All posts by Dr. Dave Davies

Dr. Dave Davies

Faces of HoCo: Meet our terrific grad assistants

Today we’re beginning a series on the blog called “Faces of HoCo,” a regular feature in which I’ll introduce folks who are associated with the Honors College who do so much to help our students. Today we’re featuring Allison Gilliard and Johnell Anderson-Goins, the college’s graduate assistants. They do a fine job for us, and the students love them. We do, too!

Dr. Dave Davies

Interdisciplinary students present their research

Meagan Ishee, Paula Mathis, and Alex Pickle

Meagan Ishee, Paula Mathis, and Alex Pickle

Two Interdisciplinary Studies students, Meagan Ishee and Alex Pickle, presented their research to a group of professors today as part of the process to complete their honors theses in the Honors College. Pictured above with HoCo Senior Honors coordinator Paula Mathis, the two successfully presented a summary of their research projects and and are now primed for graduation in December.

Pickle, a senior from Jackson, and Ishee, a senior from Laurel,  did an excellent job describing and defending their research. A short video of each student explaining his or her project is below. Congratulations to both of these terrific students!

Dr. Dave Davies

Honors College faculty recognized

We like to brag on our faculty in the Honors College. Faculty at Southern Miss are the hardest-working academics you’ll find, and we’re lucky in Honors to have a fine working relationship with the six academic colleges — Health, Arts & Letters, Business, Science & Technology, Nursing, and Education & Technology. These colleges”lend” us their faculty to teach our classes and to guide our students through their senior research projects.

Today at University Research Awards Day a number of professors from across the university who also teach for us in Honors received awards for their research. These professors — like so many of their peers at Southern Miss — are not just good teachers but also first-rate scholars whose work contributes to our understanding of the world around us. Dr. Stan Kuczaj, (who teaches PSY110 for us), Dr. Andrew Wiest (HIS101 and 102), and Dr. Jeff Wiggins (who will teach HON301 in the spring) all won awards. To give you a sense of the depth of these profs’ accomplishments, I’ve posted a YouTube video of Dr. Wiest as he received his award.

Dr. Jay Dean of the School of Music and Dr. Carol Connell of the College of Health also received awards recognizing their work. Congratulations to all of these fine scholars!

Dr. Dave Davies

Our debaters take on the British

The Southern Miss Debate Society sponsored a debate tonight between two of its debaters and two members of the National British Debate team. The debaters played to a packed house in the Thad Cochran Center, sparring over the question of whether hate speech should be regulated by the state.

I was incredibly proud of our Southern Miss debaters, as both were members of the Honors College. My warmest congratulations to Brandon Hersey of Hattiesburg, a junior political science major, and Michael Sims of Hattiesburg, a polymer science and chemistry double major.

To give you an idea of the quality of the debate, below is a snippet of an argument posed by British debater Willard Foxton. (Click here for a Student Printz article about the debate.)

Dr. Dave Davies

Advice to freshmen

We academic-types are always looking for words of wisdom to pass along to incoming freshmen. The perfect advice, it seems to me at least, would prepare our newest students to take advantage of the incredible range of opportunities that will come their way in the next four years. Navigating my Facebook feed the other day, I ran across a terrific post by Honors College alumna Amelia Steadman McGowan, Class of 2006, that offered just the message I’d want freshmen to hear.

Can’t believe it was ten years ago that I moved into Mississippi Hall at The University of Southern Mississippi for four of the best years of my life. I remember well-intentioned people in high school telling me “I could do so much better,” but for me, I couldn’t have chosen a better place. Because of USM, I learned to think and read critically; attained Spanish fluency and a basic knowledge of Mandarin; studied all over Vietnam; wrote a 70-page thesis on a topic I loved; made close friends from over 30 countries; learned to dance bhangra, salsa, and merengue; gained a deep understanding for and appreciation of Latin American history; learned to sing J-Pop and K-Pop; joined an interleague bowling team (Go Team Asia!); enjoyed performances by Itzhak Perelman, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma; celebrated Navratri and Diwali with the Indian Students’ Association; learned basic karate; competed at a regional College Bowl tournament; and really became the “adult” I am today. I am forever grateful to my alma mater and to my family, friends, and professors who made it all possible. So to all of you new Eagles, be proud of your new school, and live these four years to the very fullest. Take advantage of all USM has to offer, and if I can help you in any way, let me know. You’re going to have a blast!