Signature Q&A: Dave Davies

Dr. David R. Davies is professor in the School of Communication at the University of Southern Mississippi. From 2007 to 2014, he was the dean of the Southern Miss Honors College, and from 2014 to 2018 he was director of the School of Mass Communication & Journalism. He is a graduate of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University, where he earned a master's degree in journalism. He also holds a master's degree in American history from The University of Southern Mississippi and a Ph.D. in mass communication specializing in media history from the University of Alabama. His research specialties are the press and the Civil Rights Movement and trends in American newspapers since World War II.  

What is your idea of happiness?
Traveling with friends and family to someplace new.

What is your greatest fear?
Heights. Some former USM students have pictures of me on the top level of the Eiffel Tower, terrified out of my wits.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Procrastination.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Procrastination.

What is your most prized possession?
My father's bicycle. 

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could speak multiple languages.

What is your favorite quality in a woman?
Authenticity.

What is your favorite quality in a man?
Authenticity.

What do you most value in your friends?
A sense of humor.

What was the worst day of your life?
The day of my son's autism diagnosis.

What was the happiest day of your life?
The day my son was born.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I was a French major.

Who are your favorite authors?
Anybody who writes history.

What do you hate the most?
Anchovies.

How would you like to die?
From laughter, in an old-age home for folks over 100.

What is your greatest regret?
Not signing up for PERS!

What is your present state of mind?
Happy.

What is your motto?
"Do it now. We might all be dead soon."

What words would people use to describe you?
Student-centered. Gray-headed. Cat crazy.

What would you eat for your last meal?
A cheeseburger from Phillips Drive In in Laurel.

Besides the Pine Belt, where is your favorite place to be?
London. I'm fortunate to direct the Southern Miss British Studies Program, and I've gotten to know the city pretty well.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Holden Caulfield

Who are your heroes in real life?
My heroes change daily according to the New York Times obituary page, which profiles some of the most fascinating people out there.

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