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Office of the Provost

Inside the Academy - Fall 2019

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In This Issue


A Message from the Provost

As provost, I serve the institution in a variety of ways.  One way is by facilitating the enaction of our institutional vision and in solving problems and challenges that serve as barriers to that progress.  In my work, I get to see and appreciate the wide-ranging efforts of our faculty and staff.  So many have embraced opportunities to engage, take on new teaching and research strategies, and work across disciplinary lines to expand the visibility and breadth of our teaching and research. As a result, few regional research universities hold the distinction of being national leaders in so many diverse disciplinary areas (security, ocean science, polymers, psychology, and the arts, to name just a few). The commitment and, uniquely, the grit of our research/creative and teaching faculty leaders, the ideals of Vision 2020, and the challenging decisions we’ve had to make over the last several years bring us to a moment of opportunity, when each choice we make throughout each day has the potential to move us forward.  I often speak about intentionality in our day-to-day work -- where making good small decisions about how we interact with our students and each other, in how we prepare for our classes, or how we maintain that laser focus in our research effort has the potential to contribute to a more stable institution, magnifying our potential for greater future successes. We are here because we have colleagues  across our institution who hold these opportunities sacred.

Normal CollegeLikewise, our history as a normal school and our institutional commitment to teaching are elevated by the remarkable research and creative scholarship that is measurable in each college and most schools.  In many corners of the institution, we are not only productive -- we are defining cutting-edge research that has positioned us as a unique institution, with no other of our size or student demographic reaching our level of success. As an example of this point, in 2013, USM selected our most recent peer institution list, an exercise required of us by our accrediting body. At that time, it was easier to identify others that were like us, doing the work we were doing. This summer, we began the exercise of updating our peer institutions, and through that exercise we have found ourselves to be a distinguished outlier. For instance, our research accomplishments are comparable to the work more typically produced at elite, well-funded institutions. A student body like ours does not typically work with a faculty like our faculty; in our unique combination, we have a rare opportunity to impact students, challenge the equity gap in college student attainment for lower-income and first-generation students, and affect the lives of students and their families in the state of Mississippi.

What is one university-wide opportunity that we might consider this year?

General Education Curriculum

Four years ago, I asked the GEC committee of Academic Council to consider a revision or reduction in the General Education Curriculum.  At that time, the core seemed unnecessarily expensive and non-sequential, and in some areas courses had become static, moving slowly away from our institutional goals for delivery of the GEC.  Indeed, we require more hours in our core than most of our sister institutions and more than IHL or SACSCOC require. As with previous conversations about the core curriculum, in our discussion in recent years, we moved quickly into a territorialist/protectionist mode and in some instances devolved into proclaiming the value of one discipline against another. We never want to revisit that time again. When one really looks at what we are trying to accomplish, the ideals and learning outcomes of the GEC are good by most estimations.  Reducing the GEC may be something we do in time, but why not assess what is successful in our current effort and adjust what is not? 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a course proposal from the School of Humanities… It was a creative and forward-looking proposal that coupled history and literature to meet the Humanities learning outcomes. I don’t know if that proposal will go forward, but it certainly should serve as an illustration of how talented faculty can come together with creativity to try to make our students’ experiences in the GEC more integrated and meaningful.

Last week, I asked Academic Council to begin conversations about opening the GEC for new course proposals with the intent of better reflecting in our GEC the goals of Vision 2020.  The core has been locked down for too long, some courses have become static, and many are disconnected from one another through sequencing. More broadly, students suggest that the GEC does not provide the integrated, foundational learning experience that is its purpose. 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a course proposal from the School of Humanities that was designed to meet one Humanities component in the GEC.  It was a creative and forward-looking proposal that coupled history and literature to meet the Humanities learning outcomes.  I don’t know if that proposal will go forward, but it certainly should serve as an illustration of how talented faculty can come together with creativity to try to make our students’ experiences in the GEC more integrated and meaningful.  As my work often keeps me deep in our enrollment efforts, I’m also cognizant of actions we could take as an institution in order to create distinctive differences for us among the IHLs. In the spirit of Vision 2020, interdisciplinary learning experiences will enhance our students’ education and further distinguish us from other institutions.

