Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEAD-WAE) is a program developed by the Legislature of Mississippi and sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Colleges. Each year, HEADWAE honors the intellectually talented students and faculty members of Mississippi’s higher education institutions for their marvelous contributions to promoting academic excellence. Southwest Mississippi Community College instructor Mike Flowers and sophomore Trulee Torres are recognized at the Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence ceremony in Jackson, Mississippi.
Flowers is a graduate of Nicholls State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Business in 1972 and a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision in 1985. Flowers has served in higher education for 38 years, including 11 years at Southwest. He is an Occupational Safety and Health Technology instructor. He is a member of The American Society of Safety Engineers. Flowers is supported by his spouse, Nancy Griffin Flowers, his daughter, Michelle Flowers Planche, and his son, Scott Michael Flowers.
Torres, who is married to Jorge A. Trulee, is a McComb resident and a graduate of North Pike High School. She is an exceptional student with a 4.0 GPA, and was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Public speaking during her freshman year of 2017. Torres has had a very rewarding career of more than 20 years with First Bank in McComb.
Every year, the Mississippi Legislature hosts Appreciation Day in Jackson as a way of thanking the students and faculty for their contributions to the future of the state. Honorees are invited to the State Capitol, where the Lieutenant Governor welcomes them. From there, they are introduced to both houses of the legislature, the following luncheon involves a hearty meal and an introduction of the nominees in front of a myriad of guests, institution leaders, corporate sponsors, and legislators.
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University, which includes the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi, including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Appreciation Day is meant to foster excellence among those in higher education in order to “further leadership, increase knowledge across the broad spectrum of education, and promote good citizens capable of thriving in today’s society who are prepared to meet future challenges,” as stated by www.mississippi.edu/headwae. “To this end, one student and faculty honoree are annually selected from each of the thirty-four public and private member institutions of the Mississippi Association of Colleges to participate in the Appreciation Day activities.”
PICTURED INCLUDES: SMCC Vice-President for Academic Affairs Alicia Show; HEADWAE Student Trulee Torres; HEADWAE Instructor Mr. Mike Flowers; SMCC President Dr. Steve Bishop.