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News Arts and Letters appoints directors, chairs

Arts and Letters appoints directors, chairs

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Ann Marie Kinnell. new director of Anthropology and Sociology- Courtesy Photo
Ann Marie Kinnell. new director of Anthropology and Sociology- Courtesy Photo

The University of Southern Mississippi College of Arts and Letters has named five new department chairs and directors.

Former program director for sociology, Ann Marie Kinnell, has become director of Anthropology and Sociology. She also serves as the director of the Nonprofit Studies program since 2005.  Since Kinnell joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1997, she has been a member of several committees over the years, including the University Assessment Committee and the GEC Assessment Committee.

“I hope to continue facilitating the positive things we are doing within the department to support excellent teaching and research in anthropology, sociology and nonprofit studies,” Kinnell said.

She also hopes to continue focus on student research by encouraging faculty/student collaboration and students’ independent research. 

“One specific goal I have for this year is to expand our recruitment activities to get the word out that not only is Southern Miss a great place to be but (also) that we have great anthropology, sociology and nonprofit studies programs that will both (broaden) students’ understanding of the world and prepare them for their future careers,” Kinnell said.

Kinnell received a Ph.D. in sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington and a Master of Arts in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

David Butler, who joined the university faculty in 2001, has been named as chair of the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs. He previously served three times as director of the Southern Miss International Development doctoral program.

David L. Butler, named as chair of the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs. -Courtesy photo
David L. Butler, named as chair of the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs. -Courtesy photo

Butler received a bachelor’s degree in history at Texas A&M University, a master’s in geography from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in geography at the University of Cincinnati.

Previously the dean of the Honors College, David Davies serves as the interim director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. He is also the director of the British Studies Program and the Chateau Program.

Davies received a bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in journalism at the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University, a master’s degree in American history at Southern Miss and a Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of Alabama.

Stacy Reischman Fletcher, chair of the Department of Dance, has taken over as acting director for the School of Music as a national search is carrying on for the position. Reischman Fletcher began as a faculty member at Southern Miss in 2000 then began administering the dance unit in 2003. She has served as interim chair of theatre and dance for 2004-2005.

Reischman Fletcher received an undergraduate degree in theatre arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance at Ohio State University.Marek Steedman, director of American Studies program, has also been named director of Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS). This role involves collaboration among faculty on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses.

“This is a time of great change for the program,” Steedman said. “We have moved into new space this fall, in Southern Hall, and we have new faculty, Kevin Greene and Marcus Coleman, and a new Associate Director, Casey Maugh, on the Gulf Coast campus.”

“We hope to transition to being a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies during the upcoming academic year,” he said.

Steedman joined the faculty at Southern Miss in 2005 and has served as director of the master’s program in political science. His goal is to encourage growth of IDS on the Gulf Park campus, and make Southern Hall welcoming to current and prospective students.

Steedman received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan.

Nikki Smith
Journalist, animal lover, runner, crochet extraordinaire. Follow along with me on Instagram: @_nikki_smith.

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