What are some university-wide challenges we might take on?

Student Barriers to Progression

At the Faculty Senate Retreat this past August, I shared with that body two areas I consider to be institutional threats: college affordability and student retention. I began the presentation by discussing the ideals of shared governance and the role we all hold in meeting institutional challenges. The Association of Governance Board’s 2017 statement on shared governance reflects my conversation with senators:

“When done well, shared governance strengthens the quality of leadership and decision-making at an institution, enhances its ability to achieve its vision and to meet strategic goals, and increases the odds that the very best thinking by all parties…is brought to bear on institutional challenges.”

My intent was to impress upon my colleagues in the Faculty Senate the power they hold in facilitating conversations across campus about the barriers our students face when it comes to their progression and graduation. 

For our students, college affordability remains a significant challenge.  For context, 4 in 10 college students nationally skip meals because of financial limitations. Meanwhile, 3 in 10 choose to not take a course in their sequence because of the high cost of textbooks or take fewer courses because they cannot afford the textbooks. We can assume the numbers at USM are at or above the national average, given our high level of student financial need. Some of our students face food insecurity, and many struggle with balancing work and class obligations, deal with financially supporting family members, and carry a heavy burden of stress from financial worries.

Yet, looming before us is an expansion of open access textbooks and subscription services that provide textbooks for students at a greatly reduced overall cost, including some options available through Barnes and Noble. The subscription services are similar to the Apple Music or Netflix model (applied to textbooks and study resources).  Many subscription services use the same textbooks that are currently adopted across many units at USM. According to IPEDS data, USM students spent an average of $2000 on textbooks last year.  Perhaps it is time as a faculty body to dig in a little deeper to our textbook adoption practices.  A $250 yearlong subscription versus that $2000 average cost would be a significant savings for many of our students who are struggling financially.

In this spirit, I want to acknowledge the School of Social Work, specifically Dr. Tamara Hurst, her team of volunteers, and her dedicated students, for the impact of the Eagle’s Nest food pantry on our students and campus community.

For those who are not familiar with the pantry, USM Eagle’s Nest food pantry is a student-powered organization created to promote food and housing security within our campus community. Their efforts center around the goal of Southern Miss becoming a hunger-free, thriving campus. From January through April of last year, USM’s Eagle Nest logged 889 volunteer and intern hours, distributed 5,329 pounds of food (an equivalent of 4,440 meals), and served 1,078 client visits (averaging 4.9 pounds of food per client/per visit). The pantry also provides experiential learning opportunities for our students where they enhance their skills in time management, interpersonal interactions with clients and other volunteers, effective speaking and writing, and an array of other skills that will benefit them over their lifetime. Eagle’s Nest has become a model for such efforts at other institutions across the state. Dr. Hurst’s leadership of the food pantry is in addition to her primary research focus in Social Work, which has garnered her an appointment to the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force Committee. Thank you, Dr. Hurst, for all you are doing for your school, the University, and the State.

The other area I discussed with Faculty Senators concerned students who fail to connect with a school, an academic discipline, or most importantly a faculty member during their time at USM, and, as a result, choose not to return the following year.  We reached out to students from AY19 to understand why they were not returning this fall. Many non-returning students talked about financial barriers, but comments like these, while anecdotal, were also typical:

“Unfortunately, I will not be attending due to lack of communication from my advisor, which directly resulted in situations left unresolved and me growing tired.” - Rising Junior

“I never found an advisor I could talk to, so I’ve decided not to return.” – First-time full-time freshman, AY19

“I’m homesick…" from Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi

Not having a trusted advisor or mentor makes a huge difference in whether a student—especially a first-year student—will persist. For some new students, there is nothing we can do to get them to stay.  But for many others, we have failed them as an institution and that is why they leave. 

