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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 2020, 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. Don’t forget to check in at each event in order to receive credit.

Fall 2021 Events



Tuesday, September 21
Time: 12-2 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! 

South Endzone of the Football Stadium

Tuesday, September 28
Time: 12 p.m. (Noon)

Sophomore September: Ask An Eagle Student Panel

Learn from the experiences of other Southern Miss students on how to navigate your sophomore year. 

The Hub | LSI Office Suite


Friday, October 15
Time: 1 - 4 p.m.


Sophomore Day of Service

Give back to the Hattiesburg community by participating in a service project with the other sophomores!

Meet in the Cook Library Courtyard

Friday, October 29
Time: 12-4 p.m. 

Sophomore Strengths Summit

Are you interested in learning more about your strengths and how to apply them as a leader? Apply to attend the Strengths Summit! All students participating will take the Clifton StrengthsQuest assessment and attend a half day training on how to name, claim and aim your unique strengths! 

Trent Lott Center

Apply to participate in the Strengths Summit here:
On your own time in the Fall  ’21 semester, deadline is 11/5/21

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 

Career Focus    

Thursday, September 16 
5 p.m.

Sophomore September: Explore Your Skills

Learn about the soft skills you need to find a part-time job or internship with Career Services in this hour long workshop. Dinner will be provided at the end of the session! 

Union Room B

Wednesday, October 27
12-5 p.m.

Career and Internship Expo

Learn more about your internship and career opportunities with Career Services while engaging with potential employers. Bring a resume and come dressed for success! For more information visit the Career Services website. 

Thad Cochran Center 

Tuesday, November 16
4 p.m.

Finding Your Pathway

Internships are an important part of your college experience. Come learn about how you can begin your career pathway with an internship from previous USM students.

Location: TBA

Ongoing on your own time in the Fall '21 semester, deadline is 11/12/21

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 Fall ’21 semester, deadline is 11/19/21

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




Thursday, September 2
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Sophomore September: Kickoff Party

Join other sophomores for a sophomore only tailgate style lunch as we kick off the new school year!  We’ll have snacks and sophomore t-shirts to give away while supplies last! 

Union Plaza
(Between Subway and the football stadium)

Thursday, September 9
3:30 p.m.

SMAC Movie Night

Join SMAC as they host a movie viewing of "Shark Tale" in the Joe Paul Theater on campus! 

Joe Paul Student Theater

Wednesday, October 13
Time: TBA

USM Has Talent

Join SMAC at the USM Has Talent annual event as they showcase the many talents of your fellow Southern Miss students! 

Location: TBA

Tuesday, November 9
Time: TBA

SMAC Game Night

Join SMAC as they host a game night and see how you can win!  

Location: TBA

Ongoing during the Fall ’21 semester, deadline is 11/19/21

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


Wednesday, September 8
5 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 Lobby 

Monday, September 13

McNair Music Roundtable

Learn more about the McNair Scholars program while discussing the wonders of music! Attendance is limited at this event, and pre-registration is required. Click here to register. 

JB George 142


Thursday, October 14
4 p.m. 

Citation Management Workshop

Join us for a citation management workshop to become a pro at citing all your sources for your next paper. 

Cook Library 209A

Ongoing on your own time in the Fall ’21 semester, deadline is 11/19/21

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.

Cook Library
Ongoing on your own time in the Fall ’21 semester, deadline is 11/19/21

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

* 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 Fall 2021 exams and you will be notified of your Spark status before you return to classes in January 2022. Stipends will be awarded and loaded on to your student account by the first day of spring classes to use toward textbooks purchased for Spring 2022 classes.

The textbook stipend is only redeemable at Barnes and Noble on the Southern Miss campus and is compatible with the Eagle Direct program. 

Click here to complete the Spark Audit Form by December 3, 2021.

Contact Us

The Center for Student Success
Cook Library Room 138

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map