CLEVELAND, Miss.—Delta State University recently announced its 2022 outstanding staff and faculty award winners during the Spring 2022 Commencement Exercise May 5.
The 2022 S.E. Kossman Outstanding Teacher Award was presented to Dr. Tomeka Harbin, chair and associate professor of management in the College of Business and Aviation. Craig Clemons, manager of Custodial Services and Event Management, received the 2022 H.L. Nowell Outstanding Staff Award
The S.E. Kossman Outstanding Teaching Award honors the memory of prominent Cleveland businessmen and civic leader, S.E. Kossman, who was a staunch supporter of Delta State.
Harbin is the 40th recipient of this recognition and was presented with a cash award, a commemorative medallion and a plaque. In addition, her name will join past recipients on display in Kent Wyatt Hall.
“I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” said Harbin. “I believe one of the greatest moments in an individual’s career is for their colleagues to speak well of them, and my colleagues bestowed upon me that honor when they nominated me for the S. E. Kossman Outstanding Teacher of the Year.”
A native of Grenada, Miss., Harbin has taught in the Division of Business, Marketing and Business Administration for five years. She began her career at Delta State in 2011 as an instructor of management, then as an assistant professor of management from 2013 to 2019.
After serving in the interim role for 11 months, Harbin was named chair in July 2018 and received the rank of associate professor of management in 2019.
“I enjoy my colleagues and the students,” said Harbin. “It is a wonderful feeling to come to work and know that there are people who genuinely want to see you succeed and care about your wellbeing…and to see a student graduate after you have literally watched them mature and develop over the years is a gift that never gets old.”
Harbin’s teaching philosophy is rooted in her desire to prepare students for success both inside and outside of the classroom.
“Each student has a unique learning style, and it is my responsibility to adapt to the variations,” she said. “I support activities that evoke critical thinking and communication with peers—not just a teacher-centered classroom. My idea of a successful classroom experience reflects a teacher who is a facilitator of learning and introduces, guides and assists the students in learning concepts that they will be able to apply to their careers and lives.”
Harbin earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Mississippi, a Master of Science in Community Development from Delta State and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Presented annually to an extraordinary staff member, the H.L. Nowell Outstanding Staff Award is named in honor of former Delta State staff member, H.L. Nowell, who exemplified dedication and concern for others during his 39-year tenure at Delta State.
“It feels to receive this honor, and my heart is stilled filled with joy,” shared Clemons. “To say that I am honored is an understatement. This award, for me, is a validation that all my years of hard work have not gone unnoticed. I am humbled and thankful for the recognition of this prestigious award.”
A native of Duncan, Miss., Clemons is a graduate of Broad Street High School in Shelby, Miss. He joined Delta State’s staff in 1997, serving as janitorial service supervisor until 2008 and then custodial manager. He has held his current role since 2013.
“There are many aspects that I enjoy at DSU, but the most important to me is customer satisfaction,” said Clemons. “We not only prepare and sanitize the buildings to keep guests happy and healthy; we also set up events for their enjoyment. In the end, seeing the satisfaction from the students and guests brings me the most joy.”
Clemons is the 29th recipient of this recognition and was presented with a cash award and plaque. In addition, his name will join past recipients on display in the H.L. Nowell Union.