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University Faculty Fellows 2021

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University Faculty Fellows is a new fellowship program that will acknowledge members of the Corps of Instruction who contribute significantly to the Vision 2020 ideals and those of our institutional mission, vision, and values.

This award is funded by the generosity of University alumni and friends through the USM Foundation’s annual fund, the Southern Miss Fund.


Westley (Lee) Follett

Westley Lee FollettDr. Westley (Lee) Follett is an Associate Professor of History at USM’s Gulf Park campus. A proud medievalist, he engages in multi-disciplinary scholarship, drawing upon historical, literary, and religious texts written in Latin and Old Irish, material evidence such as medieval manuscripts, and archeological studies to better understand late antique and early medieval religious history in Western Europe and pre-Norman Ireland especially. He is the author of Céli Dé in Ireland: Monastic Writing and Identity in the Early Middle Ages (2006), co-editor and contributor to Gablánach in Scélaigecht, a multi-authored and multi-disciplinary volume on medieval Celtic Studies (2013), and author of multiple peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Irish monasticism, medieval saints, liturgy, manuscript studies, and other topics. His current book project investigates the origins and early development of monasticism in Ireland. 

A veteran instructor with many years of experience at USM and other universities in the United States and Canada, Dr. Follett teaches a wide range of topics in medieval, classical, and world history. In 2016 the Mississippi Humanities Council honored him as USM’s Humanities Teacher of the Year. Now in his fifth year as an Honors College Faculty Fellow, he also teaches and advises Honors College students in many different majors as they prepare to commence research on their Honors theses. Dr. Follett enjoys serving in the Honors College as part of a team working for student success. Such collaboration has long characterized his career. As vice-president and then president of an academic society with international membership, he worked to facilitate the scholarship and success of medievalist colleagues and graduate students. His service to the University is also inherently collaborative, as demonstrated by his past work on Faculty Senate and his past leadership of the Gulf Coast Faculty Council.

Bridget Hayden

Bridget HaydenDr. Hayden received her Ph.D. in anthropology from The University of Michigan and joined the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. She has worked to foster interdisciplinarity and collaboration as a faculty member and then as Associate Director for Undergraduate Studies for the School of Social Science and Global Studies.  As an ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar, she is particularly concerned with fostering student success not just in the classroom, but in life after graduation as citizens of the 21st century.  In her teaching she emphasizes the process of knowledge production and enjoys working with students as they discover their own path. 

As a cultural anthropologist her scholarship is grounded in the concerns of the communities in which she lives and participates. She is specifically interested in aspects of representation, identity, and inter-group relations in a variety of diverse communities. Her early research took her to Costa Rica and El Salvador to work on immigration issues in Central America.  In Costa Rica she worked with a Salvadoran non-profit while researching the integration of Salvadorans into that society. Through this research, she honed methods that would continue to support her collaborative work with community members and organizations that she has encountered since moving to Mississippi.  

Dr. Hayden’s Mississippi-based projects include collaboration with the USM Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage to train Latinx youth to collect oral histories from Latin American immigrants after Hurricane Katrina.  This project helped document the immigrant experiences both before and after the storm for a more inclusive history of that period.  Another community collaboration with the same population was a photo-documentary project called “Opening Doors/Abriendo Puertas”.   

Abriendo Puertas was an innovative project that brought together an art educator, a community organizer, and immigrant community members to create an exhibit reflecting the concerns and lived realities of the diverse Latin American population on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Most recently Dr. Hayden has been collaborating with Hattiesburg community elders from the Timberton Park Neighborhood to research and document the many unmarked graves in Mt. Olive Cemetery on William Carey Parkway.  Through this work she hopes to help both family members and the community rediscover nearly forgotten dimensions of the history of the city.

