Research Day brings USM professors together in collaborative spirit

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 9:04 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - If you thought academic research was dry and uninteresting, you haven’t seen this.

Friday was the University of Southern Mississippi’s annual Research Day at the Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs. Eighty research professors showcased their achievements.

The collaboration at the event helps develop creative ideas with real-life applications we all can understand. We all can relate to hurricanes and the damage they cause.

Dr. Salar Kamari’s current research focuses on construction sites to identify potential physical disaster thus, preventing financial disaster.

“So that the owners and contractors will be able to relocate those vulnerable elements before the hurricane so they can minimize the risk to their job site and neighboring community,” said the assistant professor of construction and design.

And he said the USM Research Day is a precious moment to invite researchers of other disciplines to boost his academic exposure.

“We all need to so some interdisciplinary research to be able to attract the funding to the university, be able to publish our publications in good journals.”

At first glance, the pilot study by Allison Formanack, assistant professor of anthropology, may seem a little odd.

“Basically, I’m asking why so many 20-, 30-somethings are going against the tradition of buying a house and are instead buying vans, school buses, campers,” she said. “Basically, taking to the road instead of home ownerships.”

Useless? Not if you look at the residual effect of a nomadic life and the public support that would be needed.

“If you’re traveling all around the United States often times your health insurance is tied to a state of residence.” she said. “And how do you vote in elections?”

This is the kind of academia that, say, computer researchers probably would never see - nor participate in - if it weren’t for Research Day.

“It’s really important that our research scientists and other researchers at the university and people engaged in scholarly activity can communicate with one another, get to know what skills others have, interests they have,” said Dr. Kelly Lucas, vice president for research at USM. “So, they can collaborate and bring everybody to the table.”

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