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Grisham Awards

Grisham Master Teacher Awards

The Grisham Master Teacher Award provides a stipend of $10,000 for up to 2 award winners per academic year. The University Instructional Improvement Committee will evaluate and select applicants from qualified individuals who apply for this award based on criteria such as engagement of students in learning, assessment of teaching and learning, clarity and organization of teaching, variety of teaching methods, enthusiasm, scholarship of teaching, etc. All current full-time faculty (regardless of rank) are eligible to apply for this award if the following eligibility requirements are met: You must be teaching at least one course during Fall or Spring semester for the academic calendar year in order to allow for an in-class observation. Applicants must have at least 7 years of experience at MSU teaching primarily undergraduates. Information on how to apply will be posted each Fall semester under the Provost's office Announcement page.

Richard Harkess
2021: Richard Harkess

Dr. Richard Harkess is a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, where he serves as undergraduate student advisor, supervises horticulture student internships, chairs the department’s undergraduate curriculum committee and advises the Horticulture Club. He has received numerous accolades for teaching, research and mentorship. In addition to his work with students, he mentors many younger faculty members in time management, course syllabus development, and navigating the tenure and promotion process. He is known as a dedicated teacher and mentor who works diligently to prepare others for success. A faculty member since 1995, Dr. Harkess earned a Ph.D. in horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1993. He received a master’s degree from Colorado State University in 1989 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1987.

Lyndsey Miller
2021: Lyndsey Miller

Dr. Lesley Strawderman is a Bagley College of Engineering professor and International Paper Chair in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She balances a demanding teaching schedule with a very active research program. She is known as a particularly engaging teacher, who also advises the Society of Women Engineers. Dr. Strawderman incorporates technology, community engagement, active and peer learning, and other innovations into the curriculum so that students enjoy learning new concepts. She has served as the undergraduate coordinator for her department and recently was named to the Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow Program. She also leads workshops for industry professionals, as well as ISE and college faculty. A faculty member since 2006, Dr. Strawderman completed her 2005 Ph.D. and 2003 master’s in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Kansas State University in 2002.

Lesley Strawderman
2021: Lesley Strawderman

Michael Kardos
2019: Michael Kardos

Michael Kardos is a professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State. He is the author of three novels, a short story collection, and a widely used college-level textbook on fiction writing, and has won a Pushcart Prize and the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction.

Robert Banik
2018: Robert Banik

Robert Banik is an Instructor and Undergraduate Advising Coordinator in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Mississippi State University. Along with the 2018 John Grisham Master Teacher Award, Robert also received the 2017 College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Award in Natural and Physical Sciences and Mathematics and Statistics and the MSU State Pride Faculty Award in 2011.

2018 James Giesen
2018: James Giesen

Dr. James Giesen, associate professor of history, has won departmental and university teaching awards including the Graduate Mentor of the Year award. In 2019, the Agricultural History Society created the Giesen Agricultural History Teaching Award in his honor.

2017 Joanne Beriswill
2017: Joanne Beriswill

Dr. Joanne Beriswill, recipient of the Grisham Master Teacher Award in 2017, also was awarded the Educator of the Year Award from the Mississippi Educational Computing Association in 2011. She is Associate Professor for the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development in the College of Education.

2016 Kelly Marsh
2016: Kelly Marsh

Dr. Kelly Marsh is Associate Professor of English. She has been awarded the Outstanding Honors Faculty Award and the Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Teacher Award. Dr. Marsh is a Faculty Associate in the Center for Teaching and Learning.

2015 Karyn Brown
2015: Karyn Brown

In 2014, Karyn Brown was awarded the Public Relations Association of Mississippi Public Relations Educator of the Year award along with MSU-Lambda Pi Eta Faculty Member of the Year for years 2014 and 2015. In 2011, she was the recipient of the MSU Ritter Greek Awards PanHellenic Council Faculty Member of the Year. Mrs. Brown is a Communication Instructor as well as the Coordinator of Public Relations Concentration and Director of Communication for the College of Arts and Sciences.

2014 Meghan Millea
2014: Meghan Millea

Dr. Meghan Millea, Professor of Finance and Economics, was awarded the Alumni Association Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2012, and she was recognized by the legislature for being Mississippi State University's Higher Education Appreciate Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) honoree. In 2011, she received the College of Business State Pride Award and the Mississippi State University Louis A. Hurst Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Millea is a Research Fellow with the Social Science Research Center and an Interim Dean for the MSU Meridian Campus.

2013 Kimberly Walters
2013: Kimberly Walters

Kimberly Walters is an Instructor of Mathematics for Mississippi State University. She was awarded the MSU State Pride Faculty Award in 2010, and she received the John Grisham Master Teach Award in 2013. Mrs. Walters was recognized by the Mississippi Legislature in 2014 for being Mississippi State's Higher Education Appreciate Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) honoree.

