Rosalind Wilcox Named CCC's Outstanding Humanities Teacher of the Year
CLARKSDALE - With a multi-layered artistic career laced with kaleidoscopic color, Rosalind Wilcox will be honored Nov. 15 as Coahoma Community College’s Outstanding Humanities Teacher of the Year.
Her presentation as chairman of CCC’s Fine Arts Department since 2007 promises to reflect exotic interests inherited from her part-Choctaw mom teaching Native American needlework and quilting in Philadelphia, Miss.; Caribbean, Creole and soul food cooking later in Chicago and Davenport, Iowa.
With degrees in art education, art therapy, and fine arts, Wilcox believes the arts develop the “whole person” and is not just for students.
She loves it all - painting, watercolor, and sculpture, the graphic arts, photography, videography, and music.
“I work our students hard, but they give it back,” she says.
With interests extending beyond the classroom, Wilcox has organized an Art Club and plans to take students to Paris.
She also is the owner of a downtown gallery: Sun House Studios that is packed with hundreds of brilliant paintings and a stage surrounded by tables and chairs for musical performances during festivals and special occasions.
In addition to an abundance of talent, Wilcox also inherited a vision disability: Stargardt’s Syndrome (a juvenile macular degeneration) diagnosed when she was in the second grade.
Although handicapped legally and unable to drive, the disability hardly slows down her zest for living, teaching, and painting.
Married at 17 to a member of the Winnebego Tribe, who later became chairman of graphic arts department of Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, Wilcox says their three children now grown are super talented in the arts and athletics.
Following divorce at age 27, Wilcox, as a single mom with three children, was motivated to earn a college degree and graduated with a B.A. in art education from St. Ambrose University in Davenport in 1988.
In 1990 she completed a master’s degree in art therapy from the Art Institute of Chicago with additional medical training to help traumatized patients.
“Working in the inpatient double-door lockdown circuit with suicidal behavior, sex abuses
cases was very stressful, but I loved it,” she said.
In 1996 Wilcox decided to return to teaching, was encouraged by a cousin at Ole Miss to move
to the University of Mississippi for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.
Later as an adjunct instructor, Wilcox taught at Ole Miss, then Holly Springs High School, the
Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, and following Katrina moved back to north
Mississippi to teach at Clarksdale High School and now at CCC.
”When I was growing up in Chicago and Davenport, my mom always took my sisters and myself
back to Mississippi on the train every year to visit,” recalls Wilcox. “It’s always been home.”
The Mississippi Humanities Council presentation honoring Wilcox at CCC Is scheduled for noon Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Gallery. The public is invited to attend.