Dr. Tammy Townsend from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was selected as 2022 Mississippi Humanities Council Instructor of the Year. Townsend has been a language arts instructor on the Harrison County Campus since 2013.
“I am honored to receive the Mississippi Humanities Council Instructor of the Year Award,” Townsend said. “I admire the work the Humanities Council does to promote creativity and bring cultural events to our state. Furthermore, I am thankful for MGCCC and that I get to teach subjects that I am passionate about in a supportive educational environment.”
The Humanities Teacher Awards recognize the contributions of humanities faculty at each of the state’s colleges and universities in the fields of English, history, music, art, and philosophy. Nominations are made by the college or university president, vice president, or dean of instruction. Each award recipient is required to prepare and deliver a public lecture.
As part of the award, Townsend will present “The Journey Home: Literary Narratives and PTSD” on January 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., in Building U, Room 202. The presentation will cover how cognitive therapy exists in psychoanalysis sessions as well as in English classes. “Studies in recent years have shown that learning through literature deepens empathy and helps us understand ourselves more clearly,” Townsend said. “In fact, psychologists at the New School for Social Research in New York designed a study which shows reading literary fiction strengthens the ability in the reader to understand the emotions of others. In essence, reading literary fiction make us better people. Through the study of classic literary narratives, we vicariously share the hero’s journey and learn how to order our own experiences into a coherent narrative that helps us put ourselves into the context of our lives.”
Townsend, who was raised in Phil Campbell, Alabama, currently resides in Gulfport. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a Master of Arts degree in creative writing from The University of Alabama in Birmingham and her doctorate in creative writing from The University of Southern Mississippi.