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College of Arts and Letters Presents Annual Faculty and Staff Awards

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 10:49am | By: Ashlea Maddox

Each year, The University of Southern Mississippi's College of Arts and Letters recognizes excellence in service, teaching and research. This year's winners were honored for their dedication to the college and university at a ceremony recently held on the Hattiesburg campus in the Thad Cochran Center.

Dr. Joyce Inman was named 2015-16 College of Arts and Letters Junior Faculty Member of the Year. Inman, who earned her B.A. from the University of Mobile and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Southern Miss, has taught in the Department of English since 2008. She has been published many times, including College English and Pedagogy. She is a strong advocate for helping student writers, and a wonderful guide to first-year students taking their composition classes.

Dr. Susannah Ural was named 2015-16 College of Arts and Letters Teacher of the Year. Ural specializes in the U.S. Civil War era, U.S. War and Society, the American South and 19th-century America. She is co-director of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society and former co-director of the Center for the Study of the Gulf South. She serves as undergraduate director for the Department of History, where she focuses her time on helping students succeed. Ural earned her B.A. at the University of Vermont and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Kansas State University. She has published articles in many journals including Civil War Times Illustrated and The Journal of Military History. In 2013, she published Don't Hurry Me Down to Hades: The Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived It.

Dr. Jonathan Barron was selected as 2015-16 Arts and Letters Researcher of the Year. Barron, who has been with the Department of English since 1995, is an associate professor in the Department of English whose research focuses on American poetry and literature. Barron is the longtime director of the Robert Frost Society and the editor of the peer-reviewed annual journal, The Robert Frost Review. His most recent book is titled How Robert Frost Made Realism Matter. His students have called him “laid back, but passionate about what he does.” Barron earned his B.A. at Tufts University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Indiana University.
Mary Beth Farrell of the Department of History was named 2015-16 Arts and Letters Instructor of the Year. Farrell is a history instructor and directs the Social Studies Licensure Program. She received her B.S. and her M.A. from The University of Southern Mississippi, and has worked in the history department since 1991. Farrell has worked with the American Institute for History Education and National Council for the Social Studies and has led seminars all over the nation.

Dr. Andrew Haley was presented with the 2015-16 Arts and Letters Service Award.
A member of Southern Miss faculty since 2005, Haley is an associate professor in the Department of History who specializes in class and culture in the United States from the Gilded age through the 1950s. Haley earned his bachelor of arts from Tufts University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He published his first book in 2011, and received a 2001 K. Patricia Cross Award from the American Association for Higher Education and a 2012 Mississippi Humanities Council Teaching Award. Among his many service works, Haley has volunteered his time to teach community members at Osher Lifelong Learning as well as organized teaching forums for new faculty. He currently directs the University Forum. 

Twillia Morgan was named 2015-16 Arts and Letters Staff Person of the Year and has been with the University since 1994. In 2002, she began working as a records specialist. Her colleagues have said that the College of Arts and Letters would have a difficult time functioning without her. She knows everything there is to know about the system, and has been essential in helping students through the college. One colleague said, “She has assisted thousands of students in their college careers. She is invaluable.” Morgan graduated from Columbia High School before starting her career with the university.
“While the faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Letters boast many engaged, outstanding professionals, I am delighted to congratulate this year's college award winners,” said Dr. Maureen Ryan, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “Dr. Andrew Haley is an accomplished teacher and scholar, but we honor him this year for his many service contributions to the College and the University. Such work is time-consuming, often thankless, and always essential. Dr. Joyce Inman—for whom I proudly serve as faculty mentor—is the very model of a junior faculty member as she directs the composition program at Southern Miss. Twillia Morgan deftly and graciously helps every graduating senior (and their departments) negotiate the complicated degree application process. I would never call Dr. Jonathan Barron “laid back,” but “passionate” he is, indeed; he is the consummate scholar: thorough and excited about his important scholarly work. Dr. Susannah Ural dazzles in the classroom as she introduces students to 19th century American history. And Mary Beth Farrell turns those young historians into credentialed secondary teachers for classrooms all over south Mississippi.”

To learn more about the 2015-16 recipients, visit