Schools and programs that typically do not receive responses like these have a robust advising and mentoring program, student clubs that encourage engagement, and faculty who spend an extra moment or two monitoring the engagement of students in their classes. These units are creating a sense of place for our students, many of whom have never been away from home. They are offering these students words of encouragement, guiding them to the resources they need to be successful, and providing opportunities for engagement outside of the classroom. Our enrollment cannot reach its potential unless we are able to engage all students effectively – both in and out of the classroom. Through avenues like the Senate, we can learn from one another so that all units have the strategies and tools in place that will lead to greater progression and graduation of our students. 

There are other areas that we continue to focus on. I look forward to sharing these with our shared governance bodies, the Council of Directors, Deans, and in the newsletters ahead. Stay tuned for the announcement of coffee hours in various locations later this fall. I want to hear from faculty and staff members whom I don’t ordinarily cross paths with. This will be an opportunity to hold an informal conversation on the topic of your choice.

In closing, I want to thank all who have made the start to our semester go so smoothly, and particularly to those who took advantage of the opportunities at Faculty First Week.  Collectively, more than 3,000 submissions to Digital Measures captured a strong level of participation in the workshops and lectures offered during the week.

We move forward as an institution when we do so together.  Thank you all for what you are doing to make your work and our collective efforts meaningful. 

Steven R. Moser 
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs



Five Questions with Joel Bolton

Joel BoltonDr. Joel F. Bolton is an Associate Professor in the School of Management who became Interim Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs for the College of Business and Economic Development in January 2019. He earned a B.A. in Communication at Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. at Sam Houston State University. After a career in corporate finance at Hewlett-Packard (technology manufacturing) and Memorial Hermann (healthcare services), he earned a Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University focusing on Strategic Management.

Bolton, a native of Temple, Texas, has taught capstone courses in global strategy for both the undergraduate and graduate business programs since joining USM in 2013. His primary research interests include corporate governance, managerial cognition, and the external environment of business, and his research has been published in outlets such as ,Strategic Organization, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Energy and Development, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, and the Journal of Managerial Issues.

I have been doing this long enough now that some of my former students have become top executives, and some have even launched their own successful firms. I love keeping in touch with them and seeing how much value they are creating for their investors, customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities.

Given your background in corporate finance, when did you know you wanted to teach in a higher education setting? 

I was attending night classes part-time to earn an MBA while working full-time in corporate finance. My MBA strategy professor pulled me aside one night and suggested I strongly consider becoming a business professor. He said I would be able to leverage my intellect and my communication skills to create a new life that featured even more hard work coupled with greater autonomy of scheduling as well as considerable geographic mobility. Most importantly, he emphasized the dual joys of pursuing interesting research questions while also teaching students from a variety of backgrounds. When I told my wife what he said, she totally agreed, and we started this great academic adventure. Fifteen years later, I have no regrets.

What has been one of your most rewarding moments as a professor?

The most rewarding moments of being a professor come in two distinct flavors. On the one hand, I have been doing this long enough now that some of my former students have become top executives, and some have even launched their own successful firms. I love keeping in touch with them and seeing how much value they are creating for their investors, customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities. On the other hand, there is something special about seeing other scholars from around the world cite your previously published work in their research studies. Both experiences are rewarding because they offer encouraging glimpses of the small but hopefully positive influence I may be having on others through my work.

What is some advice you think undergraduate students should know but don’t think to ask?

“Use your resources!” At a place like USM, students are afforded a wide variety of helpful resources. Through hiring the best and brightest staff and faculty available, USM has curated an ecosystem of student success if only the students would remember to engage and leverage it for their own advantage. As a professor who has exclusively taught Capstone courses at USM, I place even more emphasis on this advice because most of my students graduate soon after their semester with me. Although I routinely joke that the movie “Hunger Games” is a documentary, the reality of organizational life is that those who refuse to use every available resource will simply not survive.

What is something interesting you did not know until you became Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs?

