Latest Grisham teaching honors announced

Contact: Sammy McDavid

Ten Mississippi State University faculty members are the latest recognized for outstanding classroom achievements with two awards made possible by best-selling author John Grisham.

At the annual fall general faculty meeting Tuesday [Sept. 10], President Donald Zacharias announced five selections each for 1996 Grisham Master Teacher and Grisham Teaching Excellence awards.

The new master teachers include Esther H. Egley, professor of curriculum and instruction; Paul Grootkerk, professor of art; Nancy G. McCarley, lecturer in psychology; Michael Newman, assistant professor of agricultural education; and Rebecca Toghiani, associate professor of chemical engineering.

Teaching excellence honors went to Douglas W. McConnell, associate professor of music education; Jamie B. Mixon, associate professor of art; Masoud Rais-Rohani, associate professor of aerospace engineering; Rickey L. Travis, assistant professor of political science; and Gregory J. Watson, assistant professor of architecture.

They were chosen from some 40 nominees submitted to the University Instructional Improvement Committee.

The Grisham Master Teacher Awards include $3,000 a year for two years, a period of time during which they will serve as models and mentors for their colleagues. The Grisham Faculty Excellence Awards are accompanied by checks for $2,000.

Grisham, a 1977 Mississippi State accounting graduate, provided support for the awards named in his honor. Among America's leading fiction writers, he is author of such blockbuster legal thrillers as "A Time to Kill," "The Firm" and, most recently, "The Runaway Jury."