Lauderdale county resident receives 2016 Spirit of State award

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Heather M. Cutway of the Toomsuba community is among nearly 20 Mississippi State students selected for the university’s premier student recognition.

A senior special education major, she recently received MSU-Meridian’s 2016 Spirit of State Award for exceptional personal contributions to campus life. She was nominated by assistant professor Penny Wallin.

Now in its 11th year, the awards program organized by the Division of Student Affairs formally honors those making a positive impact on peers and the broader campus community through organizational involvement, service to the institution and personal actions that promote school spirit and tradition.

Individuals may be nominated by either faculty and staff members or fellow students. A minimum 2.25 grade-point average (based on a 4.0 scale) and good academic and disciplinary standings are among the eligibility criteria.

An MSU President’s List Scholar, Cutway is the first in her family to pursue a higher education degree. Though enrolled full-time, the mother of two regularly volunteers as a mentor at area schools and with Special Olympics.

Wallin praised Cutway for “epitomizing the best qualities and disposition an MSU student can demonstrate,” adding that she “is a role model for her family, as well as her peers and her community.”

Another campus instructor supporting the selection noted that, even when facing some personal adversities, “Heather endeavors and perseveres” and “has such a service attitude for individuals with disabilities.  She will be an excellent special educator.”


Photo: Regina Hyatt (l) vice-president of students affairs at Mississippi State University and Heather Cutway of Toomsuba, Spirit of State award winner from MSU-Meridian.



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