained skills that have directly prepared me to work with current Golden Eagles to find pathway experiences and learn how to connect those experiences to their future goals,” said Klipsch. “After graduating from Southern Miss, I knew I wanted to come back and call this place home again. I am thrilled that day has come.”

The Center for Pathway Experiences falls under the auspices of Career Services at USM. The goal of the center is to assist undergraduate students in finding, funding, and finishing pathway experiences that connect to their post-graduation goals. Services/resources provided include:

  • Internships (on and off campus; paid or unpaid)
  • Student teaching, clinicals, practicums, externships
  • Research (scholarly and/or creative)
  • Entry-level jobs related to field (on or off campus, including part-time jobs or co-ops)
  • Fieldwork/Other activities that provide the student with experience related to their chosen discipline and/or to the student's post-graduation goals

“We are excited for Elyssa to join our team. With over four years of experience leading intern and related initiatives at Millsaps College, Elyssa will bring new and innovative ideas to grow pathways experiences for our students,” said Rusty Anderson, Director of Career Services at USM. “Her knowledge in creating, promoting, and engaging students in learning experiences will help prepare our student for professional career endeavors.”

Klipsch notes that the Center for Pathway Experiences plays a vital role at USM, providing students, faculty, and staff a platform to visualize the importance of having an experiential learning opportunity during the student’s undergraduate career. She encourages all undergraduate students to visit the Pathways web page and make an appointment to discuss potential opportunities.

“I believe that being able to partake in an experience outside the classroom, such as an internship, and having the ability to reflect and connect the skills you have gained to your future career is something that employers are seeking when hiring,” said Klipsch. “They look for candidates who have experiences and can connect those experiences to the work for which they are applying.”

For more information about the Center for Pathway Experiences, call 601.266.4976 or visit: