HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - In the wake of Gov. Phil Bryant's energy summit last week, Southern Miss President Dr. Rodney Bennett is taking time to tout some of what he calls the "life-changing" energy research going on at USM. During a media roundtable Wednesday morning, Dr. Bennett introduced faculty and students involved in ground-breaking energy research on solar cells and plant oils.
He said the National Institutes of Health has given the school more than $55 million to conduct research that he said will help transform the country.
During last week's summit, Dr. Bennett served on a panel discussing energy research at USM.
"A lot of times we think that you have to go other places, in order to have these kinds of opportunities," said Bennett. "But, we are providing our students right here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with the types of laboratory experiences that are going to change the way we live our lives," he said.
Meanwhile, the university is gearing up for fall commencement this Friday. More than 1,100 students will receive degrees in two separate ceremonies.
And restoration work continues on the Ogletree House, the headquarters of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, which was heavily damaged in last February's tornado. Dr. Bennett says it's on schedule to be re-occupied by June 30, 2014.