Desoto County News

Jonathan Lee Redd and Trent Booker named William Winter Scholars

Photo: Jonathan Lee Redd, the William Winter student Scholar at NWCC. (Photo by Sarah Smith)

Northwest Mississippi Community College has announced student Jonathan Lee Redd of Strayhorn and History instructor Trent Booker as 2024 William Winter Scholars.

“The annual award carries prestige and public acknowledgment of how highly each scholar is regarded by his or her institution,” said Associate Vice President for Academic Instruction, Kristin Davis. “Recognized as a William Winter scholar, Mr. Booker demonstrates exceptional dedication to his field. His commitment to creating a positive learning environment extends to ongoing research into effective classroom practices.”

The William Winter Scholar program student honoree is chosen by a faculty member in the Humanities department. Receiving this honor carries prestige and public accolades, but also gives most winners a generous scholarship.

“Jonathan was selected based on his hard work, dedication, and overall integrity to represent the college as the student William Winter Scholar,” said Davis.

Redd was nominated by Booker, his history instructor at Northwest. He’s currently on the general college pathway, but the 17-year-old hopes to pursue serving God and is planning on attending Blue Mountain College next spring. Redd said his instructors at Northwest have been hugely influential in his growth of knowledge. Some of the instructors he credited include Carol Lucius, Dr. Doug Johnson, Dr. Greg Graves, Chris Twilley, and Booker.

“All of these professors have helped me above and beyond,” said Redd. “They have truly increased my knowledge and love for their respective subjects in which they teach.”

Redd hopes to preach the gospel, and as of right now he serves as youth pastor at his local church, Evansville Baptist, where he teaches the youth biblical stories.

“The youth at Evansville are amazing, and they truly are a blessing to me,” Redd said.

Redd credits his success to God, family, and hard work. His family homeschooled him through a group called Northwest Mississippi Home Educators (NWMHE). His hope is to continue educating people about Christ.

Booker grew up in Tennessee, and said he loved studying history for as long as he can remember as he grew up just a few miles from Shiloh Civil War Battlefield and what he calls the New Deal public works project more commonly known as the Pickwick Dam. Booker got his B.A. in history and English at the University of Mississippi and an M.A. from the University of Memphis in history.

Booker’s research was centered around the Great Depression, and he said that he believes the USA’s national history is best understood in a global context. This honor is not lost on him, and he’s proud to be a recipient.

“I am proud to be associated with anything named after former Governor Winter,” said Booker. “He did important things for Mississippi in education and racial reconciliation; the conference always has fascinating scholars and topics aimed at the intersection of history and literature, which is my sweet spot, and Natchez is such a wonderful, historic town with great food.”