Prof. Natalie Person Receives Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service

college administrator and professor dressed in black academic regalia and standing in front of a gold placard
Rhodes President Marjorie Hass and Professor Natalie Person (right)

Rhodes College today announced that Dr. Natalie Person, professor of psychology and chair of educational studies, was presented the 2017 Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service at the college’s Aug. 18 opening convocation.

The award, named in memory of Dr. Jameson M. Jones ’36, who served as professor of moral philosophy and dean of the college from 1955 to 1971, honors a current faculty member who has rendered exemplary service and provided leadership to the Rhodes community. Nominations are submitted by members of the Rhodes faculty or staff.

“Many wonderful faculty were nominated this year, so the selection committee had its work cut out as we read about the stellar work our professors accomplish,” said Dr. Milton Moreland, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, who presented the award. “In the case of Dr. Person’s selection, the many letters of nomination we received spoke eloquently about her important service to our college and community.”

One nominator shared: “Her vision is for our college to become the preeminent higher educational institution for the intersections of the liberal arts and urban education. Thanks to her herculean effort, Rhodes College is poised to join a national conversation about the future of public education — not just in Memphis, but across the country.”

Person joined the Rhodes College Department of Psychology in 1994, rising to the rank of full professor while serving as the chair of her department for a decade. She led the effort to offer an educational studies major, which obtained a state-approved licensure component (both elementary and secondary) in 2016. The program strives to produce future teachers, researchers, and education policy makers who earn hands-on experience in local Memphis and regional school systems. Students focus on one of three tracks: teaching and learning, community and social change, and policy and reform. 

During her 23 years at Rhodes, Person has distinguished herself as a faculty leader on numerous committees, serving as the chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, Educational Programs Committee, Standards and Standing Committee, and she represented the faculty on the Board of Trustees as a Faculty Trustee. She also is the co-founder of the Tutoring Research Group, a research team at The University of Memphis made up of scholars from psychology, computer science, and education disciplines. 

Rhodes has more than 200 faculty, 95 percent of whom hold the highest degree within their field. Person earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from The University of Memphis.  She has a master’s degree in general psychology from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Mississippi.