Release date: Feb. 21, 2017
JACKSON — A student and a faculty member from East Mississippi Community College were honored Feb. 21 during a luncheon at the Mississippi State Capitol.
EMCC instructor Janet Briggs and sophomore Mallory Vance were named the college’s 2016-17 HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence) award recipients.
Each year, a student and instructor from each community college and university in the state are recognized at the luncheon for their outstanding work.
“Janet and Mallory are great examples of the quality of East Mississippi Community College’s instructors and students,” EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said. “We are proud of them both.”
During the annual event, the students and faculty are welcomed by the lieutenant governor and recognized in each chamber of the Legislature. The Appreciation Day is the Legislature's way of saying "thank you" to the students and faculty for their dedication and hard work.
Briggs is in her 16th year at EMCC where she teaches grammar, English Composition I and II and British Literature I and II. She is also the co-advisor for Phi Theta Kappa on the Scooba campus, the Phi Theta Kappa division chair and a member of the faculty association. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Education at the University of West Alabama.
Briggs’s grandfather was superintendent of schools in Holly Springs and her father was a coach and school principal.
“When I first went to college, I wanted to do anything other than teach but here I am,” Briggs said. “I guess it is in my blood. I realized that I always had a love for teaching.”
Briggs is married to Greg Briggs of Porterville. The couple have a son, Brandon, and daughter-in-law, Sera Beth.
Vance is a sophomore at EMCC. She is a member of the softball team, an officer in both Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association and president of the Student Fellowship Club. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Honors College and Student Voices.
EMCC Humanities instructor Derrick Conner said he cannot think of anyone more deserving of the recognition than Vance.
“Mallory wants to learn,” Conner said. “She wants you to challenge her. She doesn’t want it to be easy or spoon-fed to her. She is extremely intelligent and her work ethic is incredible.”
Vance, who has applied to enter the University of Mississippi Medical Occupational Therapy program, said she was excited when she learned she had been chosen as EMCC’s student recipient of the HEADWAE Award.
“I feel truly blessed,” said Vance, who is the daughter of Max and Renee Vance of Collinsville.
Briggs agreed: “The neat thing about it is the winners are picked by their peers, which makes it even more of an honor to me.”
In the photo: HEADWAE honorees Janet Briggs and Mallory Vance, center, pose for a photo with State Rep. Michael Evans, State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, EMCC President Thomas Huebner, EMCC Vice President Thomas Ware and EMCC Associate Dean for Instruction James Rush.
HEADWAE faculty honoree Janet Briggs, left, and student honoree Mallory Vance