JCJC English instructor selected as Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year
Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2016-09-28 12:18:45
ELLISVILLE –Jones County Junior College English instructor, Missie Meeks has been selected as the JCJC 2016 Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year. She will be honored by the Mississippi Humanities Council on Tuesday, October 18, at 10:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium at JCJC. The public is welcome to see Meeks’ free presentation, “Using Technology to Build Composition Skills.”
“I am so very honored and humbled to receive this award. I hope to use this platform as an opportunity to inspire other educators to find innovative ways to use technology in their classroom to engage students and prepare students for the workforce,” said Meeks.
Meeks’ Division Chair, and friend, Cheryl Windham said she is very proud for Meeks being honored by the MHC. Windham added, “She is a skilled classroom instructor, but her expertise in technology cannot be overemphasized. In fact, it is safe to say that she is the main reason that the Humanities Division has become one of the more ‘tech savvy’ groups on campus. As for me personally, I absolutely depend on her help in understanding technology and also incorporating it into my classes. I am so thankful for her willingness to assist me, not to mention everyone else in the division. Needless to say, this award is a well-deserved honor for one of Jones’ most capable, hardest working and highly skilled instructors whose contributions to the college are numerous, varied, and completely invaluable.”
One of her English colleague’s, Dr. David Lowery said he also appreciates Meeks’ work in the classroom and has noticed the impact it has on her peers and students.
“Missie is very deserving of this honor. She is one of the hardest-working people that I know, and this award helps acknowledge her hard work and dedication to teaching,” said JCJC English instructor, Dr. David C. Lowery.
For the last 16 years, Meeks has been teaching students English and Composition. For most of that time, she has incorporated technology, which she believes has enhanced learning.
“I have found students are engaged in the class and these activities when technology is used. When students use the Peer Edit program, they will sometimes spend over an hour editing the paper for another student. The technology also gives privacy, so students are usually more thorough with their feedback,” said Meeks.
As an English instructor at JCJC since 2003, Meeks has also found English instructors like using the available technology. Some of the programs used in her classes include Turnitin, which detects plagiarism and teaches students how to paraphrase. The Canvas program allows papers to be graded electronically, allowing students to also see their grades and corrections. Google Docs is probably her favorite because it saves work on its server so students cannot lose their work accidentally.
“Technology is an important part of education today, especially in English classes. This generation of college students has used technology practically since they were toddlers. They learn best when they can interact with what they are learning and engage with the content or subject. The use of technology also reaches different learning styles and keeps students’ attention. I think it is important to discuss this information and the impact technology has in the classroom. There are so many useful technology tools available for composition that tremendously help students improve their writing,” shared Meeks.
Meeks is a graduate of South Jones, JCJC and USM. She earned her Masters of Education from William Carey University. Last year, she was designated as the Advisement Coordinator for the Humanities Department at JCJC. She is the sponsor for the Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society chapter at JCJC and a member of the Two-Year College English Association. In addition to her professional work, for the last six years, Meeks has coordinated JCJC’s Kids’ College, which is a week-long summer camp for children under 12 years of age. She was honored in 2010 as a Mississippi Lamplighter for Outstanding Teachers. In 2011, Meeks was also honored with the Barbara and Gary Sauls Humanities Award and in 2012 she received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Work and College Service at JCJC.