2012 James Dunne
2012: James Dunne

Dr. James Dunne was the recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award presented by the MSU Alumni Association in 2010. He is a Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Experimental Medium and High Energy Nuclear Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Dunne is also a Faculty Associate in The Center for Teaching and Learning.

2011 Micheal Seymour
2011: Michael Seymour

Dr. Michael Seymour is the Graduate Coordinator and an Associate Professor for the Department of Landscape Architecture. In 2013, he received the Teaching Award, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture and in 2012, the Excellence in Teaching Award, The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). Dr. Seymour is also a Faculty Associate in The Center for Teaching and Learning.

2010 Rachel McCann
2010: Rachel McCann

Dr. Rachel McCann, a professor in the School of Architecture, was honored as the 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award presented by the MSU Alumni Association.

2009 Christopher Monson
2009: Christopher Monson

2008 Robert Moore
2008: Robert Moore

Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law, Grisham Master Teacher Award. The MSU Alumni Association and Provost's Office sponsored the annual recognition program held Tuesday night.  (Apr 23, 2008 Photo by Kristen Hines)

2007 Robert Reese
2007: Robert Reese

During Mississippi State's 2007 Faculty Awards and Recognition Program Thursday, three faculty members received university-wide honors. Robert B. Reese, left, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the John Grisham Master Teacher Award; Darren Hudson, professor of agricultural economics, received the MSU Alumni Association Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award; and Ray Vaughn (not pictured), professor of computer science and engineering, was named a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor. (Apr 27, 2007 Photo by Megan Bean)

2006 Keith Koenig
2006: Keith Koenig

During Mississippi State's 2006 Faculty Awards and Recognition Program, three faculty members received university-wide honors. Arthur G. Cosby (l) was named a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, while Keith Koenig (c) received the John Grisham Master Teacher Award and Robert B. Reese, the MSU Alumni Association Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award. Cosby is director of the Social Science Research Center; Koenig, an aerospace engineering professor; and Reese, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. (Apr 06, 2006 Photo by Russ Houston)

2005 Melissa Moore
2005: Melissa Moore

Mississippi State faculty member Melissa Moore accepts the 2005 John Grisham Master Teacher Award from Louis R. D'Abramo, chair of the University Instructional Improvement Committee, during Tuesday's 40th annual faculty recognition event. Moore is an associate professor of marketing, quantitative analysis and business law in MSU's College of Business and Industry. The award recognizes excellence in teaching. (Apr 27, 2005 Photo by Russ Houston)

2004 Thomas Cathcart
2004: Thomas P. Cathcart

John Grisham Master Teacher Award winners for 2004 are Thomas P. Cathcart, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Jamie B. Mixon, professor of art.

2003 Allison Pearson
2003: Allison W. Pearson and Donna S. Reese

Associate professors Allison W. Pearson (l) and Donna S. Reese received 2003 John Grisham Awards. Pearson, a member of the management and information systems faculty, and Reese, of computer science and engineering, are both Grisham Master Teachers.

2002 Rodney Pearson
2002: Rodney A. Pearson

Rodney A. Pearson was selected as 2002 Grisham Master Teacher. Pearson is a Professor of Management Information Systems at the College of Business and Industry.

2001 Louis
2001: Louis R. D'Abramo, William N. Smyer, Kenneth M. Coffey, and Masoud Rais-Rohani

The 2001 additions include (l-r) Dr. Louis R. D'Abramo, professor, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Dr. William N. Smyer, associate professor, Department of Industrial Engineering; Dr. Kenneth M. Coffey, associate professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; and Dr. Masoud Rais-Rohani, associate professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering.

2000 Marita Gootee
2000: Marita Gootee, Keith L. Belli, Matt R. Raven, Diane L. Daniels, and L. Wes Burger Jr.

The 2000 additions include (l-r) Marita Gootee of art; Keith L. Belli of forestry; Matt R. Raven of information technology services; Diane L. Daniels of mathematics and statistics; and L. Wes Burger Jr. of wildlife and fisheries.

1998 Richard Wolf
1998: Richard B. Wolf, Linda W. Morse, Steven H. Bullard, Marion B. Couvillion, and Karen S. Coats

Author and MSU alumnus John Grisham (c) presented the five Grisham Master Teacher awards at a recent campus ceremony. Grisham Master Teachers for 1998 are (l-r) Richard B. Wolf, English; Linda W. Morse, educational psychology; Steven H. Bullard, forestry; Marion B. Couvillion, communication; and Karen S. Coats, biological sciences.

1997 Benjamin Blaney
1997: Benjamin Blaney, Noel Addy, Howard Miller, and Shannon Criss

The new Grisham Master Teachers for 1997 winners pictured with President Donald Zacharias, include (left to right) Dr. Benjamin Blaney, Professor of Foreign Language; Dr. Noel Addy, Associate Professor of Accountancy; and Dr. Howard Miller, Professor Emeritus of Animal & Dairy Sciences. Not pictured is Dr. Shannon Criss, Associate Professor of Architecture.

