Dr. Randy SmithOctober 22, 2015 (Jackson, Miss.) - Dr. Randall Smith, Chair of the Creative Writing Department, received the 2015 Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award. This prestigious award recognizes the contribution of humanities faculty at each of the state's colleges and universities.

Each award recipient is required to deliver a public lecture, and recipients are then recognized at the Mississippi Humanities Council's annual awards banquet in the spring. Dr. Smith will be giving his presentation on October 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center Theatre. This event is free and open to the public, andthere will be a reception immediately following to honor Dr. Smith.

His lecture is entitled “The Delta Blues: A Lesson in Suffering and Salvation.” Dr. Smith said, “When I read through the titles of this year's Humanities Teacher Award lectures-covering topics from Batman and Green Lantern to Beowulf and Faulkner, from ancient Rome and modern Cuba to aging and health disparities-I feel even more honored to be a participant in the long, multi-faceted creative culture of Mississippi.”

As a teacher, promoter and partaker of the written arts, Dr. Smith leads a truly unique program. Belhaven is the only Christian university in the U.S. offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and one of only 26 undergraduate institutions offering such a degree.

The Mississippi Humanities Council is a private nonprofit corporation funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities and provides public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.