February 9, 2024

Gifford, Stovall to be honored as William Winter Scholars at 35th annual NLCC

Therese Apel

Keith Stovall of Brookhaven, Co-Lin Social Science Division Chair and Instructor of Psychology, Sociology, and Child Advocacy Studies; and Co-Lin sophomore Katherine Gifford of Liberty

Keith Stovall of Brookhaven, Co-Lin Social Science Division Chair and Instructor of Psychology, Sociology, and Child Advocacy Studies; and Co-Lin sophomore Katherine Gifford of Liberty have been selected to represent Copiah-Lincoln Community College as William Winter Scholars at the 35th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC) to be held February 22-24, 2024, in Natchez, Miss.

Each William Winter Scholar is chosen by his or her college, university, or community college as the most outstanding student, faculty member, or professional. This award allows winners to attend most of the NLCC free of charge. The annual award also carries with it prestige and public acknowledgment of how highly each scholar is regarded by his or her institution.

“An exemplary instructor, a steadfast advocate, and a beacon of inspiration, Mr. Stovall embodies the essence of excellence in education,” said Co-Lin Wesson Campus Vice President Jackie Martin. “As a recipient of the William Winter Scholar Award, his dedication as a division chair and tireless advocacy for child welfare stand as testaments to his unwavering commitment to nurturing not only academic growth but also compassion and empathy.”

Stovall earned a bachelor’s degree from William Carey University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Counseling Psychology. He began his professional career as a Therapist and Forensic Interviewer at the Southwest Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in McComb, Mississippi. While at the SMSCAC, he conducted nearly 600 interviews in four years and served as an Expert Witness in Circuit Court cases. He is a two-time recipient of the Robert M. Segal Multi-Disciplinary Team Award and fought for children during and following his tenure at the CAC.

He has been employed at Co-Lin since 2006 and teaches courses in Child Psychology, Marriage and Family, Adolescent Psychology, General Psychology, Introduction to Sociology and Perspectives in Child maltreatment. In 2022, the Child Advocacy Response and Education (C.A.R.E.) student organization was created with Stovall as their Faculty Advisor. In 2023, Stovall launched the Virtual C.A.R.E. house to provide simulated education online. The development of the Virtual C.A.R.E. lab at Co-Lin will expand the footprint of CAST education through its use in several CAST initiatives. This virtual “SIM” space will continue to bring personalized, nuanced, and realistic CAST training for years to come. Stovall and his wife Teresa are the proud parents of three children.

Stovall was able to select one student who he felt deserved recognition for their hard work, dedication, and overall integrity to represent the college as the student William Winter Scholar. He selected Gifford.

“Katherine is an absolutely outstanding student and deserves to receive this recognition as a William Winter Scholar,” said Stovall. “I selected her because she is a visionary and helped create the C.A.R.E. student organization on campus. She has a heart for eradicating child abuse.”

Gifford serves as President of the C.A.R.E student group, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, and the Baptist Student Union. She serves as a Trailblazer student recruiter and as a manager for the Lady Wolves Softball team. After Co-Lin she plans to continue her education and pursue a career as an occupational therapist.

About the 35th annual NLCC

Using the theme, “Rites, Rituals, and Religion in the Deep South,” this year’s conference will explore life and death experiences in a series of presentations on religious traditions, burial rituals, cemetery history, mourning practices, and historic holidays which are all deeply embedded in the Southern Experience.

This two-and-a-half-day event will feature scholars whose presentations will parallel an evolving historical American narrative of the living and the dying based on both “Old World” traditions combined with a profound sense of democracy, race, and ingenuity. This mix of the old and new has created an eccentric culture we proudly call Mississippi. Most conference events are free of charge and held at the Natchez Convention Center. The full agenda for the NLCC can be found at www.colin.edu/nlcc.

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