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BOARD OF TRUSTEES HOLDS ANNUAL DIVERSITY AWARDS RECOGNITION

2/20/2020 - Jackson, Miss.

Dr. Eddie Holloway of Hattiesburg receives the Karen Cummins Community Service Award.
Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson of the University of Southern Mississippi is named the 2020 Diversity Educator of the Year.

The Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning celebrated Black History Month by holding its annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards ceremony at the meeting held today in Jackson. Campus and community leaders were recognized for their efforts in advancing diversity and encouraging understanding and respect. Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson, Associate Professor, School of Health Professions for the University of Southern Mississippi, was named the 2020 Diversity Educator of the Year.

Retired administrator and community volunteer Dr. Eddie Holloway of Hattiesburg received the Karen Cummins Community Service Award. In 2017, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the Community Service Award in memory of Trustee Cummins in recognition that her life epitomized what the award is all about, helping to improve Mississippi's communities with a welcoming and inclusive spirit.

"The Board of Trustees is very pleased to recognize Dr. Mayfield-Johnson and Dr. Holloway," said Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham, Chair of the Board of Trustees' Diversity Committee. "They both exemplify the ideals of diversity and inclusion and have made a tremendous difference through their tireless efforts to improve our state by demonstrating a welcoming spirit and promoting cross-cultural understanding."

A retired university administrator and community volunteer, Dr. Eddie Holloway served in numerous roles in Student Affairs and taught an array of undergraduate courses in psychology and graduate courses in higher education administration. He retired in 2019 as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Southern Mississippi.

He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and personnel management, a master's degree in community counseling, a second master's degree in public health education, and a doctorate in educational administration from The University of Southern Mississippi.

As a young man growing up in Mississippi in the 1960s, Dr. Holloway was a first-hand witness to the historic Civil Rights movement and Freedom Summer activities. These experiences influenced his life's work helping students at Southern Miss achieve their goals and influencing countless others across the country as he presented on various topics, including cultural diversity and leadership.

The Hattiesburg native served 16 years on the City Council and as president or vice president of the council for 12 of those years. He is a member of the Board of Directors for BancorpSouth and Wesley Medical Center and serves on the advisory councils for the American Red Cross, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. He is a charter member and past president of the Hattiesburg Public School District's Foundation.

Dr. Holloway has chaired the Martin Luther King, Jr. Ecumenical Prayer breakfast promoting the legacy of Dr. King for the past 13 years. He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two daughters.

An Associate Professor in the School of Health Professions for The University of Southern Mississippi,

Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson has made numerous contributions to diversity and inclusion at the University of Southern Mississippi and the broader community. Dr. Mayfield-Johnson has developed and taught a range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses, including Community Health, Health Disparities, Social and Behavioral Aspects for Health, and Community Organization for Health Education, among others.

An outstanding instructor, researcher and mentor, she also serves as a faculty affiliate in the area of women and gender studies and as an advisor for USM's McNair Scholars Program. As a McNair advisor, she worked with an undergraduate student to assess the City of Hattiesburg's five wards on issues related to access to health and social services, economic vitality, and the nutritional and recreational needs of the local community. The data gathered helped to inform numerous grant proposals developed by the City of Hattiesburg and the Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc.

Through her research, Dr. Mayfield-Johnson has gained considerable knowledge that has complemented her teaching, service and research responsibilities in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She has focused on two major areas, including how underserved populations can become empowered to change their own health and how race, class and gender affect access to healthcare. She has received fellowships from the U.S. State Department, the NIH Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

In his letter of nomination, Dr. Rodney Bennett, President of The University of Southern Mississippi, noted that Dr. Mayfield-Johnson has "a long history of providing support to the students and faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi, as well as the surrounding community. Her record of research, teaching and service is evidence of her efforts to increase diversity and inclusion not only at USM, but also to other organizations and communities with which she has interacted."

Dr. Mayfield-Johnson attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York; and earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In addition to the Educator of the Year, the Board also honored faculty from each of Mississippi's public universities for advancing diversity at their institutions. These honorees include:

Photos of honorees may be downloaded from the following links:

Educator of the Year
(l-r) USM President Dr. Rodney Bennett; 2020 Diversity Educator of the Year Dr. Susan Mayfield-Johnson; Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham

Karen Cummins Community Service Award
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Eddie A. Holloway, Karen Cummins Community Service Award recipient; USM President Dr. Rodney Bennett

Alcorn State University
(l-r) ASU President Dr. Felecia M. Nave; Dr. Ira Scott-Sewell; Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham
Delta State University
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Glendscene Williams; DSU President William N. LaForge
Jackson State University
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Lisa Beckley-Roberts; JSU Acting President Thomas Hudson
Mississippi State University
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Donald Shaffer; MSU President Dr. Mark E. Keenum
Mississippi State University, Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; MSU Interim Vice President for Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Dr. Reuben Moore
Mississippi University for Women
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Penny Sansing Mansell; MUW President Nora R. Miller
Mississippi Valley State University
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Abigail S. Newsome; MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs
University of Mississippi
(l-r) UM Chancellor Dr. Glenn Boyce; Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham
University of Mississippi Medical Center
(l-r) Trustee Dr. Steven Cunningham; Dr. Mohadetheh Moulana; UMMC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine Dr. LouAnn Woodward

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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