USM Institute for Disability Studies Honored with Above and Beyond Award (MS UCEDD)

August 2, 2017

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) has been presented with the Above and Beyond Award by the Mississippi Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office.

The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers who provide extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the Mississippi Guard and Reserve.

Cassie Hicks, director of Housing at IDS, accepted the award on behalf of IDS from Aubrey Ray, Mississippi ESGR state chair, and General Janson "Durr" Boyles, Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard. Dr. Beth Bryant, executive director of IDS, also attended the recognition ceremony held at the Old Capitol Inn in Jackson on June 7.

"It was an honor to be nominated and selected for this award from ESGR," said Hicks. "The Institute for Disability Studies stands as an advocate for employees in our workforce who are also serving our country in the capacity of Guard and Reserve employees."

"The Institute is privileged to have the opportunity to support, in any way we can, members of our staff, who not only serve individuals with disabilities and their families across Mississippi, but also apply their time and talents to the cause of freedom," said Bryant. "We deeply appreciate their service."

The Institute for Disability Studies, Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), has been headquartered at The University of Southern Mississippi for more than 40 years. For more information about IDS, call at 601.266.5163 or visit