Recognizing the personal achievements of The Long Blue Line.


Susan Hunt ’63 of Biloxi was named Outstanding Citizen by the Biloxi Lions Club. Hunt has dedicated her life to making Biloxi a better place. She has worked as a career educator, with Biloxi Excel By 5 and helped spark an interest in the colorful traditions of Mardi Gras. Hunt was recognized as Biloxi’s Outstanding Citizen during a Biloxi Lions Club luncheon at the Biloxi Yacht Club. Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, proclaimed it Susan Hunt Day in her honor, and several of Hunt’s friends and former students commented on the impact she has made on their lives. Hunt earned both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and began her Biloxi career in 1978 as a principal at Gorenfl o Elementary. She later served as principal at Michel Middle School, as the district’s drug-free coordinator and outreach coordinator, as a parent liaison, and today leads the community’s initiative Biloxi Excel By 5 as certification manager. Biloxi Excel By 5 helps parents prepare their children for the classroom environment.

Merrielyn Ginn ’69 of Tylertown, Southwest Mississippi Community College Social Science Division chairperson and history instructor, received the Wilmon McCaffery Outstanding Educator award presented by the Walthall County Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented at the Walthall County Chamber of Commerce membership banquet in January. Chamber 2016 president, Stephanie Miller, presented Ginn the educator award. Pictured with Ginn are T.W. Bearden, Laura Calhoun, Thomas Calhoun, Criminal Justice/Sociology Instructor Ashley Weathers, English Instructor Gwen May, SMCC President Dr. Steve Bishop, Ginn, Vice President for Academic Affairs Alicia Shows, Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics Bill Ashley, Vice President for Admissions Matt Calhoun, Psychology Instructor Elise Gatlin, and Humanities Chairperson James O’Rourke.



Paula Chance ’73, a Petal native, was named marketing director at MAEEx in Meridian. Chance, who has worked at the Louisiana State Museum and Friends of the Cabildo, both in New Orleans, said the MAEEx is a “a remarkable opportunity for Meridian.”

Angela Crossley Ferraez ’79 of Columbus has been named director of development for the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation. As the lead for the MPB Foundation, Ferraez is responsible for soliciting major gifts and planned giving, increasing foundation membership, as well as supporting radio and television programming through various fundraising initiatives. “I’m excited to work for an organization providing invaluable educational programs and other services to our state. Born and reared in Mississippi, I am very committed to serving the people of Mississippi. MPB opens the door to learning for everyone in our state. And I look forward to doing my part to expand these programs and make Mississippi our mission,” said Ferraez. The MPB Foundation is the fundraising arm for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Previously, Ferraez served as director of development and director of major gifts and special events at The W. Ferraez worked in marketing and public relations for private sector organizations. She also owned several businesses in the North Mississippi area. Ferraez holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from The W. She served on the Link’s Small Business Committee and on the board of the Mississippi Red Cross. Currently, Ferraez serves on the board of directors for Main Street Columbus.



Ellie Massey ’83 of Meridian was named the new artistic director at the community theatre, taking over after the former director announced his retirement. A theatre graduate, Massey has had a hand in many facets of theatre production. At The W, she directed and started the children’s theatre program.

Tina Morgan ’88 and two co-workers from Cook Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School in Columbus were presenters for a session at the Whole Schools Initiative’s Winter Institute in February. Their session, entitled “Performing Place Values,” was designed to show classroom teachers how to use music, movement and visual arts strategies when teaching place value. The trio’s proposal “ARTs of Speech” has been accepted and will be presented at WSI’s Summer Institute in June. The Whole Schools Initiative is a statewide arts education program which uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all subject areas.



Barry Eads ’93 was named chief nursing officer at Medical Center Enterprise in Enterprise, Ala. Eads most recently served as CNO at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Gadsden and assistant CNO at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield. In addition to serving in administrative roles such as assistant administrator of operations and quality, director of quality management, and emergency department director, Eads has clinical experience in surgical services, med/surg, emergency services, intensive care, home health and hospice and long-term healthcare. Eads holds a bachelor of science in biology with magna cum laude honors and a bachelor of science in nursing, both from The W. He also has a master of health administration from Ohio University.

