Giesen, Manning to represent MSU in Jackson for annual HEADWAE program

Studio portrait of Jim Giesen
James C. “Jim” Giesen (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Anna Owens

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A history faculty member and Mississippi State’s Student Association president are representing the university during the 33rd annual HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day—Working for Academic Excellence) program.

James C. “Jim” Giesen, an associate professor of history, and Jacob S. “Jake” Manning, a senior biomedical engineering and software engineering double-major from Ridgeland, will travel to Jackson Monday [March 2] for the event.

Administered by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees, HEADWAE annually recognizes students and faculty from public and private universities and colleges across the state for their academic achievements and contributions.

Manning and Giesen will be recognized at the Capitol’s former Supreme Court chamber by Mississippi legislators from the House and Senate.

Giesen said he is honored to be recognized by MSU not only as an individual instructor, but also as a member of his department.

“This is a great reflection on our wonderful Department of History,” Giesen said. “I’m thankful for the research resources and continued support I’ve received at MSU.”

In addition to multiple honors from MSU’s Department of History, Giesen also is a 2018 recipient of the John Grisham Master Teacher award, the university’s highest honor for classroom and instruction excellence. His research areas include specialization in rural Southern, agricultural and Mississippi history.

Studio portrait of Jake Manning
Jacob S. "Jake" Manning (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Manning said the recognition validates the Student Association’s accomplishments and hard work throughout the year.  

“I was very honored to get the phone call, but this is truly a testament to the Student Association and our team rather than myself,” said Manning, who aims to work in policy in D.C. following graduation.

Under Manning’s leadership, the Student Association assisted the Division of Student Affairs with the spring 2020 completion of Bully’s Closet and Pantry, a project started in fall 2018 under then-SA President Mayah Emerson. The 120 Morgan Ave. location offers nutritious food, professional clothing, toiletries and other basic items free of charge to MSU students. It’s part of the MSU Food Security Network, a broader initiative to meet students’ basic needs throughout their time at MSU.

Working with SA, MSU’s Student Counseling Services also initiated a walk-in option that allows students to receive care without waiting for an appointment.

For more on the HEADWAE program, visit

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