Annual Awards Program Honors UM Faculty and Students

HEADWAE recognizes academic achievement, contributions to higher learning

University of Mississippi students and faculty were among the honorees at the 32nd annual Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence, or HEADWAE, awards program last month in Jackson. Pictured, from left, are Ann Elizabeth Monroe, assistant dean, director of assessment and associate professor in the UM School of Education, Megan Poirrier Ladner, assistant professor of occupational therapy and a Doctor of Health Administration student at the UM Medical Center, and Edward Elam Miller, a senior from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who is majoring in public policy leadership. Not pictured is Shamsi Daneshvari Berry, assistant professor of health informatics and information management at UMMC.

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students and faculty were among the honorees at the 32nd annual Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence, or HEADWAE, awards program last month in Jackson.

Edward Elam Miller, a senior from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who is majoring in public policy leadership, and Megan Poirrier Ladner, assistant professor of occupational therapy and a Doctor of Health Administration student at the UM Medical Center, are the student honorees.

Ann Elizabeth Monroe, assistant dean, director of assessment and associate professor in the UM School of Education, and Shamsi Daneshvari Berry, assistant professor of health informatics and information management at UMMC, are the university’s faculty representatives at the awards program.

Shamsi Daneshvari Berry

“I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would be honored with this award,” said Miller, the Associated Student Body president. “It’s a special experience to know that some of the state’s most esteemed public servants recognize my contribution to higher education as a student.

“It gives me confidence to keep working toward the betterment of myself and higher education in Mississippi.”

Monroe said it is a great honor to represent the university.

“I think HEADWAE is a nice way for the Mississippi Legislature to show that it values education and what the institutes of higher learning are doing across the state,” said Monroe, the university’s 2018 Elsie M. Hood Award recipient for excellence in teaching. “It was nice that the Mississippi Legislature took the time to honor us and thank us for what we do in higher education.”

Ladner received her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, graduating magna cum laude, from the UM Medical Center in 2004 and her master’s in early intervention from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007. She has served as an occupational therapist at River Oaks Hospital in Jackson since 2007 and joined the UMMC faculty as an assistant professor of occupational therapy in 2012.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in anthropology at the University of California at Davis in 1998, Berry received her master’s in 2003 and her doctorate in 2011 from the University of New Mexico, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical informatics. After serving as adjunct faculty in the Department of Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center at the University of New Mexico, she joined the UMMC faculty as an assistant professor of health informatics and information management in 2016.

HEADWAE was established by legislative resolution to honor students and faculty from the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning who have made outstanding contributions in promoting academic excellence.

The UM and UMMC honorees were among 62 others from Mississippi’s 34 public and private universities and colleges.

The winners toured the state Capitol Feb. 26 and attended an awards luncheon where Gov. Phil Bryant was the keynote speaker.