COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Dr. Erin Kempker, chair of the Department of History, Political Science, and Geography, and Lisa Shrestha, senior biology student, will represent Mississippi University for Women at the Higher Education Appreciation Day, Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) Appreciation Day in Jackson.

One student and faculty honoree are annually selected from each of the 34 Mississippi public and private universities and colleges to participate in the Appreciation Day event set for Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Jackson Marriott Hotel.

KempkerKempker was named The W’s faculty member of the year during 2017 spring commencement ceremonies. Kempker has served as an associate professor of history for the department since 2008. During her time at The W, Kemper has held the role of chair of the Academic Integrity Committee, president of the American Association of University Women and been a member of the Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Council. In 2016, Kempker was chair of a working group for a committee composed of faculty, staff and students that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the university. Kempker, along with colleagues, were involved with researching the history surrounding desegregation and integration at The W in 1966.

As member of the Ina E. Gordy Honors College, Shrestha is described as a brilliant student, who is quick a learner and demonstrates rare leadership qualities. Throughout 2017, she worked to complete research to determine the optimal conditions to enhance the sensitivity of immunoblotting protein. The results of her research will be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and presented at the annual meetings of the Mississippi Academy of Science in 2018. Shrestha has served as the vice-president of the Nepalese Student association and is currently the vice-president of Phi Kappa Phi. She also a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon.

HEADWAE was established by Mississippi Legislative Resolution to annually honor the academically talented students and faculty members of Mississippi's higher education institutions who have made outstanding contributions in promoting academic excellence. The Appreciation Day, hosted by the Legislature each February in Jackson, is the Legislature's way of saying "thank you" to these students and faculty for their commitment to the future of Mississippi.

On Appreciation Day, the Honorees are invited to the State Capitol where they are welcomed by the lieutenant governor and recognized in each chamber of the Legislature. A luncheon follows wherein each student and faculty honoree is recognized by name in front of their guests, institution leaders, corporate sponsors and legislators.

Jan. 5, 2018 
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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