English instructor Greg Underwood of Hattiesburg has been named Humanities Teacher of the Year at Pearl River Community College.
The Mississippi Humanities Council annually honors teachers from all regions of the state with the award. Each honoree receives an honorarium and presents a special lecture in his or her discipline to the community.
Underwood will present “Debating in the Public Sphere: The Difficulty of Defining Words” on Dec. 4 at PRCC’s Forrest County Center where he teaches.
“As an English teacher, I naturally have an interest in the way we use - and misuse - words to define the lives we have around us,” he said. “My topic focuses on the difficulty of creating mutual understanding in the public sphere when various constituencies use the same words for differing ends.”
Underwood holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., and the master’s degree in English from the University of Memphis where he was a teaching assistant. He has done graduate course work at the University of Southern Mississippi and was a graduate teaching assistant there for three years.
He came to PRCC in 1997, teaching English on the Poplarville campus until 2003 when he moved to the Forrest County Center. Underwood served as Forrest County Center instructional area coordinator for art, criminal justice, English, foreign languages, music, reading and speech from 2008-2012 when he became department chair for the same subjects. He also was named to the Forrest County Center Honors Faculty in 2011.
While at the Poplarville campus, he served as Faculty Association vice president and held the same office from 2005-07 at the Forrest County Center. He also served two years as a board member and on the regional executive committee of the Two-Year College English Association.
“Greg has been a devoted teacher at Pearl River Community College, who always puts his students’ best interests first,” said Dr. Cecil Burt, vice president for Forrest County operations. “We believe he does an excellent job in the classroom and as department chair.”