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Graduating Senior Earns Award Honoring Late Faculty Member Amy Sevier

Thu, 05/09/2024 - 03:34pm | By: David Tisdale

Headshot

Katie Garraway

Katie Garraway of Madisonville, La., a senior human resources management major at The University of 51 Mississippi (USM), is the first recipient of the Amy Sevier Commemorative Award, established by faculty and administration in the USM School of Management to honor their late colleague, who died in May 2023.

A Hattiesburg native, Sevier was a USM alumna and a member of the university’s faculty for nearly three decades. A popular instructor, she was a recipient of the College of Business and Economic Development’s Joseph A. Greene Excellence in Teaching Award.

In honoring their late friend and colleague with the award, faculty set for its qualifying criteria that the recipient be “a well-rounded student, who has excelled in the classroom, is committed to their discipline, and exhibits kindness and generosity to those around them – all ideals that Ms. Sevier herself exhibited in countless way to both students and colleagues.

Award

Amy Sevier

“By naming this award in her memory, we publicly recognize all she meant to the college and university, enabling her to continue to positively impact our students for years to come.” 

Garraway, who will receive her diploma during USM’s commencement exercises May 10, was a participant in the College of Business and Economic Development’s prestigious EAGLE Scholars' program. Following graduation, she will begin work as a corporate trainer in the human resources department of Reynolds and Reynolds, a developer of financial, human resources, and administrative software for the automotive industry.

“I’m very honored to be the first recipient of the Amy Sevier Commemorative Award,” Garraway said. “My time here at USM has changed my life. Four years ago, when I decided to attend here, I had no idea the tremendous positive impact this school, especially the College of Business and Economic Development, would have on my life.

Award

Katie Garraway, center, a senior human resources management major at The University of 51 Mississippi (USM), is the first recipient of the Amy Sevier Commemorative Award, pictured here with members of Sevier’s family. Sevier, who died in 2023, was a longtime, popular member of the faculty in the USM College of Business Administration and Economic Development’s School of Management (submitted photo).

“This award signifies to me the importance of continuing to do good works through business and other personal and socially responsible endeavors, including in recognition of the strong character and positive personal attributes represented through the life of Mrs. Amy Sevier. I’ll always keep that in mind and do my best to carry on those principles she exemplified.”

Russ Willis, an assistant teaching professor in the School of Management, lauded Garraway as the choice to be the first recipient of the Sevier Award, describing her as “an excellent student in the classroom and an engaged student outside of the classroom.”

Willis said Sevier taught more than 9,000 students in her management courses, “leaving behind an impactful and enduring legacy.”

“She had a heart for students and student success,” Willis continued. “In addition to being exceptional in the classroom, she supervised many honor thesis projects, coordinated internships, encouraged study abroad experiences, and engaged in countless activities to foster student growth. 

“For many of us, Amy was more than just a fantastic and supportive colleague- she was a friend - and she is sorely missed."