USM sees national scholarship success

For five years, Southern Miss has had an Office of Scholarships, and since then, the university has had twice as many national scholarship winners as any other university in the state.

Robyn Curtis, National Scholarship Officer, said Southern Miss students have quickly become serious contenders in the battle for these national awards.

“In the last few years we’ve really done more than hold our own, comparatively we’re doing really well,” Curtis said. “We build on our momentum a little more each year.”

The momentum picked up immensely this year as Southern Miss produced two Goldwater Scholars, one Truman Scholar and two Fulbright Scholarship finalists. A Hollings Scholar and eight Gilman Scholars also callUSM home, according to Curtis.

“We’re definitely gaining traction,” Curtis. “This year is the perfect example. No other university in the state can say they’ve had the scholars we have this year.”

Curtis credited the success to both the professors and students involved.

“It’s gotten to the point where faculty are really aware of our office and sending students to me at the right time,” Curtis said. “Students are having an expectation and understanding of what we do.”

Curtis said the typical scholarship application should be started at least a month before the deadline, but such prestigious scholarships as the Truman and Goldwater could take several months to complete.

“Students are always welcome to just come in and we can talk about their major, activities and plans after graduation to see if there’s a program that would be a good fit for them,” Curtis said, adding that she deals primarily with undergraduates, but graduate students and even alumni have some available options.

“We’re definitely gaining traction, and we’re able to hold our heads high,” Curtis said. “No one else has the record we’ve had in the past couple of years.”