Iliyan Iliev

Iliyan IlievDr. Iliyan Iliev is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern Mississippi. His research focuses on the various expressions of political behavior and the development of novel research methods to study such behavior. His published work appears in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Political Science Quarterly, The Social Science Journal, IEEE Access, Significance, Environmetrics, and elsewhere. He is one of the co-founders of the Institute for Advanced Analytics and Security (IAAS), a permanent interdisciplinary group focused on conducting basic science research, product and curriculum development, and the creation of a research lab staffed by undergraduate and graduate students

Accomplishments and Contributions Relating to Vision 2020

  • Co-created the Institute for Advanced Analytics and Security (IAAS). The Institute is highly interdisciplinary with a focus on security. It generates basic and applied research, as well as Intellectual Property. 
  • Co-created a new curriculum (undergrad and graduate) in Analytics (few comparable programs nationwide) – developed over 2-year period, approved by IHL in February 2020. Curricula achieved in collaboration across multiple schools in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, as well as the College of Business.
  • Within the Institute, he helped establish a research lab following the funding approval by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Currently, the lab employs 7 undergraduate and 2 graduate students.
  • Nine peer-reviewed publications (since his hire in August 2016) in highly ranked journals across disciplines (Computer Science, Political Science, Statistics, Environmental Research) - significantly surpassing the School’s research expectations.
  • Ongoing book contract as a single author with Taylor & Francis for the American Statistical Association’s book series, an impactful series both in the community of statisticians, as well as for applied researchers.
  • Four current interdisciplinary grant proposals – two with the NSF and two with the DoD.
  • Teaching for the Honors College – Honors Colloquium
  • Service for the Honors College in several capacities - Honors College Admissions Committee Member and Honors College Thesis Award Reviewer
  • Service on six doctoral committees, two outside the School (Computing and Criminology)

Michael Madson

Michael MadsonDr. Michael Madson is a professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi. He joined the faculty in 2005 after receiving his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At Southern Miss, Dr. Madson is the program coordinator for the undergraduate major and teaches graduate classes in psychotherapy and substance use treatment and undergraduate classes in health psychology and drugs and behavior.

Dr. Madson’s research involves training, prevention, and intervention approaches for behavioral and health problems. Specifically, he studies social-cognitive and mental health predictors of college student safe and harmful use of alcohol and marijuana. Further, he examines the development, training, implementation, and effectiveness of brief motivational interventions that promote harm reduction and health behavior. As part of this research, Dr. Madson collaborates with Southern Miss’s Moffitt Health Center directing the Eagle Check-Up program – focused on alcohol and marijuana harm reduction for Southern Miss students.

Since 2008, Dr. Madson has collaborated with a multidisciplinary group of researchers from Nutrition, Kinesiology, Public Health and Social Work at Southern Miss on federally funded research to address health disparities within the state. He has also engaged in multidisciplinary work to address substance use problems. Specifically, Dr. Madson collaborated with psychologists, physicians, and nurses at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on a federally funded project to improve training of medical students in Mississippi to better address substance use.

He is currently leading a multisite study exploring college student substance use that includes 13 addictions researchers across the United States. Previously, Dr. Madson collaborated with the Chief Operational Psychologist for the 75th Ranger Regiment of the U.S. Army to develop a harm reduction program for one of the world’s most elite light infantry units. Recently, he collaborated with Southern Miss faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice and Nursing to offer a class that was a multidisciplinary investigation of the opioid epidemic.

Dr. Madson has been involved in $6,297,382 of externally funded projects, published 89 (45 with students) research articles in peer reviewed academic journals, co-authored a book and his work has been cited over 4,000 times by national and international researchers. 

Emily Bullock Yowell

Emily Bullock YowellEmily Bullock Yowell, Ph.D. is a Professor in the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Psychology and is a licensed psychologist in the State of Mississippi. She has served as the Training Director for the Counseling Psychology MS Program since 2011.

Dr. Bullock Yowell’s research program focuses on the career development of college students and adults, as well as the mental health impacts of career, educational, or decision-making difficulties. She publishes and presents widely on these career and mental health topics assuring her research findings are clearly translated to practitioners.

Much of her teaching, service, and research has provided outlets to collaborate with Southern Miss student services and contribute to the career development initiatives for Southern Miss students. Dr. Bullock Yowell uses her career development expertise to train graduate students for practice in career counseling. She regularly presents to Southern Miss faculty and staff regarding students’ career development needs and research-informed methods for assisting Southern Miss Students. As an example, Dr. Bullock Yowell works with others to offer research-informed career counseling groups for Jubilee Scholars to better assure their success at Southern Miss.  

As a native Mississippian, Dr. Bullock Yowell is proud that her internationally recognized research can also positively impact fellow Mississippian’s lives through career development enhancement of Southern Miss students. Additionally, the international vocational psychology community learns more about college student career development as a result of her research and service to Southern Miss students.

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