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Division of Student Affairs

Award Winners

Joe Paul Rising Stars

Meg Freeman

2019 Recipient

Meg Freeman, Housing and Residence Life

"Meg is an adaptable staff member, who agreed to move areas only days before her start date, as a new RLC opening became available in Sorority Village. Meg was ready and able to bring her Housing and Greek Life experience to this role.  Within her first year, she has shown that she wants USM employees in the department and division to grow in their field and to better help students." 

Sam Lamb

2018 Recipient

Samantha Lamb, Fitness and Wellness Coordinator for Recreational Sports

“While we have been impressed with her first years of service as a graduate assistant, it is the past 9 months where Sam has made a significant impact on the students, colleagues and the campus community as a whole. . . . Her daily performance is top notch, her attitude is terrific and her organizational skills are unrivaled. I have no doubt that Sam embodies the spirit of the Joe Paul Rising Star Award."

Lydia Pierce

2017 Recipient

Lydia Pierce, Conference and Event Services

"Lydia has made a huge impact in a small amount of time. I am very confident she will only continue to flourish . . . [she] definitely embodies Joe Paul’s encouraging phrase to “Leave it Better Than You Found it.” 


Peter Durkee Superstars

Emily Holmes 2019 Recipient

Emily Holmes, Director of the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement 

"Emily is a gem uncovered here in Student Affairs. She advocates for the students daily, as well as, supports the university and divisional goals and values. She is efficient, pays attention to detail and makes sure that everyone on her team is taken care of."
April Broome

2018 Recipient

April Broome, Assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Student Life

“April has become a stronghold of support. . . .There is never a question she cannot assist with; never a role she does not excel in. . . More than just getting the job done, April truly cares about the mission of the division and the institution as a whole which is why she goes above and beyond her “day” job duties as serves as Staff Council president as well as advises a sorority. . . . Many times you will find April behind the scenes—not asking for the accolades or recognition but truly working hard from her own intrinsic motivation to make a difference."

Tom Deus

2017 Recipient

Thomas Deus, Associate Director for Recreational Sports

"Not only is Tom a key contributor to the success of Recreational Sports, he is also a strong supporter of the mission, vision, and goals of the [Division] of Student Affairs. His mentorship continues to be a catalyst in the professional development of his employees and peers.” 


Pillars of Student Affairs

Charlotte Roberts 2019 Recipient

Charlotte Roberts, Campus Recreation

"Charlotte is a long time employee of the university and a trusted team member of Campus Recreation, she has always embodied integrity. Her main focus is to do the best possible job so that the students and the university community can enjoy the Payne Center facilities."
 Silhouette

2018 Recipient

Rodger Jackson, Assistant Director of Facilities and Operations for Housing and Residence Life

“[Rodger’s] do-it-yourself and can-do attitude is contagious and drives tradesmen and women to strive toward success. Extremely pleasant to work with, Rodger is committed to improving college students’ housing experiences at this university and, quite frankly, is incapable of having a bad day.


Distinguished Friend of Student Affairs

Belinda Patterson 2019 Recipient

Belinda Patterson, Event Management Coordinator for Parking Management

"Belinda is always willing to lend a helping hand and go above and beyond when needed. She is someone willing to step in and get the job done alongside the rest of her team when necessary. She is not someone who stands around on the outside and just tells others what to do. She would never say "That is not my job." She responds quickly and works with us to make sure we are satisfied." 
Julie Reid

2018 Recipient

Julie Reid, PhD, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs

“As chairwoman of the VPSA Screening Committee, Julie was fully responsible for ensuring the committee members were organized, attended meetings, and asked thoughtful interview questions. She also collected and organized multiple rounds of feedback and created the committee’s final report to Dr. Moser. . . . The most commendable aspect is the fact that she approached this task with all the seriousness it deserved [and] she brought that disposition to every single interaction she had with this process."

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Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
210 R. C. Cook Student Union

Hattiesburg Campus

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StudentAffairsFREEMississippi

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601.266.5020