New Professors Energize Mississippi College
August 13, 2012
When Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans and south Mississippi in 2005, David Champagne worked as a nurse at a local hospital and went through a life-changing experience.
“God prepared me for the experience though I did not realize at the time and used me to minister to people like never before,” Champagne says. “I’m still shocked, but have come to realize that God uses every-day people to do extraordinary things.”
A 1996 Mississippi College nursing graduate, Champagne says God led him to enroll at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In the Crescent City, he combined his nursing skills with life as a graduate student taking New Testament classes.
In late August, Champagne begins a new chapter as a Mississippi College Christian Studies professor who’s teaching Old and New Testament introductions. The former pastor in Jayess, Mississippi expects to receive his doctorate in Greek New Testament studies from New Orleans Seminary in December 2012.
Champagne returns to his alma mater in Clinton as one of about 40 new faculty and staff members.
“Coming back to MC means the world to my family and me,” Champagne says. “The experience is a dream come true for us. Clinton is the place where my wife, Ellen, and I started a family and where we met a host of fantastic people,” he said. “My prayer is that the Lord will use me, as my MC professors had in the past, to minister to the needs of students, staff and anyone else the Lord chooses to place in my path.”
Other newcomers on the faculty at the Baptist-affiliated school include Barry Campbell, who comes with degrees in history, foreign languages, political science and law. He worked as an attorney in the litigation field for 13 years.
Campbell, 39, also brings years of valuable experience as a volunteer firefighter. He will be an asset to MC’s History and Political Science Department, colleagues say. “A large number of our students are planning to enter law school and with his help we will be able to offer special advising to them and add to our course offerings,” says Tricia Nelson, the department’s co-chair and director of paralegal studies. “We are delighted to have Barry join us.”
Already a familiar face on the Clinton campus, Campbell has worked for five years as an adjunct professor. He and his wife, Noell, are the parents of a five-month-old daughter, Zoe.
Three new biology professors recently joined the Mississippi College faculty. They are Drs. Jerry Reagan, Erin Norcross and Christopher Week. Reagan earned a doctorate in molecular biology from Wake Forest University and is a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth Medical School. Norcross earned his doctorate in microbiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Week received his medical degree at UMC.
Jennifer Grove, a former assistant dean and professor at Union University in Tennessee for the past dozen years, is now with the MC School of Education faculty.
A former high school chemistry teacher, she enjoys being an instructor at Christian institutions like Union and Mississippi College. “Having the ability to openly share my faith at work, as I do all parts of my life is truly a blessing,” says Grove, a 1991 Mississippi State University graduate with an education doctorate from the University of Memphis.
“Our Lord is the author of all things in my life and I am so grateful to Him for this opportunity to serve,” Grove said.
Photo: Christian Studies professor David Champagne