Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

Recognizing 2020-21 Faculty Civic Champions

The Office of Community Engagement, in conjunction with the Voting Engagement Roundtable, is pleased to recognize Faculty Champions for the fall 2020 semester. The UM Faculty Champions Program was created last year to invite faculty to support our institutional voting engagement efforts. Led by Na Youn Lee, Assistant Professor of Social Work, the program offers faculty different ways they can support student voting engagement through the classroom and support students in navigating the sometimes-confusing voter processes.

During the fall semester, participating faculty could choose from various civic learning opportunities: adding a voluntary voting engagement blackboard module to their course, inviting a voter ambassador to host a classroom presentation on voting, supporting DebateWatch programming, and connecting students with resources for out-of-state voting. Each learning opportunity used by the instructor earned them Civic Champion Points. 

We are thankful for the practices these faculty members integrated into their academic courses. These faculty were part of a select group of 49 faculty members across departments and disciplines who committed to integrate voting engagement into their courses in different ways. Their commitment helped raise student voter awareness and engagement across campus.

Through their efforts, UM students were able to hear class presentations from our student voting ambassadors and get them excited about participating in the electoral process. Class presentations included how to get registered to vote, the ins and outs of absentee ballots, and resources available to them, such as vote.olemiss.edu and msvotes.org. Their efforts also gave students access to individual consultations, notary support, and online voting resources. This nonpartisan work helped students to understand the process of voting and how to participate in our democracy.

Increasing political literacy is a crucial step in ensuring that students become informed leaders. Incorporating democratic engagement in an open and nonpartisan way in the classroom can serve as a way to invite respectful discussions across the political aisle. Civic education isn’t just for political science and public policy courses. The faculty who participated covered a range of departments and majors, such as Mathematics and Civil Engineering. 

We are pleased to recognize the following faculty members for their participation last fall. (Several participants opted out of public recognition and are not included in this list.) Thank you, all, for promoting student civic engagement.


Gold Level Civic Champions

  • Erin Parker
  • Maureen Meyers
  • Bryan Kessler
  • Carmen Sanchis-Sinisterra
  • Amy Fisher
  • Eliot Parker
  • Catarina Passidomo
  • Brian Droubay 
  • Kevin Cozart
  • Barbra Williams
  • Patricia Digby
  • Brent Marsh

Silver Level Civic Champions

  • Molly Pasco-Pranger
  • Julie Wronski
  • Ellen Foster
  • Ayla Gafni
  • Debora Wenger
  • Sara Platt
  • Virginia Moore
  • Meg Barnes
  • Hannah Allen
  • Daniel Stearns

Bronze Level Civic Champions

  • Carolyn Higdon