Dean’s Message

Dear Friends, Visitors, Students, and Alumni:  

Following the noble tradition of my colleague Deans in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), I wish to welcome you once again to this critical academic unit, whose function is to free students’ minds and provides them with the critical skills and experiences that will allow them to successfully compete both at home and abroad in today’s technological environment.  Visit the College of Liberal Arts located in the Dollye M. E. Robinson Building on Jackson State University’s main campus as well as its various departments, centers, and art galleries, and read and participate in the activities offered every semester by faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts Newsletter, CLA Spotlight. I wish to inform our students that, as we “challenge minds and change lives,” the University’s motto, we strive to make the curricula in our College relevant to your future careers and serve the State of Mississippi in an environment that is conducive to your learning, one that is second to none. Not only do we consider ourselves to be the College of Culture but also an academic unit that, through courses, programs, and academic and social activities enlightens and benefits from the surrounding urban community, imparts in you the foundation skills of critical thinking, good writing, advanced research, reading with comprehension, and effective articulation of your ideas. 

I wish to reiterate here the message of one of my predecessors, Dr. Lawrence T. Porter, former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, featured in the first issue of the CLA Spotlight. Dr. Potter wrote then: “I know that the academic needs in our current and future students are changing rapidly, and because of these changes CLA must continue to provide students a strong educational foundation so that they may become vanguards of integrated and innovative thinking. The Liberal Arts are forever part of your JSU experience.” We are here not only to enhance your ability to secure a satisfying career, but also to ensure that your potential as a human being is realized both intellectually and socially. As your new Dean, I wish to assure you that your educational interests will continue to be the College’s top priority and that I will always be available to listen to your concerns, as your support can only enhance the College’s commitment to its mission, while contributing to the vision of “One JSU.” As a historian by training, who sees the past as the prelude to the present and the future, I take this opportunity to salute the Deans that I knew and came before me, who contributed to the greatness of our College: Dr. Estus Smith, Professor of Music, Dr. Robert Smith, Professor of Sociology, Dr. Dollye M. E. Robinson, Professor of Music, Dr. Thomas Calhoun, Professor of Sociology, Dr. Lawrence T. Potter, Professor of English and Literature, and Dr. Deborah Barnes, Professor of English. 

I wish you success and hope that, as our College current or former student or friend, you will find our Newsletter appealing and informative.



Mario J. Azevedo, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Dean and Professor, College of Liberal Arts

Chair, Department of History and Philosophy