The academic operations of this modern university are more complex than I once thought. There is value in acknowledging that the “high customer service” focus of our academic programs creates greater operational complexity. On the one hand, because we listen to our students, USM offers a high level of academic customization through many different delivery schedules, course formats, experiences, and activities. On the other hand, also because we listen to our students, USM offers programs at a competitive price that helps to alleviate budget concerns for many students and their families. These two goals both align with student priorities, but they are logically at odds with each other. I am amazed and inspired by how many leaders at the School, College, and University level are ready to jump in and tackle the large task of “optimizing” the USM experience regardless of whatever complexity arises.

Modern leadership now requires greater strategic focus and an extra measure of bold courage because some voices must be ignored to save the organization and its community of legitimate stakeholders.

Are there any new trends or practices in the field of management that you did not expect to happen? If so, what are they?

Management scholars know that listening to the needs of a wide variety of stakeholders (investors, customers, employees, suppliers, etc.) before making an important decision, although time-consuming, can often increase the quality and effectiveness of the decision. Social media participation has had a huge impact on that process. As a positive for firms, the costs associated with all that listening have dropped tremendously. Many more participants are equipped and empowered to speak out, and that can often be a good thing. Unfortunately, one of the biggest negatives for firms is the increasing volume of self-identified albeit illegitimate stakeholders. Modern leadership now requires greater strategic focus and an extra measure of bold courage because some voices must be ignored to save the organization and its community of legitimate stakeholders. However, with careful handling of social media, the voices that must be heard are easier to find.



The View from Academic Affairs

Spring 2020 Schedule: Changes Ahead

Amy Chasteen MillerThe Academic Scheduling Summit held in May 2019 included a series of listening sessions with faculty and staff and an open forum to discuss themes from the listening sessions and the results of student and faculty surveys. The information gathered and the intensive conversations around the schedule during the Summit resulted in a new academic calendar and new class meeting patterns proposed for spring 2020. These were approved by President Bennett and can now be found on the Registrar’s website.

As we have noted in emails to the campus community, the changes reflected in the revised spring 2020 schedule address many of the most common concerns expressed to the Provost’s office about the 2018-2019 calendar.  For example, in spring you will find:

  • more class meeting days in the term
  • more weekends for arts performances
  • fewer “broken” or partial weeks, which impact lab sciences
  • 75-minute periods for two-day classes, rather than 90 minutes
  • a daily “common hour” in the middle of the day with no classes scheduled, for ease of faculty and student meetings
  • earlier night class meeting times

New “Flex Periods” for MWF Classes

With the longer semester in spring, having 60-minute classes on MWF enables us to have three “extra” class meetings to dedicate to improving student performance in course-appropriate ways. Courses offered on MWF exceed the minimum contact minutes by the equivalent of three meeting sessions, so faculty who teach in this meeting pattern can use those flex periods in a variety of ways. For example:

  1. We will provide a menu of guest speakers who can come to your classes to do workshops or presentations on key topics that can positively impact student performance or development (e.g., time management, study skills, academic integrity, writing development).
  2. We will also include a list of speakers on topics that do not relate directly to academic skills but instead address a related issue in students’ lives that may impact their ability to focus on school or perform well (e.g., stress management, alcohol or drug use, mental well-being).
  3. Faculty may choose to bring in speakers to highlight campus services than can prepare students for future opportunities to study abroad, prepare for internships (Pathways Experiences) or examine career opportunities (Career Services).
  4. Faculty may also opt to use flex periods to offer reviews before an exam, to go over test questions following an exam, to work with students on research or papers, or otherwise extend the time allowed for reflection on course material.

These are only ideas, of course; faculty may utilize the three flex periods to meet any student needs they see in their particular courses.

More information will soon follow about the spring 2020 calendar and the flex periods in particular. We are excited about the creation of these flexible options for faculty teaching the MWF classes and hope you are as well! Please send any suggestions about additional topics or speakers to include in the flex period menu to academic.affairsFREEMississippi.%C2%A0


New University Advisement Center

Advisement Center LogoThe new University Advisement Center will begin serving a limited population of students this fall in the first phase of a three-part implementation process. When complete, the Advisement Center will complement the work of faculty mentors by providing year-round, holistic advisement and 360-degree support to all first-year students at the University, helping them acclimate to college and preparing them to transition to advisement in their home program by their second year.

