Brown receives Vickers Award for Excellence in Teaching
Holmes Community College Goodman Campus English Instructor Jessica Brown was the recent recipient of the prestigious Ovid Vickers Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to an English instructor who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom. She was honored at the Two-Year College English Association of Mississippi (TYCAM) Annual Conference titled, "Fifty Shades of English: Creativity and Innovation in the English Classroom" held at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond on Sept. 18.
"Jessica certainly epitomizes excellence in community college classroom instruction," said Department of English and Foreign Languages Chair Steve P. Deaton. "Mr. Vickers, whom the award was named for, was my community college instructor and has had a profound impact on my life. In the same way, I'm sure, many of Jessica's students could say the same about her."
A native of Vicksburg, Brown has taught at Holmes since 2006. Over the tenure of her career at Holmes, she has taught developmental English courses, English Composition I and II, and British Literature. In 2013, Brown was named the 2013 Humanities Teacher of the Year for Holmes. Her presentation as Humanities Teacher of the Year, "The Literary Runway," explored how fashion is used in literature and film.
Brown grew up loving all things involving literature and fashion, which she attributes to her mother, an avid reader and shoe enthusiast. She earned a bachelor's in English and history at The University of Mississippi, and soon after graduation, married her college sweetheart, Jeffrey Brown. He too is a member of the Holmes family, serving as assistant band director. The Browns share a love for Holmes and the students.
"This recognition came to me unexpectedly, but I am incredibly honored and grateful," Brown said. "Holmes Community College has always felt more like a second home rather than a workplace because of the inspiration, support, and encouragement I have received from both my colleagues and my students. Without them, I don't believe I could teach to a standard that's apparently worthy of a commemorative plaque. I teach the way I do because I want to see students succeed beyond my class and because, simply put, I just plain love it!"
Prior to her position at Holmes, Brown taught English at Central Holmes Christian School, which is where she credits finding her calling as a teacher. A year later, she earned her master's in English at Mississippi State University, which further fostered her enthusiasm for literature.
In 2014, Brown served as a guest speaker at the annual TYCAM conference, presenting a talk titled, "Get It Together: Developing an Integrated Reading and Writing Course." The talk summed up a project that she and six English instructors worked on the previous summer, following a visit to Lone Star Community College in Texas. Brown led the endeavor, which involved formatting new course designs for the combined reading and writing courses.
For more information about the Holmes Department of English and Foreign Languages, contact Steve Deaton at (601) 605-3358 or firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE PHOTO: Holmes Community College Goodman Campus English Instructor Jessica Brown who recently received the Ovid Vickers Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Two-Year College English Association of Mississippi (TYCAM) Annual Conference on Sept. 18.