1996 Esther Egley
1996: Esther H. Egley, Rebecca Toghiani, Michael Newman, Paul Grootkerk, and Nancy G. McCarley

The 1996 Grisham Master Teachers at Mississippi State University included (left to right) Esther H. Egley, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction; Rebecca Toghiani, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering; Michael Newman, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education; Paul Grootkerk, Professor of Art; and Nancy G. McCarley, Lecturer in Psychology.

1995 Larry Branch
1995: Larry L. Branch and Nancy D. Hargrove

The John Grisham master Teachers and Faculty Excellence Award winners for 1995 were announced at Fall Faculty Convocation. Larry L. Branch (left), Engineering Graphics, and Nancy D. Hargrove, English, are Grisham Master Teachers.

1994 Sandra Harpole
1994: Sandra H. Harpole, Hank Flick, and Robert E. Wolverton Sr.

Drs. Sandra H. Harpole and Hank Flick, second from right, were among three faculty members receiving 1994-95 John Grisham Master Teacher Awards at Mississippi State. Also honored at the recent faculty convocation was Dr. Robert E. Wolverton Sr., who was out of town. Harpole is an Associate Professor of Physics; Flick, Professor of Communication and Assistant Department Head; and Wolverton, Professor and Head of Foreign Languages. Extending congratulations were President Donald Zacharias, left, and Provost Derek Hodgson. The awards include $3,000 a year for two years. Master teachers serve as role models and mentors for their colleagues during the 48-month period.

1993 Sue Minchew
1993: Sue Minchew, Kathleen (Kit) T. Brown, Tom Carskadon, and B. Keith Hodge

Five faculty members were also honored for teaching excellence on August 20, 1993 during the fall semester Faculty Convocation. Hank Flick of the Communication Department, left, received the $2,500 Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award, while $3,000 Master Teacher Awards went to, second from left to right, Sue Minchew of the English Department, Kathleen (Kit) T. Brown of the Foreign Languages Department, Tom Carskadon of the Psychology Department, and B. Keith Hodge of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Grisham Faculty Excellence Award

(no longer awarded as of 1998)

1997 Chante Cox
1997: Chante Cox, John Usher, Gary Myers, John Forde, Roy Decker

The 1996 Grisham Teaching Excellence Award at Mississippi State University, pictured with President Donald Zacharias, included (left to right) Dr. Chante Cox, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Dr. John Usher, Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering; Dr. Gary Myers, English; Dr. John Forde, Associate Professor, Communication, Dr. Roy Decker, Architecture.

1996 Gregory Watson
1996: Gregory J. Watson, Masoud Rais-Rohani, Ricky L. Travis, Jamie B. Mixon, Douglas W. McConnell

The new Grisham Teaching Excellence Award 1996 winners include (left to right) Gregory J. Watson, Assistant Professor of Architecture; Masoud Rais-Rohani, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering; Ricky L. Travis, Assistant Professor of Political Science; and Jamie B. Mixon, Associate Professor of Art. Not pictured is Douglas W. McConnell, Associate Professor of Music Education.

1995 Linda Seckinger
1995: Linda K. Seckinger, Richard M. Kaminski, and Lynn L. Reinschmiedt

Linda K. Seckinger (far left), Art; Richard M. Kaminski, Wildlife and Fisheries; and Lynn L. Reinschmiedt (far right), Agricultural Economics, were winners of Grisham Faculty Excellence Awards in 1995. The awards are accompanied by $2,000 checks. Faculty Convocation was led this year by Mary A. Jasper (second from right), Associate Professor of Engineering Graphics.

1994 Louis Dabramo
1994: Louis R. D'Abramo, Christopher M. Duncan, Margaret S. Bateman, Jung P. Shim, Paul Grootkerk, and Brent Funderburk

Six Mississippi State instructors began the 1994-95 school year as new holders of John Grisham Faculty Excellence Awards. At the faculty convocation, the awards were presented to, from left, Dr. Louis R. D'Abramo, Dr. Christopher M. Duncan, Margaret S. Bateman, Dr. Jung P. Shim, Dr. Paul Grootkerk, and Brent Funderburk. D'Abramo is a professor of Wildlife and Fisheries; Duncan, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Bateman, Assistant Professor of Home Economics; Shim, Professor of Information Systems and Management Science; and Grootkerk and Funderburk, both Professors of Art. The awards are accompanied by $2,000 checks.

1993 Clyde Williams
1993: Clyde Williams, Patrick Creevy, Jack L. Bartlett, and John W. Fuquay

The first John Grisham Faculty Excellence Awards were presented Aug. 20, 1993 during the fall semester Faculty Convocation. Honored were from left, Clyde Williams and Patrick Creevy of the English Department, Jack L. Bartlett of the Art Department, and John W. Fuquay of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science. The university's Instructional Improvement Committee sponsors convocation.

Grisham Fellow Award

(no longer awarded as of 2002)

1999: Paul Grootkerk