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USM Business Announces Inaugural Class of Scianna Business Leaders

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 09:06am | By: Bailey Harris


This fall, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Business and Economic Development launched the Scianna Business Leaders Program. This distinguished program is designed to provide meaningful learning experiences to a select group of promising business students for them to build leadership skills and develop a high level of professionalism.

The inaugural class of Scianna Business Leaders is comprised of 10 students:

  • Kali Plunket; Freshman; Hometown: Odessa, MO
  • William Eubank; Freshman; Hometown: Petal, MS
  • Madison Calkins, Senior: Daphne, AL
  • Destiny Brown; Freshman; Hometown: Taylorsville, MS
  • Jered Smith; Freshman; Hometown: Magee, MS
  • Jennifer Gallegos-Trujillo; Freshman; Hometown: Petal, MS
  • Natalee Parker; Freshman; Hometown: Seminary, MS
  • Jack Piland; Freshman; Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
  • TeKatelyn McGill; Senior; Hometown: Gulfport, MS
  • Riley Davis; Freshman; Hometown: Sumrall, MS

Scianna Business Leaders gain important insights about their own leadership strengths and weaknesses, and effective leadership practices to learn how to lead themselves, lead others, and lead organizations.

The inaugural class has been enthusiastic about their first semester in the program. Destiny Brown shared, “Scianna Business Leaders has already opened the door to so many opportunities for me and I have absolutely loved being active in this program. I cannot wait to see what the future of this program holds for me.”

Her fellow Scianna Business Leader, William Eubanks said, “So far, I have learned many new things about being a leader and look forward to growing these skills while being a part of the phenomenal program. It has been great to hear from the speakers who have come to share their experiences with us.”

Dr. Bradley Winton, assistant professor of management in the School of Leadership, is serving as the director of the first cohort. Dr. Winton teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in areas of general business, organizational behavior, and leadership. With more than 13 years of industry experience, Dr. Winton is leading the programming and curriculum for this year’s group of student leaders.

“I can’t be more excited to be part of the Scianna Business Leadership Program,” said Dr. Winton. “The program provides these business students a unique opportunity to challenge and refine themselves. We do this through meaningful learning experiences including workshops, self-assessments, professional development, networking events, mentoring and coaching, and hands-on experiences.”

Additionally, the students will go through a series of regional and national educational “business” trips to College of Business and Economic Development corporate partners.

“Together, these activities give our Scianna Business Leaders knowledge and skills that I could have only dreamed of as I finished up my undergraduate education,” said Dr. Winton. “They will leave Southern Miss ready to impress any future employer!”

Providing this essential programming around important leadership skills greatly enhances the student participants’ experience in the College of Business & Economic Development and their future careers. Through these activities, participants have opportunities to develop professional, personal, and career skills at every stage of their academic careers.

To learn more about the College of Business and Economic Development at USM, call 601.266.4659.