Centers & Institutes (Alphabetical)

Dozens of university units, both within the Office of the Vice President for Research as well as the academic colleges, provide valuable research and community service.

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Aging, Center on

The center’s mission is to respond creatively to the myriad instructional, research and service challenges posed by the aging phenomenon in an inclusive and interdisciplinary manner, with special emphasis on local and regional needs for reliable information and skilled work force development. Identify key issues facing the community and share the latest advances in the treatment of gerontology.

  • College of Health
  • Director: Dr. Michael Forster, Dean-College of Health
  • 601-266-6754
  • Web site


Business and Innovation Assistance Center

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Business and Innovation Assistance Center (USM/BIAC) is located in building 1103 of the Mississippi Technology Transfer Center at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss. Organized in 2009, the Center provides programs, services and expertise that have grown from Southern Miss services that have traditionally provided support to the state’s other universities, NASA’s and other federal agencies’ technology development, and transfer programs and related efforts in working with small businesses, industry and other organizations in technology development and commercialization. The Center identifies, networks and facilitates partnerships with and opportunities among federal, state/university and private organizations that combine their resources and capabilities to support innovative technology development and commercialization.

  • Director: Joseph Graben
  • 228.688.2280
  • Web site



Child Development, Center for

The primary purpose of the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Child Development is to serve as an academic/teaching and research facility for faculty and students across the university.  A secondary purpose of the CCD is to serve children birth to five and their families in a quality childcare environment.

  • Executive Director: Jeff Leffler
  • 601.266.4679
  • Web site


Children’s Center for Communication and Development

A United Way agency, the Children’s Center is an early intervention program serving infants, toddlers and preschoolers with communicative and developmental disabilities. As a clinical division of the Southern Miss Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, the Children’s Center serves families and children while providing clinical training for university students.

  • College of Health
  • Interm Director: Cynthia Bivins
  • 601.266.5216



Disability Studies, Institute for

The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) is housed at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg with satellite offices in Jackson and the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. The institute’s mission is to positively affect the lives of Mississippians with development and other disabilities and their families in helping them work toward increasing their independence, productivity and integration into their communities.  IDS provides assistance with priority areas such as housing, early intervention, inclusive child care, assistive technology, recreation, health, education and family support.

  • Director: Dr. Beth Bryant
  • 601.266.5163
  • Web site


DuBard School for Language Disorders

Founded in 1962, the DuBard School for Language Disorders offers a full-time educational program for children ages 3-15 with severe language/speech disorders or hearing impairments. The School pioneered use of the renowned Association Method, considered a highly effective, multisensory, teaching and learning strategy that goes beyond the traditional visual and auditory teaching approach by incorporating tactile sense of touch and motor kinesthetics. The DuBard School is staffed by nationally certified speech-language pathologists and teachers of the deaf. In addition, some hold certification in learning disabilities and reading, as well as elementary education and school administration.

  • Director: Maureen K. Martin, Ph.D.
  • 601.266.5223
  • Web site



Economic and Entrepreneurship Education, Center for

The Southern Entrepreneurship Progam provides a forum for students to engage with educators, business leaders, sponsors, and service providers in a uniquely hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship education and business development.

  • Co-Directors: Jennifer Sequeira and James Wilcox
  • 601-266-5760
  • web site



Family Network Partnership

The Family Network Partnership works with young people and families on the east side of Hattiesburg. The partnership is a community project of the School of Social Work at Southern Miss. Staff members work with the community and university to provide services such as positive youth development activities; improving school attendance, behavior and academic performance; addressing parenting issues and family conflicts and securing adequate resources such as food, housing and clothing.

  • Director: Laurie Risher
  • 601.582.3541 or 601.582.3525
  • Web site


Financial Services Center

The Center for Financial Services was created in 2001 with contributions from private companies such as Citigroup/Primerica. Its role is to prepare students for careers in the financial services industry and to meet the demands for employees knowledgeable in a full range of financial services. Other center activities include facilitating interaction between students and prospective employers and hosting pertinent research presentations by Southern Miss and other guest faculty members.

