May 28, 2017  

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Southern Miss English and Licensure Students Honored With MATCE Awards

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Southern Miss English Instructor Sherry Kinkopf with MATCE Award Recipients Emma Reeves and Crystal Giles.

A senior English Licensure major at The University of Southern Mississippi is the university’s winner of the Mississippi Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE) Outstanding Student Teacher Award. This prestigious annual award is delivered to students who display exceptional talent and dedication within their field of study.

Emma Reeves of Meridian, Miss. is the fourth student in the past seven years from the university’s English with Licensure Program to be honored with an MACTE award.

The Professional Education faculty nominate one student to be the Outstanding Student Teacher Intern of the year. A small committee then reviews all nominations and decides on the university’s nominees for that year. A banquet is held in Jackson each year to celebrate all the nominees and announce the overall winner for the year.

Southern Miss alumna Crystal Giles, who works with Southern Miss English student teachers and teaches English language arts at Petal High School, has been named MACTE’s Outstanding Mentor Teacher. Giles earned a bachelor’s degree in English with Licensure from Southern Miss, and will be returning to the university this summer to begin working on a master’s degree in English with a concentration in English education.

Dr. Katherine Cochran, director of the English Licensure Program, said the program has a strong reputation and good track record with several former MATCE honorees as evidence. “We’re very pleased for both Emma Reeves’ Outstanding Teaching Intern and Crystal Giles’ Outstanding Mentor Teacher awards. We’re so proud of all of our English with licensure graduates,” Cochran said.

“Emma is extraordinary because of her mastery of the material. She’s a great student. She’s intellectually curious and dedicated to the idea of helping students achieve the kind of mastery that she has.”

Southern Miss was founded as a teachers college in 1910, and more than a century later remains strongly committed to teacher education. “I find our program to be significant and unique, particularly when compared to other universities in the state of Mississippi. There are students studying to teach at the high school level who are secondary education majors specializing in English,” Cochran said. “However, here at Southern Miss, all of the secondary programs are housed in the home departments of the discipline. This helps our students to really identify with the discipline. They feel like real scholars and seem to have such an investment in the material and content that they are going to be teaching. I think that helps our students to be even more successful.”

In 2008, MACTE began recognizing the top student teacher from each university in Mississippi. The MACTE winner demonstrates a strong academic record, honors, awards, service and performance in student teaching. The English Licensure program has had three previous winners: Lucy Matthews Hunt, Kyle Ethridge, Allyson Jones and now Reeves.

“The fact that this is our fourth time winning a MACTE award within the last seven years is so gratifying. It’s difficult to express how rewarding it is that Emma, as well as the program, is being honored in this way,” Cochran stated.

For more information about the Southern Miss English Department, visit https://www.usm.edu/english.