Meridian Star

Local News

October 13, 2013

Kelly McKee: MCC Humanities Instructor of the Year

MERIDIAN —     By weaving poetry and short stories and relating how they blend with community and belonging, a Meridian Community College English instructor will share her ideas about literature in a special presentation.

    Kelly McKee, Meridian Community College English instructor, has been named the 2013 Humanities Teacher of the Year at MCC, and will give a lecture at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, in the Casteel Room of the L.O. Todd Library. The event is free and open to the public.

    Her lecture, “Uplifting One Another: Celebrating Community,” is an exploration of the universal theme of community and that it is human nature to desire a sense of belonging, acknowledgement and purpose in life.

    The event is sponsored by MCC and the Mississippi Humanities Council.

    “I am delighted that Kelly was chosen Humanities Professor of the Year by her peers,” said MCC Vice President for Operations Barbara Jones. “I hired Kelly 14 years ago when I was chair of the English department, and even from her interview I recognized her talent as an instructor and her passion for teaching. She is a true professional, and her knowledge of writing and literature as well as her rapport with students make her a perfect choice for this award.”

    Each year, 30 awards are given, along with a check for $500, to a scholar in the humanities at every institution of higher learning in the state. October is National Arts and Humanities Month, proclaimed annually by the president and governor. To honor the event, the Mississippi Humanities Council invites the president or appropriate dean of each institution of higher learning in the state to nominate a faculty member for the Humanities Teacher Award.

    McKee is an alumna of MCC; while in high school she was enrolled in MCC’s chorus class and was a member of the former singing group, the Variations. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama and her master’s degree from Mississippi State University.

    Though she considered choosing a path of either secondary or elementary education, it was when she talked to an advisor who suggested she earn her degree in English that she decided on her career choice. And after one week from receiving her master’s degree, she was hired to teach English at MCC. This year marks her 14th academic year at the College.

    McKee teaches developmental English and Composition I and II, and it’s the Composition II class that is her favorite, “because we get to talk about literature,” she said.

    “I enjoy sharing (with students) the concepts that come from literature and open their eyes to the things they haven’t thought about before,” McKee said.

    She added, “That’s what literature does. We can experience things through characters that we may never experience on our own.”

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