Dr. Selena Nawrocki ’93, professor of interior design at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., has artwork accepted in the following national competitions: 20th Annual Rio Brazos Art Exhibition, Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center, Tarleton State University, Granbury, Texas, 2017 (“Crossbow Square”); 3rd Annual Collaborations and Mixed Media Exhibition, The Gallery at Center for Creative Education, West Palm Beach, Fla., 2017; Drawing Connections—Works by art faculty from Valdosta State University at the Kobro Gallery, Strzeminski Academy of Fine Arts, Lodz, Poland, 2017; 38th Annual Paper in Particular National Exhibition, Sidney Larson Gallery, Columbia College, Columbia, Mo., (“Inner Space Square”); Out of Order National Juried Exhibition, South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, Mass., 2016 Award of Merit; Light & Color, Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery, www., 2016; and the 12th National Juried Exhibition, Ceres Gallery, New York, N.Y. 2016.

Dr. Candace Warner, ’99, was the 2016 recipient of a Valdosta State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.



Candice Wactor Riley ’03 was named September Caregiver of the Month at Mississippi Baptist Health Systems in Jackson.

Edmond McDavis III ’03 earned a plaque in observance of completion of the 2016 Keep America Beautiful Certified Community Environmental Professional Course. McDavis is the communications coordinator for Keep Tennessee Beautiful. This recognition was received as part of the 2017 KAB National Conference, which was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. This course is a year-long endeavor, in which an applicant must complete: take four core courses lead by KAB National Trainers; do a speaking presentation at a board training or local community meeting/workshop on KAB behavior change system (minimum 30 minutes), along with a refl ection paper (500 words) on their speaking presentation; do one book review (1,000 words) agreed upon by the class or assigned by KAB; submit two case studies (1,000 words each) that demonstrate and explain how the applicant has applied information using behavior change strategies in the actual performance of their jobs. McDavis has served at KTnB for over 10 years.

Carla Whitfield ’04 of Hattiesburg, was named South Mississippi State Hospital’s fourth quarter 2016 Employee of the Quarter. She began working at SMSH as a family nurse practitioner in August 2015. Whitfield, currently a Lamar County resident, is a native of Marion County and a 1979 graduate of Columbia Academy. She earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Pearl River Community College in 1988, a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2003 and a master’s degree in nursing from The W in 2004. Prior to SMSH, Whitfield worked at Lumberton Family Health Center and Internal Medicine Clinic in Columbia.

Lesley Norwood Davis ’06 has been voted in as membership council director on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of New Orleans. In this capacity, Davis will work to ensure meaningful volunteer experiences for more than 2,200 women and one of the top 10 largest leagues in the world.

Hayley Gilmore ’08 of Columbus and a fine arts graduate of The W created a design that she planned to carry at the Jackson Women’s March, putting the sign on her website for other individuals to download. The sign became an overnight sensation with the volume of downloads crashing her website within a few days. “By Saturday (Jan. 21) the print had spread all over Facebook and Twitter, and the site had crashed, so I had to deal with that,” Gilmore said. “I didn’t even get to go to the march because I was helping people get things printed.” National media outlets soon began reaching out to her, and that she was interviewed by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the New York Observer and Wired. The design was created in Adobe Photoshop, and features a 1977 promotional photo of Princess Leia, played by the recently deceased actress Carrie Fisher under the phrase “A woman’s place is in the resistance.”



Kristen Barnes-Clay ’10, a Lanier High School teacher, was selected by the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) Awards and Recognitions Committee as a recipient for the 2017 Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Science Teachers. Each year, NSTA receives hundreds of nominations from around the United States for this coveted award. For the 2016- 2017 school year, there were a total of 25 individual Maitland P. Simmons New Science Teacher awards. Each winner receives a complimentary one-year membership to NSTA along with a $1,000 cash award that was used to attend the 2017 NSTA Conference which was held in Los Angeles, Calif. Barnes, who began her education career as a biology teacher at Lanier High School in 2012, served as The W’s first African American female Student Government Association President from 2008-2010.