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Faculty honored with humanities award

By November 5, 2013College of Arts and Sciences

Many know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month but it is also recognized as Arts and Humanities month. The Mississippi Humanities Council celebrates each year by awarding one Humanities faculty member at each institution with the Humanities Teacher Award. Professor in Delta State’s Division of Languages and Literature Dr. James Tomek has been selected by the faculty in the division to represent them and be the award recipient.

Tomek is honored to be selected as the award recipient.

“Upon receiving the award, I was honored that my colleagues thought that I was deserving of this recognition. I do love teaching language and literature and am honored primarily by being able to teach these beautiful arts at DSU. I myself voted for several colleagues in our division and consider just about everyone deserving of the honor,” said Tomek.

As the representative, Tomek will present thesis research on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wright Art Gallery at Delta State. The title of his presentation is “Get Christ out of Christmas and Prayer Back in School –that is Reading as Prayer,” which is an update to the original title “Can One Be Religious and Not Believe in God.”

Tomek will talk of elevating reading to the level of prayer — the communication we have with the most important aspects of our lives which is also a good definition of religion. Listeners should come away from the talk with better ideas about what philosophy is and what stories can do to help us interpret and find significance in our vocations across many academic disciplines.

His conclusion will suggest methods of recruiting students to Delta State and also promote the school’s new Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MA-LS) program. The presentation is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The title carries a cash award and the recipient is recognized at the annual Awards Banquet in February in Jackson.

“I plan to reinvest any cash award back to the department for an evening of intellectual and beverage sharing – a real banquet – Plato style,” said Tomek.