"Southern Miss will not compete with [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] in physics or [the California Institute of Technology] in chemistry," he said. "But we can carve out these niches ... and create something that's special and unique to Southern Miss."
For students like Cook, a collegiate and high school athlete, the sports and high performance materials degree is the opportunity of a lifetime--the perfect scientific and professional match.
Another example is Orion. He knows he isn't as singularly gifted as some at physics, and as others at mechanical engineering, but he's bridged the gap between the two majors and found a niche. He's double majoring, adding in a nanomaterials concentration, and looking at graduate programs in alternative energy that correspond with the niche he's developed.