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Melody Hanberry Receives Pittman Young Faculty Award

Mrs. Alicia Pittman, Dr. George Pittman, Dr. Melody Hanberry, and Dr. Ron Howard
Melody Hanberry is a talented Mississippi College music professor who's winning accolades as director of MC's Taylor School.

For Hanberry's accomplishments, high energy level, leadership skills and much more, she is the recipient of MC's 2009 Pittman Young Faculty Award. Dr. Hanberry designed and created the Department of Music's preparatory program, the Taylor School. She serves as assistant professor of piano pedagogy on the Clinton campus.

Established in 2004 by George Pittman, Class of 1959, and his wife, Alicia, Class of 1960, the award is given to encourage young faculty at Mississippi College.

"In two short years, Dr. Hanberry has established herself as an integral part of an otherwise experienced, long-tenured faculty," said James Meaders, the MC music department chairman and director of choral activities. "She is highly intelligent, a team player and motivated to provide leadership in curriculum development and vision for the department's fledgling preparatory program."

The Taylor School now boasts 46 students who participate in the study of various musical disciplines on afternoons and evenings. Hanberry has also blazed the trail by designing the newly proposed master of music in piano performance and pedagogy, Meaders noted.

In short, "her work thus far is exemplary," he said. "She possesses all of the necessary gifts and expertise to provide exceptional leadership and vision in this department for many years to come."

A Clinton resident, Hanberry received a bachelor's of music in piano performance at William Carey University in Hattiesburg. She received a master's in piano pedagogy and doctor of philosophy in music from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She serves as vice president for membership and web management with the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. Dr. Hanberry is also an accompanist at First Baptist Church in Florence.

Teaching at MC and building the Taylor School "are two things that I enjoy immensely," Hanberry said. "It is my hope that students continue to find inspiration to fuel their passion for music even after their time in our program is complete."

The award winner is selected by the MC Deans Council. The professor getting the honor should be no older than 35, have strong Christian values, possess a doctorate and be recognized for their accomplishments plus potential as a teacher. Nominees must teach for at least two years, but no more than five years at the Christian university.

"Melody is one of our most dynamic and engaging young professors," said Ron Howard, the MC vice president for academic affairs. "We feel so very fortunate to have her at MC."