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March 7, 2016
Alumni Spotlight on Stephen Surles
Stephen Surles is Senior Manager, Field Operation and Technical Services for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Stephen oversees management of the regional development team throughout the seven-state TVA service area. He previously served as a regional development specialist with TVA Economic Development in Mississippi, where he supported local distributors of TVA power, the Mississippi Development Authority and regional and local economic development organizations. Before coming to TVA, Stephen was executive director of the Union County (Mississippi) Development Association. While there, he was instrumental in bringing Vuteq USA and Toyota Tsusho, tier 1 Toyota suppliers, to the community, as well as many retail establishments, including Lowe's Home Improvement. Surles previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Monroe County Council of Governments in Aberdeen and Amory, Mississippi. A native of Albany, Georgia, Stephen earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Troy University in Alabama before coming to Southern Miss for his MSED.
Economic Development Students Getting Hands-On Experience with IMPLAN
Students in ED 722 Economic Development Theory & Research Methods are getting hands-on experience using IMPLAN, the leading tool for analyzing the economic impact of changes within a local economy. They are learning to build a model of a local economy and analyze community data in addition to getting experience on analyzing the economic impact of an economic development event or activity. In addition to the hands-on experience, Paul Hendershot of the IMPLAN Group LLC taught a webinar. The hallmark of IMPLAN is the specificity of its economic datasets. The database includes information for 536 different industries (generally at the four or five digit North American Industrial Classification level), and twenty-one different economic variables. Along with these data files, national input-output structural matrices detail the interrelationships between and among these sectors.  Being able to utilize tools like IMPLAN is crucial for today's data-driven economic development.
Stone County Retail Analysis in the News
WLOX was there to cover the presentation of the 2015 Stone County, Mississippi Retail Trade Analysis to community leaders in Wiggins.  See Study says millions of dollars could be leaving Stone County
Rhonda Phillips Named to Prestigious Planning College of Fellows
Press Release: March 2, 2016
Rhonda Phillips, Ph.D., AICP, of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana has achieved the planning profession's highest honor by being named to the prestigious American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for her outstanding achievements in urban and regional planning.
Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. Invitations to join the College of Fellows come after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the candidate has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the planning profession.
An alumna of the University of Southern Mississippi ('83 BS Geography and '86 MS Economic Development), Phillips began her career in planning at USM, where she took courses on the topic in the Geography Department. Years later, she returned as a faculty member in the department to direct the Community Planning and Development program and to teach in the Economic Development Program. View Full Press Release.
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Hattiesburg, MS 39401-0001