USM dedicates week-long event to diversity


The Office of Multicultural Programs and Services will host International Diversity & Education Week (IDEW) at Southern Miss this week.

The week-long event “aims to highlight the diversity within the Southern Miss community and start the conversation on important current events and issues,” according to Office of Study Abroad Coordinator Hannah Jones.

The week will start with a “Minorities Abroad” program Monday at 5:30 p.m., during which minority students, who have been abroad, will discuss their experiences with participants in the R.C. Lounge.

The Office of Study Abroad will sponsor a “Study Abroad Fair” Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Atrium, during which students interested in studying abroad can talk to study abroad program directors, as well as talk to other students who have been abroad.

“Study Abroad 101,” which will take place on Tuesday 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. Students can learn further details about various study abroad programs during this event.

The English Language Institute and International Student & Scholar Services will host a “Cultural Fair” Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center Atrium, during which USM students from different countries will speak to others about their cultures.

“I think it’s extremely important now more than ever to take a moment to celebrate our differences,” Jones said. “Our backgrounds and cultural differences are what make America an amazing place to be. We are a rich melting pot, and sometimes, I think we forget that. [That’s] why I love International and Diversity Education Week; it tries to remind us of [that.]”

The Office of Study Abroad will sponsor “British Studies Program: Fish & Chips Lunch” Wednesday from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the R.C. Lounge, during which those interested in going on the British Studies Program can learn about it while they enjoy a popular English dish.

During all the week’s events or in the Office of Study Abroad, students will be able to get a IDEW “passport.”

“They will have a chance to win prizes based on the stamps in the passport,” Jones said. “They get those stamps based off the items completed in the passport, [such as] liking our study abroad Facebook page and going to events.”

Participants are asked to turn in their passports before 1 p.m. Friday to the Office of Study Abroad or at the passport table in the Thad Cochran Center Atrium for a chance to win raffle prizes.

According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Education Week celebrates “the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide” and is part of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education’s “efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.”

For more information about International Diversity & Education Week visit the USM Office of Study Abroad’s webiste at