School Department News

School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 3:30pm

The Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation’s Ann Morris Memorial Fund recently awarded $10,000 to the William Carey University Quality of Life Project, which pairs students with adults with intellectual disabilities. The money will support recreational and educational projects.  


The Pinebelt Community Foundation also awarded $10,000 to a program called “Harnessing Adults’ Full Potential Through Music Therapy.”  This program will provide music therapy services to adults with intellectual disabilities at day rehabilitation centers to increase acquisition of skill building and activities for daily living.  


"This Quality of Life project provides both William Carey University students and clients opportunities to learn from each other while enjoying educational and recreational outings,” stated Dr. Paul Cotten, Quality of Life director.  “Not only do our students become better prepared to work with individuals with disabilities, but they also become aware of the special nature of their clients.  An interdependent relationship between students and clients is developed, thanks to the opportunities provided by the funding.


“The music therapy program is truly blessed as the funds will be used to engage William Carey University music therapy graduates and train future music therapists while bringing new programmatic services to PineBelt Mental Health Resources,” said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy.


The Ann Morris Memorial Fund was set up to assist area nonprofit organizations that coordinate programs that enrich the quality of life of intellectually challenged adults. “Our grant selection committee is made up of individual reviewers who ensure that all funding is given to organizations that meet the criteria of the donor,” said Theresa Erickson, executive director of the Pinebelt Community Foundation.


The Pinebelt Community Foundation exists to strengthen communities by connecting charitably minded people to causes that matter most to them. For more information, contact the Community Foundation at (601) 583-6180 or

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 7:51am
The William Carey University Cultural Society Alumni Chapter awarded a scholarship to Carey freshman Aubreanna Moffett of Mount Olive during a membership dinner at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Hattiesburg on Feb. 20.
The scholarship was presented to Moffett by Dennis Miller, a 1988 graduate and chapter president, and Linda Montgomery, a 1985 graduate and chapter secretary.
The chapter, organized in 2012, was the first Carey alumni chapter to officially organize. It is also the first Carey alumni chapter to award a scholarship. Moffett is the first recipient of the chapter scholarship.
Moffett, a student in Carey’s pre-pharmacy biology track, plans to attend pharmacy school following graduation from the university.
Monday, January 4, 2016 - 9:12am
William Carey University will offer an online master’s degree in criminal justice beginning with the winter term in February 2016.
The master’s degree offers several benefits to those with an interest in the field, said Dr. Karla Pope, chair of Carey’s Department of Criminal Justice.
“For students currently employed in the field of criminal justice, the master’s degree will offer a competitive edge when testing for promotion within the agency and, in some instances, will provide an educational pay incentive,” said Pope. “A master’s degree also provides qualifications for an individual wanting to teach criminal justice at the undergraduate level in community colleges or on the university level.”
The degree will also provide an opportunity for graduates of Carey’s undergraduate criminal justice program to continue their education. The criminal justice program started at the Tradition campus in Biloxi in fall 2012 with two students and has now expanded to more than 60 students.
“The growth of the undergraduate program, along with many inquiries from people within the field who already have bachelor’s degrees but would like to earn a master’s degree in a convenient format, prompted us to establish the master’s degree,” said Pope.
The degree, which is offered in both Master of Arts and Master of Science tracks, consists of 30 required hours. Twenty-four of the 30 hours will be required courses. The M.A. degree track will include an additional six hours of thesis work. The M.S. track will include six hours of additional electives and a comprehensive written exam upon conclusion of the required coursework.
For more information on the master’s degree or the undergraduate degree in criminal justice, contact Pope at (228) 702-1834 or by email at
Friday, August 28, 2015 - 9:56am
A research team from William Carey University recently contributed their time and talents to the development of a self-cleaning glass cellphone screen protector.
The screen protector, called e-RACE, is a product of Reactive Surfaces Ltd. The company has offices, research facilities and manufacturing operations at the Accelerator, a business incubator owned by the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Tyler Hodges, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Carey, became involved with the project after meeting officials from the company during work at the Accelerator. Carey later received a $40,000 grant from the company to assist in the development of the screen protector and related products.
To assist in his work, Hodges recruited a team of student interns, including Carey students Allison Burnett, a graduate student in biological sciences from Gulfport; Jessica Posey, a senior biology major from Port Sulphur, Louisiana; Kyle Powell, a senior biology major from Hattiesburg; and Nick Anglin, a sophomore biology major from Ovett. Hodges and his team worked for over a year on the screen protector, which contains an all-natural enzyme designed to break down grease from a cellphone’s daily use.
“The enzyme breaks down oils and creates soap that helps remove fingerprints, oil from skin and other debris, like makeup,” said Hodges.
The Carey team worked on all aspects of the screen protector, from the laboratory science behind the enzyme to assistance with the product’s commercialization and final packaging. The team worked closely with USM’s Thames-Rawlins Research Group in all aspects of the project, as well as with researchers from the Mississippi Polymer Institute.
“It was an opportunity for the students to receive experience in many areas,” said Hodges. “It was also a great opportunity for students to be exposed to science outside of the traditional classroom setting.”
Steve McDaniel, CEO of Reactive Surfaces, said he was pleased to work with Hodges and the team of Carey students.
“Dr. Hodges has contributed significantly to the commercialization and launch of this first product,” said McDaniel. “Reactive Surfaces has also been very pleased with the student interns program, under which it has supported the work of several Carey students to give them hands-on experience in a commercial laboratory setting.”
The e-RACE protector is on sale now for iPhone models 5, 6 and 6 Plus. For more information or to purchase, visit
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 11:05am
William Carey University will hold commencement ceremonies on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 in Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The Friday ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. for doctoral candidates from the School of Education and the Fail School of Nursing as well as Specialist in Education candidates from both the Hattiesburg and Tradition campuses. The speaker will be Dr. Chuck Benigno, superintendent of the Laurel School District.
Three ceremonies will be held on Saturday, beginning with the 9:30 a.m. ceremony for graduate students from the Hattiesburg campus. The speaker is Jermaine Brown, principal of Hattiesburg High School.
The second Saturday ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. for undergraduate students from the Hattiesburg campus. The speaker is Dr. Steven Bishop, president of Southwest Mississippi Community College in McComb.
The final Saturday ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. for graduate and undergraduate students from the Tradition campus. Dr. Argile Smith, pastor of Parkway Baptist Church in Biloxi and former interim president of Louisiana College, will be the speaker.
For more information on Carey’s commencement ceremonies, contact the registrar’s office at (601) 318-6051.