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October 26, 2015
Center for Logistics, Trade, and Transportation Poised to Enhance Services 
USM's Administration completed management changes for the Center for Logistics, Trade and Transporation to enhance its interactions with industries and agencies through the state and nation. As of October 9th, CLTT began administratively operating as a component of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Shannon Campbell, Director of Lott National Center, will assume all managerial responsibility for CLTT operations to create greater focus on economic development and cross collaborations among colleges within the University. The Masters of Science in Logistics, Trade and Transportation will operate through the School of Construction whose new Director, Dr. Eric Connell, enthusiastically supports the academic arm of CLTT and understands its importance to the state and region.
Ashley Edwards to Head Gulf Coast Business Council
Ashley Edwards, who has served as CEO of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission since 2013, will become the new president of the Gulf Coast Business Council effective Dec. 1.
Edwards will become the third director of the organization that gave Coast businesses a unified voice following Hurricane Katrina. Among the accomplishments of the group are working to control insurance rates following the storm and helping create Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast to promote tourism across the three counties.
Edwards was a member of former Gov. Haley Barbour's senior staff for six years and worked as deputy director of Barbour's Office of Recovery and Renewal. He also was executive director of Gov. Phil Bryant's Office of Recovery.
A native of Petal, he has a Bachelor's degree from Tulane University and a Master's degree in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received the Outstanding Master of Science in Economic Development Graduate Award.
This year, he led efforts that resulted in the expansion of DAK Americas in Hancock County, creating 86 additional jobs. In 2014, Edwards he was instrumental of bringing Jindal Tubular ASA's pipe manufacturing facility to Port Bienville, a $110 million capital investment.
GMAT/GRE Test Waiver Approved for MSED Program
Effective January 2016, a waiver of the GMAT/GRE test requirement for MSED program has been approved for  applicants with five years or more of progressively responsible work experience.  Candidates seeking the waiver will need to submit a memo to the MSED graduate coordinator as part of their application. Request for a waiver will be reviewed by members of the College of Business Graduate Programs Advisory Council (GPAC) with a majority required to support the waiver.
Generally the GPAC members will be looking for a minimum of 5 years but work experience alone is not sufficient.  The applicant has to demonstrate that this experience was progressive in responsibilities and involved supervision of functions and/or employees. In the last few years, scores of business schools including such top-ranked institutions have begun waiving the GMAT requirement. Peer reviewed research has shown that work experience is a better predictor of success in a MBA program than the GMAT (Deis & Kheirandish, 2010).
As Braunstein (2002) noted in his study of MBA programs, "there is a very strong positive relationship between years of work experience and academic achievement in the MBA program. Some highly experienced individuals are known to be reluctant to take the GMAT, and most are aware that there are other graduate schools of business that will accept them without it. Careful crafting of a policy waiving the GMAT requirement based on extensive work experience would likely bring to the program individuals who would be valuable contributors and who would succeed academically as well" (p. 477). 
Southern Miss Economic Development | [email protected] | 118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001