Arts & Sciences announces faculty award winners

Photo of fall faculty award winners

Raymond E. Barranco (left to right), Catherine Pierce and Matthew W. Brown receive their 2018 fall faculty awards from College of Arts and Sciences Dean Rick Travis.

The College of Arts and Sciences at Mississippi State recently announced the recipients of the Dean’s Eminent Scholar awards for the 2018 fall semester. During the college's fall faculty meeting September 25, Dean Rick Travis presented each winner with a plaque.

The Dean’s Eminent Scholar awards recognize “exceptionally meritorious faculty who have achieved national recognition and enhanced the quality and stature of academic programs.”

Raymond E. Barranco, associate professor of sociology, won the Gary Meyers Dean’s Eminent Scholar award. Interim head of the sociology department Adele Crudden said Barranco is a nationally recognized scholar who “mentors students, engages in important service activities” and maintains an “impressive” research agenda.

“The Sociology Department is fortunate to have such a gifted and collegial faculty member,” Crudden said.

Matthew W. Brown, assistant professor of biological sciences, won the Sanderson Excellence Dean’s Eminent Scholar award. Head of the biological sciences department Angus Dawe said Brown he has obtained substantial extramural funding to support his research, leading to a large number of peer-reviewed publications.

“He has also developed into a thoughtful and conscientious mentor for his students who have gone on to win awards of their own,” Dawe said. “I’m very pleased that his achievements have been recognized by this prestigious award and I look forward to his continued success as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences.”

Catherine Pierce, associate professor of English, won the Beverly B. and Gordon W. Gulmon Dean’s Eminent Scholar award. Head of the English department Dan Punday said he is gratified to see Pierce’s work as a poet recognized, noting the value and rigor of creative work “can sometimes get neglected in a public university where so much emphasis is on the hard sciences.”

When nominating Pierce for the award, Punday said he considered two important aspects of her writing: “her consistent productivity as a poet -- 106 individual poems since 2010 -- and the recognition that she’s received from some of the most prestigious awards in poetry.”

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,300 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Discover more about the College of Arts and Sciences at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sarah Nicholas | College of Arts & Sciences

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