USM Professor receives national humanities honor

Hattiesburg, Miss. - One USM professor recently received a national endowment for her field of study and is also the first USM faculty member to receive this particular award in a very long time.

USM professor, Rebecca Tuuri said, "I found out about a month ago that I was one of the recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. It's a highly-competitive process so I was very excited."

Tuuri teaches several history classes, but one subject she likes to teach the most is the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Tuuri said "this coming fall, I'm going to be teaching a course on Mississippi and the Civil Rights Movement. It's really exciting to teach in Mississippi. It's such a wonderful topic. So full of inspiration here locally."

Tuuri is receiving a $6,000 grant for two months of research for her book project that no one has ever attempted to do.

Tuuri said "it's called 'Careful Crusaders: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle.' It looks at the history of the largest Black women's organization in the 1960's. They built 18,000 homes from the late 60's to mid-70's."

Peers and students know that Tuuri has a very strong passion for teaching.

Tuuri said "I really like to engage in students in what they care the most about. I'm willing to change the lecture a little bit, stop and see what's going on in their current situation and talk to students more about the relationship between history and what's going on today."

A various amount of people talk about how they would like change in society, but do nothing about it.

Tuuri encourages her students to take action.

Tuuri said "I believe very strongly that if students know history they can help make this world a better place.”

Tuuri said “ordinary people can do very brave things and make amazing changes. The only reason that we got things like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act ultimately is because people demanded better conditions in their lives. "

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