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CCE Announces Recipients of 2024-25 Conville Endowment Award

Thu, 06/06/2024 - 02:22pm | By: Christy Kayser

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at The University of Southern Mississippi has announced three recipients of the 2024-2025 Conville Endowment Award for the support of initiatives related to community engagement and service-learning.

Accessing Dance: Laura Clark Hunt, Library and Information Science and Candice Salyers, Dance


Laura Clark-Hunt

Laura Clark-Hunt, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science, and Candice Salyers, associate professor of dance in the School of Performing and Visual Arts, were awarded as an interdisciplinary team for the creation of a digital outreach library collection enhancing the visibility of dancers with disabilities and increasing access to dance experiences for under-resourced parts of Mississippi. Through this digital collection, dance classes and performance videos by dancers with disabilities will be made available to public libraries across Mississippi. 


Candice Salyers

“I am delighted to be part of this project supported by the Conville Endowment which will equip public libraries to improve the quality of life for their community's most vulnerable residents,” said Clark-Hunt. “Dance-based programs can help people with disabilities – including the elderly – improve mobility and balance. Students in service-learning classes will help support the project in innovative ways that will teach critical skills.”
Aspects of the project will be incorporated into several service-learning classes in both dance and library and information science. Salyers notes that this component will allow USM students from different disciplines to contribute to and learn through the development of the project. Community collaborators for the initiative include Dark Room Ballet, disabled dance artist Bradford Chin, Move Inclusive Dance, and Laurel-Jones County Library System. 

ChemDemos for K12 Students: Matthew Donahue


Matthew Donahue

Matthew Donahue, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, received funding to create Snatoms magnetic model kits for USM students to use during educational visits to K-12 classrooms. 

“The support of the Conville Endowment Award by the CCE will allow us to sustain our STEMontheGO project that entails giving molecule building demos to K12 students in Forrest and Lamar counties. Along with the USM American Chemical Society Student Chapter members, we have initiated a project originally funded by the USM Center for STEM Education to bring a tactile learning experience into the classroom. Students learn how different elements from the periodic table bond with one another to make molecules. Each student receives a small takeaway magbag kit that allows them to continue their learning at home and on the go.”

Donahue predicts that over the course of the 2024-25 academic year USM students will conduct 30+ demonstrations and reach more than 1,000 K-12 students.

The Conville Endowment for Community Engaged Teaching and Research Award was established to honor Richard L. Conville, professor emeritus of communication studies and service-learning at The University of Southern Mississippi from 1978-2013. 

The award is funded through the Richard L. Conville and Mozella P. Conville Center for Community Engagement Fund for Excellence and provides funding for conducting or developing community-engaged or service-learning research; implementing and planning a new, significant, and sustainable community engagement initiative; advancing and promoting service-learning or community engagement at USM; integrating service-learning or community engagement into a college or department degree plan; developing or re-designing a service-learning class; or collaborating across disciplines or institutions on community engagement initiatives

The Center for Community Engagement promotes service and service-learning on The University of Southern Mississippi campus and throughout the Hattiesburg community. To learn more about the CCE at Southern Miss, call 601.266.6467.