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Student Highlights

Degree sought: Polymer Science BS, Chemistry BS
Institution: The University of Southern Mississippi
Research group: Thames-Rawlins Research Group
Area of study: Epoxy Thermosets
Hometown: Moss Point, MS

Give a brief synopsis of research you are conducting.

My current work focuses on the development of improved materials used in high performance matrix materials. The first phase is the characterization and removal of thermal residual stresses developed during the curing process of epoxy thermosets. The second stage  will be the analysis of stress evolution through physical aging of neat epoxy samples.

From your perspective, what do you see as an ideal fit toward a career based upon your education at USM?

I am pursuing a career in the polymer industry after completion of an advanced degree. Since my passion lies in composites and is also the area of my current work, I plan to obtain a job in that field.

What's an interesting (personal) fact about yourself?

Outside of my academic career at USM, I am actively involved in mission work both with my church in Moss Point and my church in Hattiesburg. Through various mission trips, I have experienced numerous cultures and aided people from diverse backgrounds.

Why did you choose USM?

My decision to attend USM began in middle school when I attended a three-week polymer science course at the university. I continued my interest in polymer science through enrollment in the polymer science course at my high school.  USM was my top pick because of its welcoming environment and leading research in the field of polymer science.

What USM-related scholarships did you receive?

I received a Presidential Scholarship, Sidney Lauren Memorial Scholarship, and a CIEF scholarship through The University of Southern Mississippi.

Awards won.

RJG Decoupled Molding II Training (2013); CIEF Scholar (2013); USM’s Dean’s List (2010-2013)

Main USM extracurricular activity – why is this important to you?

My involvement in the Honors College Ambassadors is most important to me. I have served as an ambassador for USM’s Honors College for the past three years and have assisted in its growth into a flourishing, vital part of the Honors College. We have formed a sub-group of the Ambassadors, known as the Senior Honors Board.  It directly aids in the transition between junior and senior honors, as well as serves as the hosts for the annual Honors Research Conference.

Your most profound turning point while at USM?

Being elected as President for the Polymer Science Association (PSA) was the focal point for me at USM.  I have the privilege of working with fellow students and redirect discussion as needed to enhance faculty/student relationships.  Also, it provides me the opportunity to promote our program to prospective high school and community college students, as well as industries across America and internationally.  This provides a stepping stone for fellow students as we graduate and enter the field of polymers.

What are your plans for next year and beyond?

My plans for this coming school year are to advance my knowledge in the field of polymers through coursework and research. After completion of my degree in the spring of 2014, I plan to continue my education at a leading polymer university. Beyond that, I foresee working and traveling with polymer industrial global operations.

While at USM, what other accomplishments or activities are you most proud?

I am most proud of my continued involvement in extracurricular activities, despite the rigorous course load during my undergraduate experience. Being involved in numerous organizations at different levels has taught me how to balance my schedule, be an effective leader, and promote school spirit at USM.


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