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Mayfield-Johnson, Holloway Honored by IHL at Annual Diversity and Inclusion Event

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 16:20pm

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) honored two members of The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) community Feb. 20 at its annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony for their work in advancing diversity and encouraging understanding and respect.

Dr. Mayfield-Johnson speaks at the Mississippi IHL Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony held Feb. 20. (Photos by IHL Digital Media Manager Sophie Wolf)Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson, associate professor in USM’s School of Health Professions, was named the 2020 Diversity Educator of the Year, while retired USM Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway received the Karen Cummins Community Service Award, named in memory of the IHL trustee recognized for her work to help improve Mississippi's communities “with a welcoming and inclusive spirit.”

"The Board of Trustees is very pleased to recognize Dr. Mayfield-Johnson and Dr. Holloway," said Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham, chair of the Board of Trustees' Diversity Committee. "They both exemplify the ideals of diversity and inclusion and have made a tremendous difference through their tireless efforts to improve our state by demonstrating a welcoming spirit and promoting cross-cultural understanding."

*A USM alumna, Dr. Mayfield-Johnson is an associate professor in the USM School of Health Professions who first joined the school’s faculty as a visiting professor in 2013 and has made numerous contributions to diversity and inclusion at the University and the broader community. She teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses, including Health Disparities; Social and Behavioral Aspects for Health; Community Organization for Health Education; and Community Health Education Program Planning, among others; and also serves as a faculty affiliate in the area of women and gender studies and as an advisor for USM's McNair Scholars Program.

Dr. Mayfield-Johnson’s research complements her teaching, service and research responsibilities in the areas of diversity and inclusion, focusing on two major areas, including how underserved populations can become empowered to change their own health and how race, class and gender affect access to healthcare. She has received fellowships from the U.S. State Department, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and the Health Equity Leadership Institute, and has served as a NIH Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Scholar and a Mississippi representative to the DHHS, National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Regional Health Equity Council.

“It’s a great honor to receive this prestigious award; it is one of the highest compliments that I could ever receive,” Dr. Mayfield-Johnson said. “I’m humbled to have been included with all of the finalists from other universities, who have made diversity and inclusion a hallmark of their careers and are equally worthy of this honor. 

“I’m thankful to be part of an institution of higher learning where support is given to focus on students’ thoughts, needs, experiences, and identities in addition to educational curriculum,  where we are encouraged to have diverse voices from our communities at the research table, and where a culture of inclusivity is valued as much as an intellectually enriched campus community.”

Dr. Eddie Holloway speaks at the Mississippi IHL Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony held Feb. 20. (Photos by IHL Digital Media Manager Sophie Wolf)*A retired university administrator and community volunteer, Dr. Eddie Holloway earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and personnel management, a master's degree in community counseling, a second master's degree in public health education, and a doctorate in educational administration from USM. He served in numerous roles in USM’s Division of Student Affairs, and taught an array of undergraduate courses in psychology and graduate courses in higher education administration during a career that spanned 40 years.

Growing up in Mississippi in the 1960s, Dr. Holloway was a first-hand witness to the historic Civil Rights movement and Freedom Summer activities. These experiences influenced his life's work, helping students at USM achieve their goals and influencing countless others across the country as he gave talks and presented workshops on various topics, including cultural diversity and leadership.

The Hattiesburg native served 16 years on its City Council, and as president or vice president of the council for 12 of those years. He is a member of the Board of Directors for BancorpSouth and Wesley Medical Center and serves on the advisory councils for the American Red Cross, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. He is a charter member and past president of the Hattiesburg Public School District's Foundation. Dr. Holloway has also chaired the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumenical Prayer breakfast, promoting the legacy of Dr. King for the past 13 years.

"I’ve been blessed to receive many awards and much recognition throughout my life, but The Karen Cummins Award tops my professional career,” said Dr. Holloway. “It has been my honor to serve in rewarding and enlightening ways to uplift students at USM and citizens in our communities.”

PHOTOS: Dr. Eddie Holloway, Dr. Mayfield-Johnson speak at the Mississippi IHL Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony held Feb. 20, where they were honored for their work to achieve these goals in higher education service, leadership, teaching, and research (Photos by IHL Digital Media Manager Sophie Wolf).