Faculty members in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media received accolades recently for something other than teaching or research. These honors were for their kindness to students.
Four Meek School faculty members were among the 15 total professors recognized campus-wide for their “Random Acts of Kindness” to students by members of the Student Alumni Council. They were Dean Will Norton, Assistant Professor Chris Sparks, Assistant Professor Scott Fiene and Senior Lecturer Robin Street.
The SAC is a student leadership organization sponsored by the Ole Miss Alumni Association. Members who are graduating seniors selected one faculty member each whose kindness towards them stood out during their college years. Students could select one teacher from any class they took.
The professors were honored at a reception April 29 at which the nominating student spoke about the professor and presented him or her with a small gift from the SAC.
Norton was nominated by Journalism major Sarah Bracy Penn. “Dean Norton has played a huge role in my Ole Miss experience, “ Penn said. “Even before I enrolled, he convinced me that the University of Mississippi and specifically, the Meek School, was the perfect place for me. Dr. Norton was a constant source of advice and counsel.
“And this year, when I was deciding where to apply to graduate school, he encouraged me when I thought I wasn’t qualified, and later, guided me through my decision making process.”
IMC major Virginia Mayo nominated Fiene. “I nominated Mr. Fiene because he played a huge part in me choosing IMC as my major,” Mayo said. “Since I met him almost three years ago, he has not only served as my academic advisor and professor, but he has also been a constant figure in the IMC department, always full of great advice.”
Augusta Williams, a marketing and corporate relations major, nominated Street. “Ms. Street is a wonderful light in the Journalism School,” Williams said. “She is kind, empathetic and truly cares for those in her classes. She is an engaging teacher who loves public relations, Ole Miss and students.”
IMC major Luke Love nominated Sparks. “Mrs. Sparks is the reason that I switched my major from biology to IMC,” Love said. “ I have had her for multiple classes where her passion for advertising inspired me and gave me a drive to succeed in the field.
“Her passion for the subject shows also through her care for her students as she has helped me, in her own free time, perfect my resume and gain connections so that I may be successful in the future.“