  • Director: G. Wayne Kelly
  • 601.266.4809
  • Web site


Fisheries, Research and Development, Center for

The Center for Fisheries, Research and Development’s objectives are conduct key biological research on valuable marine recreational and commercial fishery resources, collaborate with Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) staff on developing and conducting fishery research projects, and provide to the DMR biological information critical to the assessment and management of the state’s marine recreational and commercial fisheries.

  • Director: Read Hendon
  • 228.872.4202
  • Web site


Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies

further the education of gifted students and those with leadership abilities through teaching, research, and service. Emphasis is also placed on these areas for those interested in the gifted: teachers, parents, administrators, psychologists, counselors, and other concerned citizens.

  • Director: Dr. Frances A. Karnes
  • 601.266.5236
  • Web site



Gulf Coast Geospatial Center

Gulf Coast Geospatial Center (GCGC) was established in September 2001 and became operational in late 2002. Our mission is to provide coastal geospatial information, research, and applications that will benefit the public and private sectors of the communities we serve. The GCGC operational infrastructure utilizes modern remote sensing science, technology and data in conjunction with other sources of spatial data in a geographic information management systems (GIS) environment.

  • Director: Greg Carter, Ph.D., Chief Scientist
  • 228.872.4215
  • Web site


Gulf Coast Instructional Leadership Center

The mission of the Instructional Leadership Center is to provide exceptional growth opportunities for school leaders and leadership teams through experiential learning and reflective practice. Our purpose is to develop a community of learners dedicated to nurturing collaborative leadership focused on instruction, engaging in reflective practice, and fostering continuous improvement in teaching and learning by bridging research and practice to inform courageous, ethical action.

  • Director:
  • 228.214.3224



Healthcare Marketing and Sales, Center for

  • Director: C. Michael Wittmann
  • 601.266.4627
  • Web site: N/A


Higher Learning, Center of

The Center of Higher Learning, located at the John C. Stennis Space Center, is a consortium of three universities and one community college which provides a coordinated multi-university approach for interdisciplinary education. CHL is the one-stop location at Stennis to assist with educational opportunities, training classes, and other workforce development needs.

  • Director: Joe Swaykos
  • 228-688-7662 or 228-688-3824
  • Web site


Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Center for

The Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties at the University of Southern Mississippi is founded to advance the principle of "liberty and justice for all," both here and abroad. The Center is committed to excellence in education and in preparing its students to translate classroom knowledge into action in a variety of careers in the public and private sectors. The Center's faculty is devoted to providing an academic home for an interdisciplinary minor in human rights and civil liberties.


Hydrographic Science Research Center

The HSRC was created to develop and broaden the applications of ocean mapping and navigation technology. It provides research support to address the needs of governmental and commercial clients for information related to ocean navigation, the ocean floor and ocean processes. The center is located within the Division of Marine Science at Stennis Space Center.

  • Director: Ken Barbor
  • 228-688-3720
  • Web site



Innovation for Construction and Engineering Enhancement

The Innovation for Construction and Engineering Enhancement (ICEE) Center is a multi-disciplinary industrial, educational and research hub housed at The University of Southern Mississippi within the School of Construction.  The mission of ICEE is twofold:

  1. Develop, implement and assess the latest educational technology for the Architecture/Engineering/Construction community;
  2. Enhance the economic development of the construction industry through the use of the latest technologies and management tools.
    • Director: Dr. Tulio Sulbaran
    • 601.266.6419


International Education, Center for

The Center for International Education supports the university's core mission by preparing students, staff and faculty for leadership and success in today’s globally interdependent world through the greatest possible exposure to people, ideas and issues of global importance.


International Coatings and Formulations Institute

ICFI is an organization dedicated to promoting interaction between The University of Southern Mississippi's (USM) School of Polymers and High Performance Materials and the coatings industry. Established in January 1998, ICFI affords participants a unique opportunity for industrial, academic, and governmental partnerships in the field of coatings and formulations R&D.

  • Director: Dr. Shelby F. Thames
  • 601.266.4781



Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute

The Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute (WLPI) at The University of Southern Mississippi serves as a research and outreach center for best practices in workplace learning and performance.

