Millsaps professor receives Humanities Teacher Award

Dr. Stephanie R. Rolph of Madison, associate professor of history at Millsaps College, is the Millsaps College 2019 recipient of a Humanities Teacher Award given by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The Humanities Teacher Awards program honors outstanding humanities professors at each of the state’s institutions of higher learning.

As a recipient of the award, Rolph gave a public lecture entitled “I’m Here to Tell You Why Those White Supremacists Matter (or Things I Never Thought My Humanities Training Would Prepare Me to Say in Public)” at Millsaps.

Rolph’s lecture explored her recent book, Resisting Equality: The Citizens’ Council, 1954-1989. The book explains ways in which white resistance to civil rights gained revived white supremacy in the South and the nation at a time when the national political landscape was realigning.

“My presentation is a reflection of the unexpected places that my humanities education has placed me—from cocktail conversations to teaching incarcerated men and women, antipoverty work, and using runaway slave ads to track slave movement during the Civil War,” she said. “Most recently, my book has placed me in front of diverse audiences, from the Mississippi Book Festival to a meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Our work in the humanities shouldn’t separate us from people outside of the academy. It should bring us into direct conversation with them.”

Rolph said she is honored to receive the award from the Humanities Council, which she respects because of its public programming and support for innovative projects in the classroom.


Rolph, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from Millsaps in 1999, joined the Millsaps faculty in 2010 after she earned a master’s and doctorate in modern U.S. history from Mississippi State University. She teaches a wide array of courses on American history as well as race and gender issues.

Dr. Keith Dunn, provost and dean at Millsaps, said Rolph has been a leader on campus, “infusing public history and community-engaged projects into her teaching.”

Rolph has held several leadership roles at Millsaps, including director of Community-Engaged Learning and chair of the Curriculum Committee, and she currently serves as the Faculty Council president. She also serves as the academic director of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, a consortium of 26 premier higher educational institutions committed to the study of poverty and supporting undergraduates toward a lifetime of professional and civil efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability.



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