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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Professors, Staff Receive Lift Every Voice Awards at UM Black History Month Kickoff


Lift Every Voice 2015

Shawnboda Mead (center) congratulates 2015 Lift Every Voice Award honorees Brandi Hephner LaBanc (left) and Jennifer Stollman. | Photo by Mary Knight.

“Lift Every Voice” is traditionally known as the Negro national anthem, but the song title is also the name of an annual award presented at the University of Mississippi.

Four UM employees received this year’s “Lift Every Voice” award Feb. 3 during UM’s Black History Month kickoff celebration in the Ole Miss Student Union. Honored were Joseph Ward, professor and chair of history; Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs; Jennifer Stollman, academic director for the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; and Kirk Johnson, associate professor of sociology and anthropology and African-American Studies.

Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson

“The Black Faculty and Staff Organization of the University of Mississippi founded the ‘Lift Every Voice’ award to recognize an individual, group or entity that has contributed to the betterment of human relationships on our campus,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of UM’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “Particular emphasis is given to the areas of diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion. Recipients of this award have worked beyond their normal employment boundaries and performed the ‘extra mile’ of service to their fellow man for the university.”


Previous recipients include Thomas Wallace, former vice chancellor for student affairs; Johnnie Williams, former vice chancellor for administration and finance; Leroy Wadlington, former pastor of Second Baptist Church in Oxford; Glenn Hopkins, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and professor emeritus of mathematics; Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor emeritus for university relations; Maurice Eftink, dean emeritus of the Graduate School and professor of chemistry and biochemistry; Chancellor Emeritus Robert Khayat; Donald Cole, assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs and associate professor of mathematics; Warner Alford, alumni director emeritus and former athletics director; Kirsten Dellinger, professor and chair of sociology and anthropology; Jackie Certion, senior academic adviser; Patrick Perry, director of the LuckyDay Program; Curtis Wilke, associate professor of journalism; Aileen Ajootian, professor of classics; Susan Glisson, director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation; Jeff Jackson, associate professor of sociology; Charles Ross, associate professor of history and director of African-American studies program; Susan Grayzel, professor of history and director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies; Morris Stocks, provost and professor of accountancy; and Chancellor Dan Jones.