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Mississippi College Salutes Faculty Members

MC communication professor Mignon Kucia
MC communication professor Mignon Kucia

Mississippi College is showcasing stellar faculty members reaching milestones during their decades of outstanding service.

Some stellar educators like nursing professor Deborah Bolian taught 35 years on the Clinton campus. Their skills as educators, researchers, and student advisors are off the charts.

Communication professor Mignon Kucia continues to experience the joys of teaching after 15 years on the job at MC.

“The opportunity to work with caring, hard-working, creative, and dedicated coworkers is a blessing not afforded to many,” Kucia said. “I am fortunate to have that here.”

It’s a pleasure for Dr. Kucia to get to know students in her classes in the Aven Fine Arts Building. “The opportunity to work with them is a gift. They helped me to grow academically and spiritually.”

Working with stained glass and spending time with family are passions for the Clinton resident away from the 195-year-old university.

MC planned to recognize faculty at a campus reception Thursday. But the event was postponed until a later date due to the surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.

After 20 years of service, music professor Bob Knupp says teaching at Mississippi College “is a genuine joy. Not only do we get to share our individual academic disciplines, but we get to share our faith and our lives with each other.”

Viewers tuning to WAPT-16 in Jackson can watch the talented organist perform at Galloway United Methodist Church during Sunday morning services. During his career, Dr. Knupp was featured as an organist at the Washington National Cathedral and other historic venues. Bob directs MC’s summer music camps for scores of teens from across Mississippi and nearby states.

Music Department Chair Angela Willoughby knows the Pennsylvania native is one of the shining stars on the faculty. “Bob is energetic, creative, and always willing to teach whatever is needed,” she said. “Bob’s interests are far-reaching, and his Pop Music Class is a hit with the non-music majors. Beatles to Bach, Bob has it covered.”

During difficult challenges amid COVID-19, MC faculty worked hard – just as they’ve done for many years at the Christian university prior to 2020.

Adjusting to online classes the final two months of the spring semester wasn’t easy, but professors stepped up, and so did students.

Since arriving from Nicholls State in Louisiana in 2010, political science professor Glenn Antizzo has helped students succeed.

What makes MC teaching such a rewarding experience? “There is something very good about working at an institution where everyone has a love for God and is unafraid to express their faith in Jesus Christ,” Antizzo said.

Teaching never gets old for Professor Sara Kimmel, who celebrates 10 years at Mississippi College. “The School of Business faculty and students are wonderful and a constant source of inspiration.”

Away from Self Hall classes, Sara serves at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Jackson. Strumming her guitar, reading, and spending quality time with family are among her favorite things to do.

Martha D’Amico, chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Leadership, is delighted to work with Professor Rachel Peeples. Her accomplishments during 10 years as an education professor are extensive.

“She is innovative and has the ability to think outside the box, with strong professional knowledge of best practices in teaching and accreditation,” D’Amico said.

Mississippi College is a wonderful place to work for the past 15 years for Kinesiology Department Chair Chris Washam of Clinton. “The privilege of being a member of the faculty of this very special institution has truly been a blessing to me and my family.”

Business professor Tammy Arthur is also being recognized for teaching for 15 years. She’s loved the experience since day one. “Our small classes allow me to get to know my students and engage them in ways that aren’t possible at large universities.”

There is life away from MC. Tammy serves as a board member of the Celtic Heritage Society. The Mississippian listens to traditional Irish music and performs Irish dances.

Earlier this year, Mississippi College leaders saluted staff members for their notable achievements.