MSU English faculty member retires after three-decades, leaves ‘far-reaching legacy’

MSU English faculty member retires after three-decades, leaves ‘far-reaching legacy’

MSU Office of Public Affairs

News Bureau (662) 325-3442

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

January 6, 2022

     STARKVILLE, Miss.— Longtime English faculty member Ann Spurlock retired in December after 33 years influencing college students at Mississippi State University.

     An instructor and composition director for the Department of English, Spurlock also served as the co-director of the department’s quality enhancement plan (QEP)—Maroon and Write—an initiative to enhance undergraduate writing skills.

     “With her three decades of teaching, mentorship and leadership in writing, Ann Spurlock fundamentally shaped the nature of writing instruction at Mississippi State,” said Dan Punday, professor and head of the English department. “Nearly every student in the university takes one of these classes, and the excellent experience that they have directly reflects Ann’s tireless efforts and enthusiasm for the writing classroom. Just about every MSU student and alumni has been influenced by her work.”

     Courtney Dueitt—an English instructor and director of the department’s composition program—said, “Ann is a mentor and a friend and a confidant to all of those she oversees, from TAs just starting out, to instructors who have worked with her for many years. She cares about the program and she cares about the people who keep it running and ultimately the students who go through it.”

     Associate Professor of English Bonnie Carr O’Neill referred to Spurlock as a “tremendous leader who filled a crucial administrative role in the English department.”

     “The composition program affects just about every student in the university,” O’Neill said, “and Ann’s achievements with the recent QEP and MIWE program have raised the university’s stature and improved student writing across disciplines. I have learned a lot by watching Ann’s management of the composition instructors and TAs. Moreover, Ann will have a far-reaching legacy as a teacher of teachers, thanks to the many TAs and instructors she has mentored and sent on from MSU.”

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, more information about the Department of English is available at MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at