Nominations sought for 2011 Alumnae Achievement Awards

Homecoming 2011 will mark the 30th anniversary of the MUW Alumnae Achievement Award. This prestigious award is presented each year to up to five MUW alumnae who have made significant contributions in time, effort and loyalty to their country, their state and/or Mississippi University for Women.

Nominations for the 30th annual Alumnae Achievement Award may be made by visiting Mississippi’s First Alumnae Association’s website at www.msfirstalumnae.com. Nominations must be made by December 31, 2010. After that date, all nominees will be contacted and asked to send biographical information for consideration by a selection committee comprised of past presidents of the association. The Alumnae Achievement Award winners will be announced during Homecoming 2011.

W graduates receiving 2010 Alumnae Achievement Awards from Mississippi’s First Alumnae Association are (from left) Jane Dearing Dennis ’80, Hazel Martin Howell ‘45, Bridget Smith Pieschel ’79 and Kym Golden Gore ’97.

The 29th annual Alumnae Achievement Award presentations were made in April during Homecoming 2010 festivities. Four alumnae were recognized at the annual meeting and honored at a reception. Honorees are:

Hazel Martin Howell ’45 was one of the three signers of the application for the state charter creating the university's Foundation along with Dr. Charles Hogarth and Miss Emma Ody Pohl. She signed this during her term as President of the MSCW Alumnae Association, 1964-1966.

A resident of Canton, Miss., Howell was named Canton Mother of the Year and Mississippi Mother of the Year in 1974. She received the JC Penney Central Mississippi Golden Rule Award for Service to Youth, Youth Leader of the Year by the VFW, Lifetime Award for Service to Youth by the Canton Chamber of Commerce, and the highest Girl Scout Award for 52 years of service. The Canton Separate School District honored her by naming a new elementary school annex the Hazel Howell Annex in recognition of volunteer service. She was named District Beautiful Activist by Garden Clubs of Mississippi for her work with youth and was honored with Lifetime Membership by the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild for her weaving mastery and volunteer service to the Guild.

Howell had the joy of touring MSCW alumnae groups with Miss Pohl giving the presentation "Flower Arrangements While Reflecting on My Years at the W with Appropriate and Inappropriate Remarks."

Jane Dearing Dennis ’80 was the founding member and charter president of the Arkansas Alumnae Chapter for MUW in 1988. This chapter continues to be one of the strongest and most active chapters today. She has served on the Board of Directors for MUW Alumnae Association from 1985-1986, 1998-1999 and for Mississippi's First Alumnae Association from 2008-2010. She previously served as chair of the Chapter Development Committee.

While a student a MUW, Dennis was an editor for the Spectator, Zouave participant, Meh Lady staff member, member of Hottentots, Mortar Board and Student Government Association, Lancer Social Club president and received the Spectator Inky Award. Professionally, she was an editor with the Arkansas Democrat and Arkansas United Methodist and is now a freelance writer and communications specialist.

Dennis is a past president of the Little Rock Civitan Club, member of St. James United Methodist Church, serves on the Board of Directors for Arkansas Rice Depot and is a volunteer at Mount St. Mary Academy of Little Rock. She is also an antique dealer and has been married for 20 years to Robert E. Dennis. They are the parents of two daughters, Lindsey, 18, and Sidney, 15.

As a student at MUW, Bridget Smith Pieschel ’79, was in the Chapel Choir, Sigma Tau Delta English honorary, Mortar Board, Hottentots and Who's Who in American Colleges and University.

Pieschel earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama and has taught at MUW in the English Department since 1981. Pieschel currently serves as the Director of Women's Studies and Resident Scholar and Director of the Center for Women's Research and Public Policy as well as Full Professor of English.

She has served as the Director of the Honors Program, Head of the Division of Humanities, Director of the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium, Academic Master Plan Steering Committee, Co-Chair of Planning Committee for the 125th Anniversary of MUW, Director of the Pre-College Enrichment Program as well as many other committees and responsibilities at MUW. In 1990 she was MUW's Faculty Member of the Year and she received the Medal of Excellence in 2005.

In the community she is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Columbus Historic Foundation, Columbus Girl Choir Board, Columbus Tennessee Williams Tribute Scholars' Panel Director and many other activities.

Pieschel is best known to W alums for two books on MUW, “Loyal Daughters: A Centennial History of Mississippi University for Women,” co-authored with her husband Steven Pieschel, and “Golden Days: Reminiscences of Twenty Alumnae from Mississippi State College for Women.” The Pieschels are the parents of five children and two grandchildren.

Kym Golden Gore ’97, received the Young Alum Award. Gore graduated cum laude with a BA in English.

While a student she was active in Student Government Association serving as Attorney General, Vice-President and President of the Student Body. She was a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the Hall of Fame and served as an Orientation Leader. She was also a member of the Silhouette and Black List Social Clubs.

Gore graduated magna cum laude in 2001 from Mississippi College School of Law with her Juris Doctorate and was admitted to the bar in 2001. At Mississippi College she was Executive Editor of the Mississippi College Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board. She has been an associate in the firm of Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes, the firm of Phelps Dunbar, served as a clerk for United States Magistrate Judge Mary S. Scriven and as an appellate law clerk for Judge Leslie D. King of the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Gore currently works as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida.

She is the Immediate Past President of Mississippi's First Alumnae Association. She is married to Ray Gore and in her spare time is a novice triathlete.