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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 2022, 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.

Fall 2023 Events

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

Academic Success
September 13
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Sophomore September: 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. Prizes are up for grabs to the winning groups!


Cook Library 206Z
October 10
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Success Experts: Prioritizing Success
Join the Center for Student Success in developing prioritization skills, studying more efficiently, and setting yourself up for success after midterms.
Cook Library 206Z
November 7
Time: 11 a.m.-1  p.m.
Study Abroad Fair
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! 
TCC Atrium
November 15
2:30-4 p.m.
Success Experts: De-stress with CSS

Enjoy some fun with CSS an let go of some of that stress before preparing for finals.

Cook Library 206Z
Due by November 17
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
Due by November 17
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 Success
September 21
Time: 5-6 p.m .
Sophomore September: Explore Your Skills
Union Room B
November 1
Time: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Career and Internship Expo
Meet and network with employers to find internships and career opportunities.
Thad Cochran Center
November 14
Time: 5 p.m .
Finding Your Pathway
Thad Cochran Center 214
Due by November 17
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
Due by November 17
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 Ashley.BurnsideFREEMississippi
Career Services
McLemore Hall first floor
Leadership Success
September 21
Time: 5-6 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!
Union Lobby
September 26
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Sophomore September: Ask an Eagle Student Panel
Learn from the experiences of other Southern Miss student leaders at this Q&A student panel! You'll hear more about how they overcame any challenges they met in their sophomore year and went on to be successful Southern Miss students.
LSI Office
Due by  November 17
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
August 29
2:30-4 p.m.
Success Experts: Planner Party with LSI
Bring your syllabi, digital or paper planners, and other important schedules to this workshop, and let the Center for Student Success (CSS) and Leadership and Student Involvement  show you how to maximize your time management skills this semester.
Student Activities Hub (110)
Thursday, March 30
Time: Celebration Reception at 4:15 p.m.
Photo opportunities are happening all day! 
Sophomore September: Kickoff Party
Join other sophomores as we celebrate the start of year two at Southern Miss! Join us for free food, music, games and giveaways and learn more about all that The Center for Student Success has to offer to sophomores! 
Centennial Green / Rain Location: Union Room B
September 29
7-9 p.m.
SMAC Event - USM Has Talent
Join SMAC for a fun event! 
Bennett Auditorium
October 18
7-9 p.m. 
SMAC Event - Murder Mystery
Join SMAC for a fun event! 
TCC Ballroom I
November 8
7 p.m.

SMAC Event - SMAC Presents

Join SMAC for a fun event! 

Joe Paul Student Theatre
Due by November 17
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

Spark audit forms will be reviewed the week after Fall 2023 exams and you will be notified of your Spark status before you return to classes in January 2024. 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 2024 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

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