Published on February 24th, 2023 | by Newt Rayburn


Nominations Sought for 2023 Elsie M. Hood Award at University of Mississippi

Recommendations for university’s top teaching accolade due March 1, 2023

The University of Mississippi is seeking nominations for the 2023 Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching recognition a faculty member can receive from the university.

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are encouraged to submit nominations by March 1 for this year’s honoree. Assistant, associate and full professors – excluding previous award winners – are eligible. The winner receives a $5,000 prize and a personal engraved plaque and has their name added to a permanent display in the J.D. Williams Library.

“The tradition of academic excellence is held in the highest regard at the University of Mississippi,” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said. “The Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award is an opportunity to honor that commitment to excellence. We are fortunate to have dedicated, engaging faculty, and it is exciting and fulfilling to be able to award this distinction each spring.

“I strongly encourage our community members to participate in the nomination process.”

The selection committee comprises previous recipients, along with the director of alumni affairs and a student representative. Criteria include nominating letters that describe examples of exceptional teaching. Nomination letters from previous years also are considered.

Nominations can be submitted by Ole Miss faculty, students, and alumni online here, by email to or by mail to the Office of the Chancellor, Lyceum 123, University, MS 38677.

Previous winners of the award include John Bentley, Patrick Alexander, Matthew Reysen, John Young, Ann Monroe, John Rimoldi, Bob Brown, Ann Fisher-Wirth, William Berry, Ethel Scurlock, David Willson, Mark Wilder, Laurdella Foulkes-Levy, Gregory Schirmer, John Neff, Kelly G. Wilson, John O’Haver, and John Czarnetzky.

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About the Author

Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE in March of 2006. Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, and Art Director for Ole Miss' LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN. A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt Rayburn's alter ego—Neuter Cooter—lead the Mississippi band THE COOTERS to Rocknoll Glory across the USA from 1993-2018. Newt is a family man who also is a publisher, photographer, writer, musician, landlord, and Civil War enthusiast.

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