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Faculty, staff shine in professional organizations

Published on Monday, June 12, 2023

Medical Center faculty and staff often are recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for their academic or medical achievements. These accolades place UMMC among health science centers worldwide.

Norris named to 2023 UM School of Education Hall of Fame

Dr. David Rock, dean of the UM School of Education, presents the Hall of Fame Award to Dr. Mitzi Morris.
Dr. David Rock, dean of the UM School of Education, presents the Hall of Fame Award to Dr. Mitzi Norris.

Dr. Mitzi Norris, the Medical Center’s executive director for the Office of Academic Research, Effectiveness and Accreditation and liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), has been honored by her alma mater.

Norris is one of six honorees named to the University of Mississippi School of Education’s 2023 Hall of Fame. She received her doctorate in educational leadership from UM in 1998 and her master of science in microbiology from Mississippi University for Women in 1985.

Norris has 48 years of professional experience in a broad range of positions, including teaching positions at two-year, four-year, public and private colleges and universities in Mississippi. She implemented the first online continuing education credits at UMMC, and recently completed the fourth iteration of UMMC’s Student Satisfaction Survey.

She has overseen three SACSCOC reviews for the Medical Center. “The last two had no recommendations, which is a significant achievement,” said her Hall of Fame nominator, Dr. Pam Smith, a former Hall of Fame honoree and former president of the UM School of Education Board of Advisors.

The Board of Advisors selects winners based on their contributions to the field of education through good deeds and service. "These individuals have significantly shaped the trajectories of the people and institutions under their stewardship," said David Rock, UM education dean. "Through their contributions to society, they have distinguished the UM School of Education."

Hall of Fame inductees typically have 25-plus years of experience in education. The new inductees were honored during a ceremony May 5.

"Students can receive content from clinicians and scientists, but educators can help guide the best pedagogical practices and provide the framework for curriculum development, mapping, assessment and other hallmarks of stellar educational programs,” Norris said. “I am thankful that the School of Education recognizes the value that an education degree can provide in arenas outside the P-12 classroom, and I am humbled to be a part of this legacy."

“Mitzi has tremendous people skills, is highly productive in multiple areas including leadership, administration, assessment, and research, thus distinguishing the Ole Miss School of Education,” Smith said in nominating Norris.  “She also has exemplified the highest service and works in her career, service and adult life.” 

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SOD faculty member awarded training scholarship

Kimberly Wade

Dr. Kimberly Wade, assistant professor of Care Planning and Restorative Sciences in the School of Dentistry, has been awarded a scholarship to attend a professional development academy through the Council on Dental Education and Licensure.

Wade has received a tuition scholarship to attend the 2023 Academy for Advancing Leadership’s Institute for Teaching and Learning. The scholarship was established by the council to recognize members who are pursuing careers in academia, and it gives the council an opportunity to support the professional development of dental faculty members.

The Academy program is set for August 13-16 in Chicago. The council is an arm of the American Dental Education Association.

“I’ll be attending classes on teaching a new teacher how to be a great teacher, and to give guidance to someone who doesn’t have a background in dental education,” said Wade, who chairs the School of Dentistry’s Integrated Patient Care department, or IPC.

She will also learn how to use end-of-semester student evaluations to improve her courses. “A lot of the time, someone will get that feedback and say, ‘now what?’” she said. “This will teach us how to improve our courses going forward so that students will get a more meaningful experience.”

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Heard tapped as Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation rep

Kenneth Heard

Kenneth Heard, director of academic compliance in the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, has been selected to serve a three-year appointment on the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA).

Heard will represent the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities (MAC) as its commissioner on MCCA. MCCA was created by legislation in 1950, established to authorize colleges and universities to grant academic degrees in Mississippi. 

The purpose of MCCA is “to promote goodwill among colleges and universities, to stimulate academic and professional cooperation among the membership, to consider common problems and to pursue those matters of common interest to the membership,” its website states. Under MCCA’s authority are 15 community colleges; nine universities offering undergraduate, graduate and doctorate level academic programs; and four private colleges.

At UMMC, Heard’s role encompasses student compliance training, state authorization and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliance. He supports the institution’s continued accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. Heard works closely with institutional leadership to guide and support state authorization and issues related to professional licensure. 

He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi College School of Law.