The professional academic advisors in the Center will perform an array of functions, including:

  • Helping students map a four-year path to degree and learn to use key functions in SOAR

  • Knowing all resource offices on campus and referring students as appropriate

  •  Explaining holds, deadlines, and regulations associated with registration and communicating regularly with students throughout the year

  •  Working closely with students who struggle academically to develop academic improvement plans and tracking their progress

  •  Guiding students to assess their interests, skills, and abilities and engaging them in conversation about their majors and career aspirations

  •  Serving as a walk-in service to answer questions, including holding some night and weekend hours

Cook Library

The Advisement Center will ultimately be located on the 2nd floor of Cook Library; library renovations are underway and expected to be complete in April 2020. Until that space opens, most of the advisors will be located in a temporary space behind Starbucks – look for signage in that space soon, as well as details of contact information and a website address in a separate email. 

Four new professional advisors have just been hired and will join four others who were hired last year. These eight advisors will serve as primary advisors this year to freshmen students in select areas of the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the College of Arts and Sciences. It will be critical from their initial training going forward that these advisors work closely with program faculty and staff to ensure that they know degree program requirements, course rotations, and program expectations well. This way advisors are able to support students optimally as they prepare for a smooth transition to the unit by their second year.

We will be reaching out to school directors in the upcoming weeks to establish training plans and to seek input on the advisors’ work, and we look forward to ongoing communication throughout the year. Through strong relationships with the schools, we will develop an Advisement Center that guides our new students to a successful and supported first year at the university while providing faculty members with additional time to spend with their students in disciplinary conversations and mentorship.

If you have any questions about the Advisement Center, please email academic.affairsFREEMississippi.  For more information on professional academic advising more generally, the NACADA website offers many publicly available resources.


The Center for Faculty Development hosts and offers workshops in teaching and research development and workshops to support the full spectrum of duties of faculty members.

View the current schedule.

All faculty teaching online must complete the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric workshop prior to January 2020 in order to be scheduled for online classes in spring semester.

Registration is available through the Office of Online Learning.

Effective Sept. 30, 2019, students will be change their majors through an online workflow process. Paper forms will no longer be used. Tutorials will soon be on the Registrar’s website, and information sessions will be held in Asbury Hall 119 on Wed. 9/25 from 3-4pm, Thu 9/26 from 10-11:30am; and Fri 9/27 from 2-3:30pm.




Media Mentions

Humor in the Workplace

FAST COMPANY | These are the dangers of using humor in the workplace

Humor is like a screwdriver–an incredibly useful tool that often involves a twist. When used in the right context, it can help you construct and deconstruct any number of objects. But to get the benefits, you have to use it correctly.

Snapping Turtle

Fox News | Mississippi man finds huge alligator snapping turtle, sets county record

Luke Pearson caught the turtle in Lamar County. The prehistoric-looking reptile weighed in at 62.8 pounds, setting a new county record, per the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. It is the largest captured so far this year.


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC | How pesticides can actually increase mosquito numbers

INSECTICIDES IN AT least one area are not only failing to control mosquitoes, new research suggests, they’re actually allowing the blood-sucking pests to thrive—by killing off their predators.

Loaded Gun

CNN | Storing a loaded gun at home raised soldiers' risk of death by suicide, study finds

Over 1,000 active duty US Army soldiers have died by suicide since 2015, and a new study suggests that reducing those deaths may require limiting access to one of a soldier's most familiar tools: the gun.

Algae Bloom

WASHINGTON POST | Harmful blue-green algae has taken over Mississippi beaches, forcing 21 to close 

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, can produce toxins that could cause a host of human health problems, including “hay fever-like symptoms, skin rashes, respiratory and gastrointestinal distress” during short-term exposure. 


U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT | Mississippi Seeks Seafood Disaster Amid Spillway Complaints

Mississippi's governor wants the federal government to declare a fisheries disaster as freshwater from a Mississippi River spillway gushes into what's normally a partly salty estuary, killing countless oysters and crabs.

