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Jacqueline Bell Loves Teaching at Mississippi College School of Education

MC professor Jacqueline Bell
MC professor Jacqueline Bell

Mississippi College’s family atmosphere and core Christian beliefs attracted Jacqueline Bell to a teaching post on the Clinton campus.

Dr. Bell is elated to serve as a new professor in the university’s professional counseling doctoral program.

“It is refreshing to be able to not only teach my students, but to also grow with them in faith as we all try to navigate life.”

The Carthage resident went to work as fall classes began August 17. So far, it’s been a smooth ride for the Leake County native.

“Everyone here has been so warm and inviting and it feels like the perfect fit already. Plus, MC’s reputation speaks for itself,” the Mississippian said. “I am just so thankful to be part of its future.”

Going to work at Mississippi College in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic offers challenges for the Christian university’s stakeholders. But she commends the response as MC opened its 195th year with a series of health protocols. Mask wearing, social distancing and temperature checks are part of many safety measures in place.

“It is clear that MC has put in safeguards for the faculty, staff and students. And from what I can tell, everyone is going above and beyond to do their part to stop the (coronavirus) spread.”

MC School of Education Dean Cindy Melton joins colleagues delighted to welcome Dr. Bell to the Blue & Gold family.

Jacqueline joins two other new Mississippi College education professors this summer. “We are very grateful to have these fantastic additions to the School of Education,” Dr. Melton said.

Jacqueline’s interest in the education field goes back to her days as a Mississippi State University graduate student. She served as a teaching assistant to cover classes for a psychology professor during days he left the Starkville campus.

“I was terrified, but the moment I stepped behind the podium, I knew academics was where I was meant to be. I love connecting with students and watching them work hard towards their degree,” Bell said. “When they walk across the stage at graduation, I am beaming with pride for all they have accomplished and will accomplish in their careers.”

Bell’s academic experience includes a dozen years in higher education. Most recently, she served as a psychology instructor at Holmes Community College. Bell was selected the school’s Faculty Member of the Year in 2020.

The professor earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical psychology at Mississippi State. She received a master’s in counseling psychology at the University of West Alabama. Her doctorate in marriage and family therapy came from the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Jacqueline and her husband, Casey, are the proud parents of two daughters, Madalyn, 11, and Anna Kay, 5, both Leake Academy students. Casey Bell is a CPA and director of accounting at the Central Electric Power Association.

Staying active at Carthage United Methodist Church, the Bell family makes their faith a big priority. The Leake County couple got married at the church 17 years ago.

Joining the Department of Psychology and Counseling faculty is the latest career move for the award-winning educator. Asked what she loves about teaching, Jacqueline didn’t hesitate. Dr. Bell is thrilled when students work hard to finish a project or complete a course despite adversity. “Their accomplishments and triumphs – that is what brings me joy. I am so thankful to have chosen this career path.”