Dr. Larry Anderson — Photography/Jack of All Trades
Dr. Larry S. Anderson began his professional career in education as a junior high school industrial arts teacher in his hometown of Starkville, Mississippi. Actually, by the time he took his first teaching job in 1973, he had gained quite a bit of experience teaching young people by working with youth in church activities, and especially when he drove a school bus for many years. He learned how to employ the key characteristic of patience as he helped others to develop their skills and interests.
Dr. Anderson taught industrial arts for eight years, and then was named Principal of Armstrong Middle School in Starkville, MS, where he served for three years. He was recruited to join the Technology and Education faculty at Mississippi State University. For 17 years, Dr. Anderson taught and designed courses ranging from basic electronics to computer literacy to the full spectrum of courses for the graduate Instructional Technology degree program. He retired from university teaching in December 2000 and now devotes 100 percent of his time to public speaking, writing, and consulting.
Dr. Anderson created the National Center for Technology Planning in 1992. He had conducted research that revealed the significant importance of a school’s having a well thought out technology plan. He has worked with schools, government agencies, military, corporate offices, and public service on technology planning. In the mid to late 1990’s, Dr. Anderson devised the notion of educational/instructional technology audit to assist with a school’s accountability. The result of this was the publication of his 270-page book, Technology Audit Survivor’s Guide. He continues to help school leaders understand how this audit can actually help their schools, how they should not fear the audit, and how they can look forward to the audit process.
“Dr. A,” as he is affectionately known by many of his former students and colleagues, has been called the “Johnny Appleseed of Technology,” because he has been responsible for collecting and giving away to schools across the world innumerable solutions to their technology dilemmas. He is a man who experienced many “firsts”:
- created the first interactive videodisc in Mississippi (in collaboration with Dr. Dan Brook and Mr. Keith Tartt);
- co-founded the Mississippi Educational Computing Association (MECA), the first and only professional organization in Mississippi dedicated specifically to help teachers and administrators in public, private, parochial, and higher education institutions to learn how to make practical and powerful uses of the technologies that became available;
- first president of MECA;
- first doctoral student at the University of Alabama to be named Outstanding Graduate Student two years in a row;
- first Chairman of the Mississippi Council for Education Technology, an advisory group formed by the MS Legislature in 1994; and
- created and managed the first webcast of a cultural arts concert from Mississippi (jazz concert of the Mark Applebaum Trio) broadcast live to six continents via the World Wide Web.
Dr. Anderson is respected by thousands and held in high esteem; however, the accolade for which he is most proud is being known as a good husband and good father.
Dr. Michelle Baragona — Science
Dr. Michelle Baragona, Associate Vice President of Academic Instructional Programs at NEMCC, is currently serving as Academic Department Chair of the Mathematics and Sciences at Northeast Mississippi Community College. During graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi, she studied molecular biology of marine organisms. These studies included population surveys using genetic fingerprinting and bioengineering techniques. After receiving a master’s degree in from Southern Miss., she began teaching at Northeast Mississippi Community College in the biological sciences. She earned a doctorate degree in science education from the University of Mississippi.
She currently holds the title of Apple Foundations Trainer and advocates Apple technology use in the classroom. Michelle regularly mentors faculty on integrating technology with traditional teaching techniques as a way to increase student retention and success. She actively engages the students in her classroom using current technological trends in a collaborative learning environment.
Michael H. Miller — Mobile Photography
During his daily responsibilities at Northeast Mississippi Community College, Public Information Specialist Michael H. Miller is in charge of the college’s 10 social media accounts, co-advises the student newspaper (The Beacon), and the student yearbook (The Torch) along with serving as a liaison between the college and the media.
In addition to his employment at Northeast Mississippi Community College, Miller has been a stringer for The Associated Press for over six years and has had his work featured in various publications such as the Omaha World Herald, Washington Post and New York Times and websites of ABC News, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, Fresno Bee, Kansas City Star, Sacramento Bee, MSNBC, USA Today, Washington Post, and New York Times along with publications in Europe, Africa, India and Asia.
Miller holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Mississippi State University (Starkville, Miss.), a Bachelor’s of Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Project Management from Union University (Jackson, Tenn.), where he was named as a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda – the national honor society for non-traditional undergraduate students, and an Associate of Arts in Journalism from Northeast Mississippi Community College. He most recently complete extra graduate work in management from Delta State University (Cleveland, Miss.) to reach an 18-hour certification in business management.
In his spare time, Miller is an active member of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the University Photographers Association of America. He is a former member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (Co-SIDA) and has had volunteer memberships as a committee member of the Corinth/Alcorn County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s Outdoor and Sports Recreation sub-committee and a member of the Young Professionals Association of Corinth. Miller also serves as one of the state judges for the annual Mississippi Scholastic Press Association; he is also a southeastern member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Dr. Niki Peel — K-12