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Kathryn Davis named Humanities Teacher of the Year

Kathryn Davis of Jones College was selected Mississippi Humanities Teacher of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year.

Through the years, Davis has been at Jones as a student, staff member and faculty member.

Davis began her time at Jones as a dual-enrolled student. When she started classes, her major was Fashion Merchandising. It wasn’t until she took psychology that she discovered her passion for the subject. Davis changed her major to psychology and continued her education at the University of Southern Mississippi.

While at USM, Davis worked for the university as a recruiter. After earning her degree, she worked full-time for the university as an admissions counselor.

Davis began working for Jones in 2008 when she was hired to do recruiting for the college. She became the director of recruitment in 2011, where she was primarily focused on high school juniors and seniors.  In 2016, Davis decided she was ready to teach. She took additional hours at William Carey University and made the transition to the classroom in the Spring semester of 2017.

After being in the classroom for seven years, Davis says this award is a huge honor for her.

“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Davis said. “I feel like it is a bit surreal though, to be in the same category as some of the greatest instructors that I know. I still cannot believe that I was chosen for this honor.”

Davis was honored by the Mississippi Humanities Council and Jones College on February 29, 2024. She gave a presentation titled “The Feature Film: A Cinematic Journey of Emerging Adulthood” which focused primarily on the transition period from students to young adults.

Davis said that part of her presentation was focused on finding what it is that you love to do.

“I truly love to teach Psychology and I have a passion for it,” said Davis. “In my presentation, I talked about truly knowing your interests and personality to enjoy your job/profession. I truly do enjoy going to work every day.”

Each semester, Davis teaches five to seven general psychology, human growth and development, and child psychology courses. Last Fall, she took on another role, becoming the advisement coordinator in the office of Instructional Affairs.

Davis credits her love for psychology to Randy Vinzant.

“He is the reason I love the subject so much and why I am teaching now,” said Davis. “When he decided to retire, he reached out and asked if I would be interested in teaching for the college. Of course, I was honored that he thought of me for that position.”

Freshman student, Lani Middleton, said Davis’s instruction was a determining factor in her career choice.

“Because of her, I decided to pursue a career in education,” said Middleton. “She is  truly invested in the success of each of her students and that really stood out to me.”

Middleton said Davis is leaving lasting impressions and encouraging students every day.

“She is the kind of educator that I hope to be,” said Middleton. “An educator that cares and sees the potential in every student I teach. Being under Mrs. Davis’s instruction showed me what it meant for a professor to truly care.” 

Haidyn Houston

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