Skip navigation

Student Success

Spark Sophomore Program


Earn $200 by Attending Campus Events

 What Is Spark?

Spark is a program just for sophomores at Southern Miss, designed to help tackle the “sophomore slump.” Instead of your feeling stuck, lost or confused during your time at USM, we want to help you thrive! Participating in Spark can ease the transition from freshman to sophomore to junior year by encouraging students to make the most of their second year.


Who Can Participate?

Any sophomore student can participate just by attending events on campus! These events will help you gain direction for your future; make a connection to Southern Miss, your peers and the community; and gain awareness about your own strengths and skills. Our goal is to assist you in becoming a more involved and informed student, so you’ll feel confident and prepared to enter your last two years of college.

To complete the Spark program you must be a sophomore, or second year college student. (If you started college in Fall 2021, this program is for you)!

What Is Required (and What Do You Get)?

Simply attend at least one event from each of the following 4 categories, and be sure to track your progress. Once you’ve attended an event from each of the four categories, complete the Spark audit form. At the end of the semester, we’ll confirm your participation and award you with a $200 textbook scholarship to be used on textbooks from Barnes and Noble the following semester.

All event attendance will be tracked and verified. Don’t forget to check in at each event in order to receive credit.

Spring 2023 Events

*More events may be added at a later date! Continue to check the calendar throughout the Spring 2023 semester. 

Academic Success
Thursday, February 2
Time: 4 p.m.
Study Abroad Info Session
Come learn more about the opportunities available to study abroad and broaden your academic horizons. We'll hear from the Office of Study Abroad about how to plan and trip and apply! 


Thad Cochran Center 214
Wednesday, February 15
Time: 4 p.m.
Library Escape Room
Get familiar with everything you need to know about the USM library in this escape room experience! No need to come with a team, we'll pair you into groups upon arrival. Pizza is provided and prizes are up for grabs to the winning groups!
Cook Library 206Z
Sign up in advance by clicking here.
Tuesday, March 29
Time: 4 p.m.
Getting Back on Track
Join the Center for Student Success in learning about the best ways to get yourself back on track with your routine and how to make the most of your academic resources. 
Union Room G
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/28/23
Complete an appointment with The Center for Student Success
Struggling with time management or study skills? Visit our website and make and appointment with one of our staff members for one-on-one assistance.
Cook Library
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/21/23
Complete an appointment with the Writing or Speaking Center
The Writing and Speaking Centers are a free, valuable resource for all students, be sure to take advantage of their services.
Cook Library
Career Focus
Thursday, March 2

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m .
Career and Internship Fair
Meet and network with employers to find internships and career opportunities.
To see what employers will be in attendance, visit Handshake
Thad Cochran Center
Tuesday, March 28

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dinner with a Dozen Eagles
Dinner with a Dozen Eagles is a networking dinner for students to meet and interact with 12 Southern Miss graduates from 12 different fields. Dinner is required and registration is required. Student Alumni Association (SAA) members can attend for free, and non-SAA members can attend for $10 that includes a semseter long membership in SAA. 
The Ogletree Alumni House

Click here to register! 
Wednesday, April 5
Time: 4 p.m .
Professional Promise Workshop
Make the most of your interactions with faculty and future employers by implementing helpful professional tips. 
Thad Cochran Center 216
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/21/23
Complete a Resume Review
Do you need help with your resume? Visit career services and meet with a career counselor to get real time feedback on how to make your resume stand out. Visit USM Career Services website for more information.
Career Services
McLemore Hall first floor
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/21/23
Join Southern Miss Connections
Southern Miss Connections is an online mentoring platform designed to connect students to successful alumni across the country. Create an account using your USM login credentials and reach out to connect to at least two alumni through the platform. Then send screenshots of the outreach to Lauren Bridges at L.BridgesFREEMississippi
Southern Miss Connections Website
Wednesday, February 15
Time: Noon-1:30 p.m.
Student Involvement Fair
Interested in getting involved, but don’t know where to start? Come find your match at the student organization involvement fair! Visit for more information. Be sure to check in at the LSI table for Spark credit!
Thad Cochran Center 2nd Floor
Friday, February 24 
Time: 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Student Leadership Summit
Apply to attend the Student Leadership Summit and learn more about about leadership tips and tricks to improve your skills! Apply by clicking here
Trent Lott Center
Friday, March 10
Time: 1-3 p.m. 
Allies Training
The Southern Miss ALLIES is a network of faculty, staff and students willing to be visibly supportive and affirming of Southern Miss students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. ALLIES seek to foster a campus climate in which community members, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression may feel safe, supported and respected. Sign up to attend an Allies Training by clicking here
Prism Hub 103
Ongoing during the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/21/23
Complete a meeting with a Student Involvement Ambassador
Meet with an involvement ambassador and find your perfect fit for a student organization! To set an appointment, click here.
LSI Office
Social Success
Thursday, February 9
6-9 p.m.
SMAC Scavenger Hunt
Join SMAC for a search around campus and meet other USM students, too! 
Reed Green Coliseum
Thursday, March 30

Time: Celebration Reception at 4:15 p.m.
Photo opportunities are happening all day! 
Southern Miss Founders' Day
Join Southern Miss faculty and staff for the Founders' Day Celebration Reception following the Student Awards Ceremony at 3 p.m. Snap a picture on the lawn or with the Founders' Day signs and post to social media using the hashtag #USMfoundersday. 
Bennett Auditorium
South Lawn
Wednesday, April 5
7-9 p.m.
SMAC Karaoke Night
Show off your skills and have fun with friends at SMAC’s open karaoke night at The Powerhouse! 
The Powerhouse
Thursday, April 27 
3-5 p.m. 
Halfway There Celebration
Come celebrate being halfway through with your college career at a party just for sophomores!
Cook Library
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring '23 semester, deadline is 4/28/23
Southern Miss Eagle Spirit
Attend at least one Southern Miss Athletics fall sporting event, take a picture of yourself at the game, and post it to Instagram using the hashtag #SouthernMissSpark. 
*Note: We will only be able to see your photo if your profile is set to public or if you are being followed by the @USM_success Instagram account. Follow us, and we'll follow back! 
Social Media

* Writing and Speaking Center appointments must be made to receive guidance with a specific academic assignment. To make an appointment at the Speaking Center, call 601.266.4965 or make an appointment online. To make an appointment at the Writing Center, call 601.266.4821 or make an appointment online. You must have an official and documented appointment with the centers to receive Spark credit. Walk-in appointments do not count. 

Verifying Your Participation

Once you have completed the requirements of the Spark program, you must complete the Spark audit form. The Center for Student Success will verify your attendance and eligibility for the textbook stipend only after you have completed this form. All spring forms are due on Friday, May 5. 

spark audit form spring 2023

Spark audit forms will be reviewed the week after Spring 2023 exams and you will be notified of your Spark status before you return to classes in August 2023. Scholarships will be awarded and loaded on to your student account by the first day of spring classes to use toward textbooks purchased for Fall 2023 classes.

The textbook scholarship is only redeemable at Barnes and Noble on the Southern Miss campus and you must be signed up for the Eagle Direct textbook program.

Contact Us

The Center for Student Success
Cook Library Room 138

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map





Student Help Website