Instructor Jennifer Moffett and student Riley Brown were selected to represent Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at the annual Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) program in Jackson on February 26. The day’s activities included an awards luncheon and visit to the state Capitol.
Moffett, of Ocean Springs, is a Language Arts instructor at the college’s Jackson County Campus. She teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. When the campus hosts the MGCCC Creative Writing Competition (every third year), she coordinates the contest, as well as edits and publishes the college literary journal “illumination.”
“Being able to teach the two things I’m most passionate about–writing and literature–is a dream come true,” Moffett said. “I love introducing students to stories and techniques that spark their own passion for writing creatively. I can’t think of a better calling than helping students find their voices as future writers. When they win creative writing awards or achieve publication, I get just as excited as they are to tell me!”
On winning the award, she said, “Being recognized as an educator is such an honor. When my students and advisees are mapping out their own professional goals, we talk a lot about quality of life and how it should factor into their career choices. I can say from experience that being a college instructor is a fantastic example of a job that provides a high quality of life with a sense of purpose.”
A sophomore at the Jackson County Campus, Brown is planning on majoring in biomedical engineering and hopes to one day be a pediatrician. She is currently chapter president of the Pi Epsilon Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, sophomore class president, a member of the Reflections Team and Student Government Association, treasurer for Circle K International and is in the Honors College.
“I enjoy being active in campus activities and MGCCC has given me an awesome place to spread my wings and see what college has to offer,” she said.
When she was told she had been chosen as the HEADWAE student winner, she said, “I was overcome with the honor,” she said. “I know there are so many amazing students at MGCCC, all extremely intelligent and hardworking, that could have been selected. To be chosen as one of those students is a great feeling.”
Each February, the state Legislature, along with the Mississippi Association of Colleges, recognizes an outstanding faculty member and student from each of the state’s community colleges and universities during the HEADWAE program.