  • Director: Cyndi Gaudet, Ph.D
  • 228.214.3517
  • Web site



Katrina Research Center

The Katrina Research Center (KRC) serves as an inter-disciplinary center and a public clearinghouse to facilitate the gathering of historical and current information and knowledge. Such knowledge includes the natural, physical, social, political, economic and spiritual aspects of recovery from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

  • Director: Dr. Deanne Nuwer
  • 228.867.2633
  • Web site



Learning Enhancement Center

The mission of the Learning Enhancement Center is to meet the needs of faculty, staff and students through innovative approaches to teaching, learning and research which align with the broader mission of the institution through the facilitated support of effective instructional strategies; distance education; and faculty, staff and student development.

  • Director: Sheri Rawls
  • 601.266.6199
  • Web site


Logistics, Trade and Transportation, Center for

The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation provides valuable professional development and applied research for private and public sectors of the growing transportation and shipping industry.

  • College of Science and Technology
  • Director: Dr. Tulio Sulbaran
  • 601.266.6419
  • Web site



Marine Education Center

The Marine Education Center at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory endeavors to enlighten the citizenry to produce a cadre of well informed and knowledgeable stewards of our coastal ecosystems. The Marine Education Center is the public education and outreach arm of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  The Center supports a career based working environment utilizing formal, non-formal, free-choice learning and higher education strategies focusing on the coastal ecosystems of the north central Gulf of Mexico to promote careers in marine sciences and foster community involvement.

  • Director: Christopher T. (Chris) Snyder
  • 228-872-4200
  • Web site


Mississippi Enterprise for Technology

The Enterprise is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to creating high-skill, high-wage jobs in Mississippi. The Enterprise taps the scientific and technical assets of the state to promote industrial growth, stimulate new business start-ups, and attract companies to Mississippi.

  • Director: Charles Beasley
  • 228.688.3144
  • Web site


Mississippi Functional Genomics Network (Mississippi-INBRE)

The Mississippi Functional Genomics Network (MFGN) is a competitively funded NIH project with the mission of enhancing biomedical research and training in the state of Mississippi. A central feature of the project is to foster collaboration between laboratories at undergraduate institutions (newly established in the early stages of the project) and experienced NIH investigators at the research institutions in Mississippi, particularly at UMMC (University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS), and at USM (University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS).


Mississippi Network for Cancer Control and Prevention

Cancer is not an equal-opportunity disease. Cancer rates are 10 percent higher among African-Americans than Caucasians, and death rates are twice as high. While the cause of these statistics is still unknown, many minorities must face this great burden without the resources they need. The purpose of the MNCCP is to build on an established community and institutional capacity in order to eliminate cancer health disparities by conducting community-based participatory education, training and research. The goals of the MNCCP are to improve access to and utilization of proven beneficial cancer interventions.

  • Director: Freddie White-Johnson
  • 662.453.3688
  • Web site


Mississippi Polymer Institute

The Mississippi Polymer Institute is an industry outreach agency currently located at The Garden, the University of Southern Mississippi’s innovation and commercialization park. It provides technical and scientific services including analytical and physical testing; workforce training; and new product development and rapid prototyping.

  • Director: Bryan Brister
  • 601.266.4607
  • Web site



NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center in Coatings

The Center's mission is to develop relevant scientific knowledge for understanding and expanding the technology of polymeric coatings for the benefit of its members and to enlarge the cadre of scientist and technologists capable of working effectively with coatings industries.


National Food Service Management

The vision of the National Food Service Management Institute is to be the leader in providing education, research, and resources to promote excellence in Child Nutrition Programs. The mission of the National Food Service Management Institute is to provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of Child Nutrition Programs.

  • Director: Mary Frances Nettles
  • 601.266.5773
  • Web site


National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security

Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created to provide an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sports security awareness; improve sports security policies and procedures; and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training. The Center also houses the National Sports Security Laboratory where best practices in security are designed and tested.

  • Director: Dr. Lou Marciani
  • 601.266.6183
  • Web site



Oral History and Cultural Heritage, Center for

Through the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, The University of Southern Mississippi has been collecting and preserving the stories of Mississippians since 1971. Especially strong in the history of the civil rights movement and veterans' histories, the oral history collection now contains nearly four thousand interviews, by far the largest in the state and one of the largest in the South. The collection is available to researchers in the Mississippian Room of the McCain Library and Archives and in the Center’s offices at USM.  The Center also provides access to an increasing number of its oral histories online. 

