Hinds Community College English instructor Laura Hammons, a native of Brandon, won the Cowan Award, the top teaching award given by Two-Year College English Association—Southeast (TYCA-SE).
Hammons has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Belhaven University and a Master of Arts from Mississippi College. She has also done further coursework at both the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University.
She has been teaching at Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus for 16 years. Among the subjects she has taught for Hinds are Developmental English, Composition I and II, American Literature, World Literature, and a new course, Writing for Publication.
As part of the award, Hammons delivered the Cowan lecture during the February conference in Charleston, S.C. In it, she gave tribute to many of her former and current colleagues, including retired Hinds instructor Beverly Fatherree. The two co-authored an English textbook called “For Our Students.” The book is sold at a low cost to students at a number of community colleges, and the two of them get no profits from the book.
Hammons said in her Cowan Award address that nearly 5,000 Hinds Community College students bought the textbook “For Our Students” since the first edition appeared. And that only includes Hinds students.
“I did simple math, the only math I’m capable of doing, and calculated that at Hinds CC alone, our book has saved students — very conservatively — $250,000. And in the poorest state in the Union, that’s a lot of money,” she said.
Hammons noted that she is the seventh Hinds instructor to win the Cowan Award. “Honoring me with the Cowan Award is the highlight of my professional life. I am grateful to my college and to TYCA-SE for helping me grow as a human being and as a teacher,” she said.
Hinds Community College is celebrating its 100th year of Community Inspired Service in 2017. Hinds opened in September 1917 first as an agricultural high school and admitted college students for the first time in 1922, with the first class graduating in 1927. In 1982 Hinds Junior College and Utica Junior College merged, creating the Hinds Community College District. Today, as Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution with six locations. Hinds offers quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.Hinds CC English instructor wins top teaching award.