Thursday, October 12, 2006
news at Rust
Plans are in place for the 73rd annual meeting of the Mississippi Association of Colleges scheduled for October 22-24, in Holly Springs.
The Rust College family and the City of Holly Springs are excited about the conference and are rolling out the carpet for an estimated 200 administrators from senior and community colleges from across the state.
“We want to roll out the red carpet and welcome this group to our campus and Holly Springs,” said Dr. David Beckley, chair of the Mississippi Association of Colleges.
Rust will have the opportunity to do something that has never happened in Holly Springs or Marshall County. The association was established in 1927 and has hosted an annual meeting each year up until 2005 when the meeting was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina which was scheduled for Jackson with Jackson State University as host.
This year’s program is centered on accreditation with a look at the new principles of accreditation implemented by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). A special presentation will be given by the president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) on a newly approved Department of Education accrediting body for Schools of Education. Dr. Belle Wheelan, the new president of the Commission on Colleges of SACS, will be the lead-off keynote speaker during the opening session, followed by Dr. Frank Murray, president of TEAC. Dr. Wheelan and Dr. Murry will also be Dr. Beckley’s special guest at the opening reception at Walter Place on Sunday afternoon. On Monday during the Halbrook Luncheon, the challenges will come from the Memphis Red Birds baseball team and the Memphis Grizzlies basketball organization.
Dr. Belle Wheelan serves as president of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Her career spans 32 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president and secretary of education. In several of those roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities.
Dr. Wheelan received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in psychology and sociology; her master’s from Louisiana State University (1974) in developmental educational psychology; and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in educational administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.
She has received numerous awards and recognition including four honorary degrees; the Distinguished Graduate Award from Trinity University (2002), and from the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin (1992); Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, DC (2001); and the AAUW Woman of Distinction Award (2002).
She holds and has held membership in numerous local, state and national organizations including Rotary International; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the American College Testing, Inc., board of directors; American Association of Community Colleges’ board of directors; and the President’s Round Table of the National Council on Black American Affairs.
Dr. Wheelan attributes her success to hard work, endurance, tenacity, and being in the right place at the right time. She recognizes that prayer and support from family and friends make anything possible.
Dr. Frank Murray is a former dean of the College of Education and is currently H. Rodney Sharp Professor in the School of Education and the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware. He earned his B.A. degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland in 1960 and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association in the division of developmental psychology and the division of educational psychology and was president of the Jean Piaget Society. He has been an active researcher, publishing over 100 articles and chapters in psychology and education, and has served on the editorial boards of the principal journals in his field.
He is an active member of the teacher education reform movement, having served as a member of the boards of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Holmes Group, a consortium of leading research universities engaged in teacher education, and the Teacher Program Council of the Educational Testing Service. In addition he co-founded Project 30, a Carnegie Foundation project composed of teams of faculty from arts and sciences and education from thirty colleges and universities who are working on the reform of the liberal arts component of teacher education.
He was president of the Project 30 Alliance and later the Holmes Partnership, where he also served until 1998 as executive director. In 1996, he edited the Teacher Educator’s Handbook, which received special recognition for writing from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He was given an honorary doctorate in 1994 from Heriott-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland for his contributions to the fields of child development and teacher education. Murray was appointed president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council in July of 1998.
The City of Holly Springs, the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, the Holly Springs Tourism Bureau, WURC Radio, as well as local businesses throughout the community have played a major role in assisting Rust in planning for the conference.
“I am thankful for Rust having the opportunity to showcase Holly Springs,” said Dr. Beckley.
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