In this issue of Visions, we celebrate teaching. Not only does our College of Education and Human Sciences do an excellent job of preparing the next generation of teachers for Mississippi, but they start early.
You'll read about a highly successful program called Kids 'N College, a partnership between The W and the local Sale International Studies Magnet School. It's broadening the experiences of fifth-graders and introducing them to university resources such as the library and science laboratories while giving their teachers grounding in new classroom approaches. The program has earned a Governor's University Partnership Award.
We're also helping prepare teachers for transition to the Common Core standards being adopted by the state, both through Kids 'N College and through a new summer institute for middle school mathematics teachers, among other efforts. Dr. Richard Holden is helping lead the institute, with a team that includes Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer of mathematics and algebra teachers from area schools.
You'll see in this issue that graduates of The W are making a huge impact in classrooms around the state. Some, such as Leigh Pourciau, found her calling immediately, and in just five years of teaching has been recognized by the Mississippi Department of Education, which has tapped her to develop Common Core instructional videos. She was selected from more than 3,000 applicants to be a 2013 Dream Team member for LearnZillion. And she's been featured in a Bill Gates videotaped segment on effective teaching.
Others featured in this issue came to teaching by different majors, different careers and different early paths. But all believe that teaching is what they were meant to do and say that they're convinced it's "far better than any other job in the world." We're proud of the inspiration they found from their experiences at The W.
We're also pleased to recognize outstanding faculty members who this year earned the Kossen Faculty Excellence Award and the Faculty Member of the Year Award. These honors recognize outstanding career accomplishments in teaching and scholarship excellence, as well as service and artistic accomplishment.
Finally, you'll read about the outstanding contributions of two graduates who have had a major impact on the arts and culture of the region, and far beyond. Patti Carr Black ('55), who received the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at spring commencement, is an earlier recipient of the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, recognizing a career that has spanned tenure at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, as well as more recently that of a distinguished writer and editor.
Marchita Mauck ('64) last year received the Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award from the American Institute of Architects for her contributions to religious architecture. She's only the second woman to receive the national recognition, reserved for non-architects.
There's a lot to celebrate at The W. Our educational experience and our graduates are second to none! We think you'll agree they're making a huge impact in their careers.
Dr. Jim Borsig