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News Southern Miss celebrates Graduate Student Appreciation Week

Southern Miss celebrates Graduate Student Appreciation Week


The University of Southern Mississippi’s Graduate School honored the contributions and accomplishments of its graduate students through its third annual “Graduate Student Appreciation Week,” April 3 – 7.

“We do this event to show our apperception for our graduate students and also showcase to the university and outside community what contributions our graduate students make to the university, the communities we live in- and beyond,” said Vanessa Molden, Graduate School Appreciation Week Coordinator.

According to Molden, the event allows graduate students to engage in activities that showcase their scholarship, research and creativity, enrich their education through professional development and foster interdisciplinary networking.

“Most people want to be appreciated. They want people to value what they do and bring to the table,” said Molden. “We know that being based as such a research university, that we can not effectively and definitely not efficiently achieve the university’s mission without the work of our graduate students.”

The week kicked off with its’ signature event, the unveiling of the Graduate School Hall of Fame on the second floor of McCain Library. It showcases outstanding graduate students from each of the university’s academic colleges.

“When I came to the United States to pursue my graduate degree in mass communication, I intended to do my very best in my studies and make my family and my country proud. There were some difficult moments along the way, but I now realize that they prepared me for the future, which is now the present,” said Student in mass communication and journalism and Three Minute Thesis Grand Champion Ecaterina (Kate) Stepaniuc.

“Being recognized by the MCJ department and the Graduate School means that I leaned on God’s guidance during this time, and He rewarded me for my faithfulness and hard work,” Stepaniuc said. “It wasn’t just me and my dedication towards getting receiving recognition and awards. My incredible professors and my dissertation chair and good friend, Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer have guided me and supported me throughout this entire process.”

The canvas portraits of the students, photographed in their research environment, will be displayed in the Office of the Graduate School for one year.

On Tuesday, there were professional development activities including the Susan A. Siltanen Graduate Student Research Symposium in the Thad Cochran Center. Sessions to assist students in preparing theses, dissertations and applying for Fulbright U.S. Student Grant Program, as well as others workshops were held.

Events continued on Wednesday with a meet and greet reception with Justin Brown, senior scientist at Asuragen, a biotechnology company which focuses on development of new therapeutics and diagnostic tests in molecular oncology and genetics.

Brown, a Ph.D graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, discussed how he has successfully navigated concerns in molecular science, manufacturing, business development, intellectual property, incoming market research, outgoing marketing, quality assurance, clinical affairs, and regulatory compliance.

Appreciation week continues Thursday with workshops such as, citation management and dissertation submissions, and wraps up Friday with a social meet and greet featuring Brown.

The week’s events are being offered in partnership with Office of the Vice President for Research, Department of Biological Science, Cook Library, Honors College and Graduate Student Senate.


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