Autumn Norman Selected Staff Member of the Year
Autumn Norman’s sea of admirers is quite extensive at Mississippi College.
It helps explain why Autumn's choice as MC Staff Member of the Year was well-received on the Clinton campus.
In late April, President Blake Thompson joined a parade of well-wishers as Norman accepted the 2021 award during a recognition reception for faculty and staff. The annual award is named for the late Doc Quick, a beloved MC administrator for generations.
Autumn handles many duties and succeeds. She’s the administrative assistant in the Department of English and Philosophy. In addition, Autumn serves as the executive assistant to the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
And Norman is the Jennings Hall and Jennings Annex building manager. Autumn squeezes in time to teach English composition to freshman students.
“Watching students who previously struggled with writing learn to develop their skills and gain confidence in their work is such a gratifying experience.”
Year-round, Autumn is the full-time encourager of many Mississippi College students.
“Working at Mississippi College is more than just a job to me,” Norman says. “It is an opportunity to change the world in each seemingly small act every day.” No matter the season, she cares for “students as they come through our doors to be filled with knowledge and God’s love before we send them out to do their life’s work.”
Colleagues deeply appreciate the talents Autumn brings to the table at Mississippi College with a spirit to serve others.
“Autumn is, without a doubt, the reason that the School of Humanities and Social Sciences can function,” says Dean Jonathan Randle. “She assists the faculty and staff in the division in so many ways,” from scheduling classes to addressing any academic complexities.
“She is a hard-working and generous colleague and an assistant that I am grateful for on a daily basis,” Randle added. He commends her “quick and insightful grasp of what needs to be done,” calling Autumn a model employee. She played a vital role with MC’s COVID-19 response team.
English professor Steve Price nominated Norman for the award. “Autumn builds a community for students within our department.”
One of her strengths as a teacher is offering solid academic advice and reassurance to undergraduates. Students “trust her and know she will support them,” Price said.
The first faculty sponsor of the university’s Social Justice Club, Price noticed many students joined at Autumn’s recommendation. Given her support of the club and students, Autumn became an easy choice as an additional faculty sponsor, a role she continues to play.
MC staff colleague Alexis Smith raves about this “smiling face” of her department. “She is the constant that we all need in this crazy hectic world of academia.” Autumn Norman, she said, "is the glue that holds it all together, and she makes it look easy. I am so honored to call Autumn a friend and colleague.”
Smith serves as the administrative assistant in the Department of History and Political Science. Alexis is an adjunct instructor in the Department of English and Philosophy. “There is no one more deserving of this award!.”
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Autumn spent much of her childhood living in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. She received a bachelor’s in English at Glenville State College. Her family moved to California. Autumn received an M.F.A. in creative writing and poetry at Antioch University of Los Angeles.
“But in the lush and diverse landscape of Mississippi – its farms, Gulf Coast, and the Pine Belt, I have found a true home,” Norman said. “I adore the warmth of Mississippians.”
Family is high on her agenda. Autumn and her husband, Cornnel Norman, are proud parents with four wonderful sons, Miles, Ezra, Leo, and Ari. The Norman kids stay involved in sports like football and basketball. They love romping in the fields and woods near their house in Bolton.