Subsistence Homestead in PA

Washington Post | ‘Socialism — kind of’: Colonies sprouted to combat the Great Depression. Now these homes are slated for demolition.

Lois Weyandt, 90… [is] one of the few people still living who, almost a century ago, lived in a “subsistence colony” — communities built as part of the New Deal that sought to give workers battered by the Depression new hope by encouraging them to go back to the land.


SMITHSONIAN | The ‘Clotilda,’ the Last Known Slave Ship to Arrive in the U.S., Is Found

ne hundred and fifty-nine years ago, slave traders stole Lorna Gail Woods’ great-great grandfather from what is now Benin in West Africa. Her ancestor, Charlie Lewis, was brutally ripped from his homeland, along with 109 other Africans, and brought to Alabama on the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in the United States.


New York Times | The Military’s Discrimination Problem Was So Bad in the 1960s, Kennedy Formed a Committee

President John F. Kennedy convened the President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces, known as the Gesell Committee. The panel of civil rights leaders and lawyers met officially only seven times. The rest of the time, they operated in a “shirt sleeve,” nose-to-the-grindstone manner, out of a small office near the White House.



Focus on Faculty

Photos of USM Faculty

Jennifer Brannock on the Clyde Kennard exhibit in Kennard-Washington Hall

Although Jennifer Brannock, professor and curator of rare books and Mississippiana in McCain Library and Archives, has put together many exhibits for USM Libraries’ Special Collections, she was initially nervous about putting together the large exhibit about Clyde Kennard that decorates the entranceway of Kennard-Washington Hall because of his significant legacy in Mississippi and the civil rights movement.

Jennifer Brannock“People need to know who Clyde Kennard is,” Brannock said. “They need to know the struggles he went through to try and get an education here. They need to know how some 50 years later, we as a university and as a state, have made some progress. Now we have a building named after him.” 

Brannock was part of a team of experts who installed the exhibit honoring Clyde Kennard, who in the 1950s attempted to become the first African American to attend Mississippi Southern College, now The University of Southern Mississippi. He is the namesake of the building along with Walter Washington, the first African American to receive a doctorate from the university.

The exhibit, which debuted last fall, features a portrait of Kennard, a brief biography mentioning his repeated struggles to enroll at USM, and Kennard’s honorary Ph.D. from the university, complimenting the Mississippi Freedom Trail marker memorializing Kennard near the building’s entrance.

Clyde KennardWhile some of the items, such as the biography text and doctorate, were preexisting and ready to be included in the exhibit, Brannock said there are very few images of Kennard that can be used on a project of this scope. Last year, Brannock said she came across the work of Maine artist Robert Shetterly who had done a series of paintings about notable civil rights figures, including one of Kennard.

“The image of Kennard is more contemporary and casual than many images that may be featured in similar displays,” Brannock said. “This portrait of Kennard smiling, which was taken from a photograph of him in his final days, really humanizes him and focuses on him as a person.” 

Brannock also worked closely with graphic designer Hillary Lovinggood, Associate Professor of English Dr. Sherita Johnson, and former Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Eddie Holloway, among others, to complete the project.


Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty Earn More Than $2.4 Million of External Funding in 2018-2019

Multiple faculty members from the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences received outside funding during the 2018-2019 academic year. Their research broadens our understanding of the world around us, and many of their projects also strengthen connections between The University of Southern Mississippi and other colleges and universities as mathematics and natural sciences faculty mentor the next generation of scientists through their work.


★  Wei Wang

"An exploratory study of tourism professionals’ coping strategies with climate change: Cases from the Arctic," Sponsored by College of Business and Economic Development, University of Southern Mississippi, $2,500.00. (May 2019 - August 2019).

★  Lachel Story

"Nurse Faculty Loan Program,” Sponsored by Health Resources and Services Administration, Federal, $190,243.00. (July 2019 - June 2020).

★  Mac Alford
★  Michael Madson
★  Ragan Downey
★  Julie Pigza
★  Carolyn Holloway

"From Painkilling to Pain Causing: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Opioid Epidemic," Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi, School of Interdisciplinary and Professional Development, University of Southern Mississippi, $3,000.00. (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020).

