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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 2018, 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 stipend to be used on textbooks from Barnes and Noble the following semester.

All event attendance will be tracked and verified through Eaglelink. Don’t forget to swipe your USM ID at each event in order to receive credit.

Spring 2020 Events



Thursday, February 20

12 p.m. 

Black History Month Panel 

Join us for a panel during the University's Black History Month events to hear stories of success and leadership from Southern Miss staff members. 

TCC 216

Friday, March 6

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student Leadership Summit

If you are looking to develop your leadership skills, network with other campus leaders, and get some great advice from Southern Miss professionals, then the Summit is for you! To apply to be a delegate, click here

Trent Lott Center


Wednesday, March 11

7 p.m. 


Diversity and Inclusion Speaker: Selenis Leyva

Hosted by SMAC, come hear from actress Selenis Leyva on her experiences in the entertainment industry.

TCC Ballrooms
On your own time in the Spring 2020 semester, deadline is 4/10/20

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.   

The Hub 

Career Focus  


Sunday, February 16

6:30 p.m.

Suit Up at JCPenny

Make sure you are prepared for internship and job interviews with a professional wardrobe! Shop after hours at JCPenny and enjoy major discounts just for USM students on all professional apparel.

Turtle Creek Mall JCPenny

Wednesday, March 4

12 p.m.

Professional Promise Workshop

Make the most of your interactions with faculty and future employers by implementing helpful professional tips.

TCC 216

On your own time in the Spring 2020 semester, deadline is 4/24/20

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 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 Alumni Association Website 

On your own time in the Spring 2020 semester, deadline is 4/24/20

Complete a resume review with Career Services

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.

 Career Services



Friday, February 7

7 p.m. 

Think Fast Game Show

Join SMAC as they host a game show night in the Joe Paul Theater on campus! 

Joe Paul Theater

Saturday, March 7

8 a.m. 

The Big Event

Join Southern Miss students and SGA for a day of service for our campus and greater Hattiesburg community! Click here to sign up to participate in The Big Event.

 Location: TBA

March 30 - April 3

Southern Miss Spirit

Post a photo of you in one of your favorite places on campus during Southern Miss Founders' Week (March 30-April 3) and share your favorite Southern Miss memory! Use 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! 

Ongoing on your own time during the Spring '20 semester

Eagle Spirit

Attend at least one Southern Miss Athletics spring sporting event, take a picture of yourself at the game, and post it to Instagram using the hashtag #SouthernMissSpark.

Any Southern Miss sports arena



Wednesday, February 12

4:30 p.m.

Introduction to Library Database

The library has many free online resources to assist in research. Come learn how to access and utilize all of the databases they have to offer!

Chain Technology Center 207

Tuesday, March 31

3:30 p.m.

Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism

Learn how to avoid accidental plagiarism when writing your next paper with USM librarians.

If you were unable to watch live, you can watch the replay then take a short quiz to complete this course. 

 View workshop. 

Ongoing on your own time in the Spring 2020 semester, deadline 5/1/20

Complete an appointment with The Center for Student Success

Struggling with time management or study skills? Visit our website and make an appointment with one of our staff members for one-on-one assistance.

McLemore Hall 214
Ongoing on your own time in the Spring 2020 semester, deadline 4/24/20

Complete an appointment with the Speaking or Writing Center.*

The Writing and Speaking Centers are a free, valuable resource for all students, be sure to take advantage of their services.

Cook Library

* 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. 

Spark audit forms will be reviewed the week after Spring 2020 exams and you will be notified of your Spark status before you return to classes in August 2020. Stipends will be awarded and loaded on to your student account by August 21 to use toward textbooks purchased for Fall 2020 classes. You may also use your stipend for Summer 2020 classes instead of Fall 2020 by contacting Lauren Bridges after your audit form is submitted.

The textbook stipend is only redeemable at Barnes and Noble on the Southern Miss campus.

Click here to complete the Spark Audit Form by May 8, 2020.