FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 8, 2006
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Town & Tower Club presents service awards to Bean,
COLUMBUS, Miss. – The Town & Tower Club presented
two awards at its annual Christmas program at
Mississippi University for Women on Friday.
Awards are given to an official of MUW and a
community person for outstanding service.
This year’s recipients were Dr. Suzanne Bean,
director of the Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative
Learning at MUW, and Joe Higgins, chief executive
officer of the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link.
Bean was recognized for her contributions toward the
improvement and advancement of gifted education. She
recently received the Frances A. Karnes Award of
Excellence in Gifted Education, which is given by
the Mississippi Association for Gifted Children.
She has master and doctoral degrees in special
education with an emphasis in gifted education. In
1991, she developed the master’s program in gifted
studies at MUW.
In addition to training hundreds of teachers in
gifted studies across the state, Bean co-authored
the leading textbook on gifted education in the
nation. She also has co-authored six additional
books for gifted students and their parents.
On the MUW campus, she developed the Summer
Discovery program, an enrichment program for gifted
elementary age students and served as the director
of the Mississippi Governor’s School for six years.
Higgins, who has served The Link since 2003, was
honored for his work with several community and
economic projects, including his efforts with
SeverCorr, a steel company, which currently has a
plant under construction.
He has served as a CEO of two other economic
development organizations, operated a consulting
firm and worked for a consulting engineering firm.
Higgins has completed 106 major community and
economic projects resulting in the creation of
10,000 manufacturing jobs and over two billion
dollars in industrial involvement.
He is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a
bachelor of arts in geography, the Institute for
Organization Management at The University of Notre
Dame, the Community Development Institute at The
University of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas
Higgins is a nationally certified planner, community
and economic developer and an environmental
Town & Tower’s purpose is to promote the mutual
interests of Columbus and MUW. Some activities
sponsored by the club include the annual legislative
trip to Jackson and the Community Prayer Breakfast.