  • Director: Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes
  • 601.266.4574
  • Web site


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

The University of Southern Mississippi provides an educational opportunity designed to meet the needs of America’s maturing population through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Adults over the age of 50 who care about their education, who are self-motivated and who wish to define their own educational experience can realize their personal goals in a relaxed university atmosphere through participation in the institute.

  • Director: Bill Youngblood
  • 601.264.2780
  • Web site



Research in Learning and Education, Center for

  • Director: Sarah Hutto
  • 601.266.4568
  • Web site under construction



Science and Mathematics Education, Center for

The Center for Science and Mathematics Education is dedicated to preparing science and mathematics teachers capable of providing the high quality instruction that will better enable students to understand themselves and the world around them. The Center works with the departments to coordinate programs in teacher education offered by the College of Science and Technology, and provides, in cooperation with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, a curriculum in the sciences for prospective elementary school teachers. In addition to providing programs in secondary education and for advanced degrees, the Center works with the public schools to improve science and mathematics curriculum and works to utilize educational technology in personal development.

  • Director: Sherry Herron
  • 601.266.4739
  • Web site


Southern Regional Public Safety Institute

The Southern Regional Public Safety Institute (SRPSI) is a multi-function safety training facility located at Camp Shelby, an Army National Guard training center just south of Hattiesburg. The institute’s mission is to provide up-to-date professional training through a nine-week (440 hours) basic academy, as well as to offer in-service or advanced training across the broad spectrum of public safety areas to officers from all over the southern United States.

  • Director: Capt. Jody Wilkerson
  • 601.558.2172
  • Web site


Sustainable Health Outreach, Center for

Individuals at the greatest health risk are often those who are least likely to be appropriately served by the health care system.  Because of language barriers, financial barriers, cultural beliefs, or mistrust of the system, many people do not receive the needed health care and preventative services.  The Center for Sustainable Health Outreach (CSHO) believes that community health workers are an important answer to these problems.  CSHO serves as a national point of contact for community health workers and community health worker programs.  CSHO-USM provides support and technical assistance to community health workers and community health worker programs in areas of program development and support, training and education, and program evaluation.  CSHO-GULC assists with sustainability strategies and public policy with funders, policy makers, health systems, and community organizations.  CSHO-USM also houses several model demonstration programs.  The Community Health Advisor Network, The Deep South Network for Cancer Control, and the Getting on Target with Community Health Advisors are just a few model CHW programs CSHO-USM offers.

  • Director: Susan L. Mayfield-Johnson
  • 601.266.6266
  • Web site



Technology Learning Center

The Technology Learning Center is a community-based, university-directed, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing education, independence and quality of life for persons with disabilities. TLC serves children and adults with disabilities, their families, teachers and education professionals through assessment, training and lending of assistive technology including adapted toys, augmentative communication, computer access and adapted sports and recreation equipment.


Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center

The Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center is the centerpiece of the marine aquaculture program of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss. The university is investing heavily in marine aquaculture at the GCRL's 224-acre Cedar Point site.


Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

The Trent Lott Center in Hattiesburg houses the university’s economic and workforce development programs along with other outreach centers focused on university entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Director: Dr. Shannon Campbell
  • 601.266.5507
  • Web site


Trace Analysis, Center for

The USM Center for Trace Analysis (CETA) coordinates analytical services provided by the USM Division of Marine Science. Most specifically, this means trace element analysis utilizing the division's high resolution inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS). CETA's ultimate mission is to provide state-of-the-art expertise, training, analytical services, and research in trace chemical analysis.

  • Director: Alan Shiller
  • 228.688.3177
  • Web site



Undersea Vehicles Technology Center

The UVTC is a division of the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology, a partnership of Southern Miss, the University of Mississippi and NOAA’s Undersea Research Program to develop and apply new technologies that enhance undersea research. UVTC personnel explore advances in AUV and ROV design and capabilities and high resolution seafloor mapping with an AUV.

  • Director: Dr. Vernon Asper
  • 228.688.3178



War and Society, The Dale Center for the Study of

The Dale Center for the Study of War and Society (CSW&S) at The University of Southern Mississippi serves as a local, national and international resource for the study of the history of warfare and its influence on both soldiers and civilians.