★  Nina Mclain

“USM Nurse Anesthesia Traineeship Grant,” Sponsored by HRSA, Federal, $65,000.00. (August 2018 - July 2019)."

★  Jacques Kessl

“Mode of action of allosteric HIV-1 integrase inhibitors during late steps of viral replication.,” Sponsored by National Institutes of Health, Federal, $406,427.00. (August 4, 2016 - July 31, 2019)."

★  Susan Johnson
★  Lachel Story
★  Charkarra Anderson-Lewis

“Jackson Heart Study Community Engagement Center,” The University of Southern Mississippi, $210,428.00. (January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2024).

★  Daniel Paul Credeur
★  Stephanie McCoy
★  Hwanseok Choi
       Et. Al

“Targeting the Peripheral Vasculature through Intermittent Pneumatic Compression in Spinal Cord Injury,” Sponsored by American Heart Association, Private, $150,000.00. (July 2018 - June 2020).

★  Jennifer Lemacks
★  Hwanseok Choi

“The church as a bridge to deliver health resources via telehealth to alleviate obesity and chronic disease disparities in rural African Americans in Mississippi,” Sponsored by National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities, Federal, $439,291.00. (July 9, 2015 - June 30, 2019)."



History Faculty Publish New Research

The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to announce the publication of new books by faculty members in the history program during the past year. “Taken together, these exciting and innovative books reflect the History faculty’s commitment to research and the presentation of new archives and historical narratives that confirm the important role the Humanities play in the creation of new knowledge and ways of understanding the world: past, present, and future,” said Dr. Luis Iglesias, [former] Director of the School of Humanities


Charlie Company Journeys Home: The Forgotten Impact on the Wives of Vietnam Veterans

Charlie Company Journeys Home: The Forgotten Impact on the Wives of Vietnam Veterans – Andrew Wiest

The Invention and Reinvention of Big Bill Broonzy

The Invention and Reinvention of Big Bill Broonzy – Kevin Greene

Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle

Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle – Rebecca Tuuri

On the Trail of the Yellow Tiger

On the Trail of the Yellow Tiger – Kenneth Swope

Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek-Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796

Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek-Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796 – Joshua Haynes


★  SherRhonda Gibbs

Faculty Fellow
Scholarship/Creative Works/Research, 2019
Diana Project Changemaker Award
Leadership, International, June 5, 2019

The Diana Changemaker Awards are granted to individuals whose efforts in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, through research, advocacy, and other essential forms of support, have advanced women’s access to resources that are critical to launching and scaling successful ventures.

★  David Wells

Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS-CA)
Leadership, International, May 25, 2019

The CPHIMS-CA credential validates professional competency to respected international and Canadian criteria, and signifies that a health informatics (HI) professional has the skills, knowledge and abilities to perform safely and effectively in a broad range of practice settings.

★  Lachel Story

Harvard Management Development Program Class of 2019
Leadership, National, June 2, 2019

A flagship program within the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education (HIHE) portfolio, the Management Development Program (MDP) provides higher education managers with the tools and insight to think more strategically, balance competing demands, and engage in more forward-thinking leadership.

★  Nicholas Ciraldo

Performing Artist Fellowship
Scholarship/Creative Works/Research, State, July 1, 2019

MAC’s Artist Fellowship program is focused on honoring Mississippi artists who demonstrate the ability to create exemplary work in their chosen field. The agency awards fellowships in several categories each year. The program does not require a cash match. Professional artists living and working in Mississippi are eligible to apply. The Artist Fellowship program is highly competitive – only a small number of the total applicants each year receive an award.



★  Robin Aronson

Vocal Coaching
Aronson, R. L., "Dolorosa," Ateneo De Manila University, Manila, Philippines. (August 2019).

★  Nicholas Ciraldo

Music Composition - Major Work, Performance
Ciraldo, N. A., China. (August 4, 2019).

Music Performance - Full Solo Recital
Ciraldo, N. A., China. (August 5, 2019).
Ciraldo, N. A., China. (August 3, 2019).
Ciraldo, N. A., China. (August 2, 2019).
Ciraldo, N. A., China. (August 1, 2019).

