History Professor Receives Teaching Awards
Dr. John Neff, Associate Professor of History, received the 2009 Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and the 2009 UM Humanities Teacher of the Year award.
Neff specializes in American history, particularly the Civil War era. Students flock to his classes, including his popular Era of the Civil War course, which consistently enrolls more than 100 per semester. Letters nominating him for the Hood Award reflected such popularity, including one that read, "His classes fill quickly because they are informative, engaging and thought provoking." Another said, "Dr. Neff is an extremely talented instructor who has a deep knowledge and passion for this subject. Each class feels like a conversation rather than a lecture."
Neff said his goal is to provide students the opportunity to acquire skills and tools that will carry them far beyond his classroom. He said he feels lucky to teach in a place where Civil War history has such resonance with so many students.
Neff was recognized as the Hood Award recipient during the Honors Day Convocation last April. For the full story about Neff’s Elsie M. Hood award, including a video clip of an interview with him, click on http://www.olemiss.edu/pubs/viewfromventress/?p=646
This fall, Neff was recognized as the UM Humanities Teacher of the Year, co-sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council and the College of Liberal Arts. October is Arts and Humanities Month, as proclaimed by the President and Governor. As part of the month-long celebration of the humanities, each institution of higher learning selects a humanities faculty member for this honor. The recipient gives a public lecture during October. Dr. Neff’s public lecture will be titled “ ‘Our Hearts Were Touched by Fire’: The Memory of the Civil War” and will be held on Wednesday, October 28 at 7pm in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory. Students are encouraged to attend.
The Mississippi Humanities Council is an independent organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Established in 1972 on the premise that the humanities are relevant to any enterprise involving serious thought, discussion, and decision-making, the MHC has maintained a commitment to foster the public’s understanding of historical, literary, and philosophical perspectives on human experience. The Mississippi Humanities Council works in conjunction with other local and statewide organizations and institutions such as the College of Liberal Arts at UM to enrich the lives of the people in this state.