Top 20 Arts and Humanities Professors in Mississippi

Arts Professor at Mississippi College

Mississippi’s top liberal arts professors inspire their students to turn their passions into compelling careers. The teachers on this list embody the ideals of pursuing well-rounded educations, modeling best practices for students who want to reconcile their diverse interests into cohesive vocations.

Using Mississippi as a home base for global learning expeditions, many of the liberal arts professors on this list use their specialties to show students the world. Through international study programs and global partnerships, Mississippi’s top professors have helped students explore Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

Some of these educators have returned to their home towns or to their own alma maters, hoping to improve life in the communities and at the institutions that helped them achieve success. Many of these teachers ground their lessons in the history of the Delta Blues and the geography of the Gulf Coast. All of them demonstrate a passion for the students of their state.

Professor School Bio Photo
Aaron Anderson Alcorn State University

Professor Anderson documented the transformation of Mississippi’s economy between the Civil War and World War I in his latest book. His contributions to scholarly books and journals add perspective to the history of the post-bellum South.

Alisea McCloud Rust College

Dr. McCloud was selected for an Exemplary Teacher Award, honoring her service beyond the classroom at this historically black college. Peers have honored her for building an English curriculum that exemplifies the values of United Methodist faith.

Beth Ann Fennelly University of Mississippi

This published poet has already won the Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year and College of Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year awards. Yet, students may recognize her essays on Southern culture as a Contributing Editor to The Oxford American.

Catherine Pierce Mississippi State University

After winning the Wick Chapbook Competition for poetry, Professor Pierce earned the co-chair position at MSU’s creative writing department. Since then, she published two acclaimed books of poetry, inspiring students by example.

Charles Wesley Alcorn State University

Professor Wesley has won recognition for bringing the work of his music students outside the classroom and into the community. As director of Alcorn’s Men’s Chorale, Wesley has inspired student performers for decades.

Chuck Westmoreland Delta State University

Named one of the state’s teachers of the year by the Mississippi Humanities Counci, Dr. Westmoreland has earned a reputation for rigorous historical examination of the Mississippi Delta. Westmoreland’s field-based research inspires students to collect oral histories and other primary research.

Elayne Hayes-Anthony Belhaven University

One of the first African-Americans to get a job as a local TV air talent brings her expertise to aspiring broadcast journalists. Professor Hayes-Anthony leans on her industry connections for compelling student conferences and hands-on work experiences.

Eric Thomas Weber University of Mississippi

A recent recipient of the Frist Student Service Award, Dr. Weber has earned accolades for making time for students despite his busy schedule as a published author, public policy consultant, and independent record label owner. Dr. Weber records his lectures and posts them online so students can focus on discussion and interaction instead of taking notes.

George Bey Millsaps College

Dr. Bey earned a Best Practices in Site Preservation Award from the Archaeological Institute of America for his work with Mayan ruins in Yucatan, Mexico. As both a professor and a leader of Millsaps’ international studies program, Dr. Bey inspires students to build real world skills in extraordinary surroundings.

J. Janice Coleman Alcorn State University

Although she teaches English, Dr. Coleman often exposes students to cross-disiplinary work that bridges the worlds of arts, crafts, and contempoary writing. Community leaders have cited her charity initiatives, and her drive to expose the humanities to a wider audience.

Jason Klodt University of Mississippi

Dr. Klodt brings his eclectic travel experience to classes on Spanish literature and cinema, for which he has won the College’s Outstanding Teacher Award. The Iowa native researches the confluence of popular culture and film in contemporary Spain.

Jeffrey T. Jackson University of Mississippi

For over a decade, Dr. Jackson has helped Ole Miss students explore the role of non-governmental organizations in the globalization process. This award-winning professor’s work builds on field work he conducts in Honduras.

Jimmy Mumford Jackson State University

A Delta State alum, Professor Mumford helps students at his alta mater explore how design conveys deeper meaning. His exploration of signs and symbols have won acclaim from students and awards from educators.

Laura Walton Mississippi State University

Students praise this communications professor for her compassionate work on behalf of Haitian medical clinics. She teaches PR students how to fundraise and spread the word for worthy causes.

Lou Haney University of Mississippi

Earning an award for the Outstanding Teaching of Freshman isn’t enough for this Alabama native. Professor Haney stages numerous exhibitions at galleries across the country as well as curating student exhibitions around town.

Mark Malone William Carey University

As a noted scholar of Mississippi Blues and its history, Dr. Malone helps students use music as a vector for learning other types of lessons. With NEA funding through the MS Arts Commission, he helped develop lesson plans for arts education across the country.

Michael Galaty Millsaps College

With over 15 years of experience in the field, Dr. Galaty specializes in surveying the remains of Greek culture in the Balkans. He earned an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Archaeological Institute of America for encouraging student participation at digs in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Michael Kardos Mississippi State University

A published novelist, Kardon won the the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for a short story collection in 2012. He edits MSU’s literary journal and encourages students to bring their creativity to contemporary literature.

Ross Haenfler University of Mississippi

An unconventional anthropology professor, Haenfler studies hardcore punk and radical political subcultures. Outside the classroom, this award-winning teacher leads students on service learning adventures to destinations like Costa Rica.

Sarah Bares Millsaps College

Dr. Bares has earned recognition for bringing new technology to the Modern Languages department. There, she teaches Spanish with a focus on Latin American culture based on her work studying the history and literature of Puerto Rico.