- Patricia Amacker McConnell, associate professor of dance at The
University of Southern Mississippi, is the recipient of the 2003
Excellence in Higher Education Award from the Mississippi Alliance
for Arts Education. She was presented with the prestigious award
at a gala May 3 at Mississippi College.
the letter she received announcing her selection, the panelists
were impressed with the types of service she has engaged in as an
educator and as a servant in the field of arts education.
(she) guided and brought full circle a program that secured accreditation
for dance in the state of Mississippi is remarkable," the panelists'
letter said, "because of (McConnell), a generation of performers,
choreographers, and dance educators are bringing the art form of
dance to audiences and K-12 students in Mississippi schools."
the founding director of the dance major program at Southern Miss.
Under her leadership, she guided the curriculum to national accreditation-only
one such program in Mississippi. She will be retiring from Southern
Miss in June.
years ago, I came to Mississippi as a trailblazer for dance, working
as a choreographic artist and educator throughout the state,"
McConnell said. "I am retiring this year, but throughout my
career, I set forth to make innovative, positive and lasting contributions
to activities in which I was involved. "
how much McConnell has meant to the dance program at Southern Miss,
former students and graduates have initiated a scholarship fund
in her honor. This fund provides financial support for future students
of the dance program who exhibit artistic excellence, creativity,
dedication, leadership and an ability to communicate the power of
dance within the community-all attributes that McConnell's students
feel their mentor has exhibited throughout her career.
For more information
about the scholarship fund, call (601) 266-5922.