★  J Hightower

Music - Adjudicator, Clinician, or Consultant

Hightower, J. T., "Guest Faculty, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy (COAA)," Canadian Operatic Arts Academy. (2019).


Did You Know?

National Guard

Golden Eagle Free Tuition Program

The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi National Guard have created a joint initiative that will provide members of the Mississippi Army and Air National Guards the opportunity to graduate from USM tuition-free. 

The University of Southern Mississippi's Fall 2019 National TV Commercial


 Fighting Faculty Burnout

QoAL Logo

"In 2018, with funding from the Bower Foundation, the John D. Bower School of Population Health at the University of Mississippi Medical Center conducted the Quality of Academic Life Study, in which we distributed an electronic survey to faculty members of the public institutions of higher learning in Mississippi. The focus of that survey was on well-being, quality of life, and burnout symptoms among faculty members. We received a total of 891 completed surveys with representation from eight public universities. The survey results revealed that, as we anticipated, there is a high level of stress and distress among faculty members.

"In an effort to help improve quality of life for faculty members, we have created a web site focused on issues that impact the well-being of faculty members. The web site includes a range of content, from links to scientific papers to “lay press” articles and videos of relevant presentations. We are confident that these online resources will be helpful to faculty members who are struggling with burnout or other challenges to their well-being."

Bettina M. Beech, DrPH, MPH
Founding Dean
John D. Bower School of Population Health
University of Mississippi Medical Center


Notification Protocol Decision Tree  

Decision TreeA “Notification Protocol Decision Tree” was recently developed by a committee with representatives from Academic Affairs, Human Resources, and University Communications. This document provides guidance for communication protocol when situations arise that have potential stakeholder, public, or employee impact. For faculty and staff involved in grants, project management, and/or employee supervision, this decision tree is the key resource outlining whom one should communicate with, and when. Please review and discuss with those in your area, and if you have any questions, talk with your director, dean, or other supervisor.


Faculty First Week

This August, we welcomed faculty back to campus with the second annual Faculty First Week, and the enthusiasm for the many faculty-led sessions and professional development opportunities was palpable. Over the course of the week, we had more than 3,000 entries in Digital Measures, and reviews of the Faculty First Week sessions in the Sched platform were very positive.

Some of the most popular sessions include:

  • “Caring for our Students: Classroom Management and Student Misconduct” 
  • “Checking for Student Understanding”
  • “Delegating and Empowering Others Successfully” 
  • “Using Electronic Plagiarism Detection Ethically and Effectively”
  • “Canvas Tips and Tricks”
  • “Escape the Classroom: Implementing Game-based Learning”
  • “Recruiting Strategies for your Program or Classes”
  • “Practical Strategies for Responding to Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being Challenges with Students”
  • “Digital Measures” 

The feedback we received about this year’s conference often described the sessions as “very helpful,” “interesting,” “informative,” and “extremely useful.” It is clear from the comments that what faculty attendees enjoyed the most was the opportunity to interact with colleagues and learn from one another about their research, teaching, and professional development. Here are a few comments from the reviews:

This was absolutely phenomenal. The topics of research were engaging, diverse, and, perhaps most importantly to me as someone with some concerns about research, empowering to allow me to consider the intersectionality of these works. Enjoyed this immensely. Thank you!

Very informative. This should be considered for multiple sessions or even an online video training so people can review it often as they form new Canvas courses!

Excellent.  Presenters provided wonderful overview of the issues; practical tips for establishing boundaries in mentoring relationships and included role-play.  Very useful for junior and new faculty and a great refresher for veterans.

We will continue to review the feedback and assess this year’s Faculty First Week as we look ahead to plans for 2020. We appreciate the wide-ranging participating throughout the week, from the opening sessions through the concluding block party on Friday afternoon. Thank you to all of you who presented and attended, and we welcome your suggestions for next year’s agenda.

Contact Us

Office of the Provost
Lucas Administration Building

Hattiesburg Campus

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