Faculty & Staff
Dr. Joseph P. Sweeney
Director, Mississippi Teacher Corps
227 Guyton Hall
Dr. Joseph P. Sweeney is the Director of the Mississippi Teachers Corps (MTC). An alumnus of the program, Sweeney spent two years in Cleveland at Eastside High School teaching English. Voted on by his peers, he was given the Mullins Award for the class of 2004, which honors the most outstanding teacher for the entire cohort.
After graduating with an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Mississippi, Sweeney taught for four more years in Mississippi Public Schools as well as one year teaching conversational English in Japan. He then pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Memphis. From 2013-15, he worked at Baptist College of Health Sciences as an instructional designer and faculty development coordinator. Dr. Sweeney was hired by the University to serve as MTC’s new director in 2015. In addition to his work for MTC, he also serves as the Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Education.
Dr. Sweeney is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University where he received his B.A. in English. He met his wife, Elizabeth, while both were members of MTC’s class of 2004. The couple resides in Oxford, MS with their two sons, Connor and Kieran. His research interests include authentic learning tasks, educational technology, and teacher training.
Dr. Hunter A. Taylor
Recruiting Coordinator, Mississippi Teacher Corps
233 Guyton Hall
Twitter & Instagram: @CoachHTaylor
Dr. Hunter A. Taylor currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor & Recruiter for the Mississippi Teacher Corps at the University of Mississippi. A former men’s basketball coach, he has 10 years of coaching experience on the middle school, high school, college, and international levels. His most recent post was serving on the men’s basketball staff at Arkansas State University for the 2016-17 season where they had the biggest single-season turnaround in all of Division I college basketball.
Taylor got his start in education as a member of the Mississippi Teacher Corps. He was placed at Powell Middle School in Jackson teaching math while also earning his M.A. from the University of Mississippi. During his second year, he took over as the head boys basketball coach and led the school to its first City Championship in almost 10 years.
Once his commitment in Jackson was completed, he moved to Washington D.C. and served for two years on the legislative staff of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. He then returned to his home state of Texas to begin law school. After completing one semester, he dropped out to pursue coaching full-time. After two assistant coaching stints, he took over as the head boys basketball coach at Spring Hill High School (Longview, TX). In his first season, his team won the most games in school history on its way to winning District and Area Championships, and Taylor captured the district’s Coach of the Year honor.
In 2013, Taylor left Spring Hill to join Baylor University’s men’s basketball staff and begin his doctorate. During his time with the team, Baylor went to three straight NCAA tournaments, a first in program history. In the spring of 2017, he successfully defended his dissertation examining the teaching and leadership strategies of six legendary Texas High School Football Coaches to earn his Ed.D.
An alumnus of the University of Texas in Austin, Taylor received his B.B.A. from the McCombs School of Business in 2005, and was also awarded membership into the Texas Cowboys men’s leadership organization. He and his wife, Brittany, were both raised in the East Texas area and now reside in Oxford. They have one son named Yates.
The Presidential Leadership Foundation – a joint venture between Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – tabbed Taylor as a Presidential Leadership Scholar for 2018. He is one of 60 leaders chosen from a pool of over 700 applicants across the U.S.
Dr. Andrew P. Mullins
Assistant Director, Mississippi Teacher Corps
231 Guyton Hall
Dr. Andrew P. Mullins is arguably one of the most influential educators in Mississippi’s history. His leadership and stewardship of the Mississippi Teacher Corps throughout its history has been invaluable. A native of Macon, Mississippi, Dr. Mullins began his career as a high school teacher and administrator for eight years at St. Andrews Episcopal School in Jackson after graduating from Millsaps College with a B.A. in History. During this time period, he also served as the school’s head football and tennis coach, even winning the state’s Tennis Coach of the Year award in 1977.
While teaching, he completed an M.A. in History from Mississippi College in 1976 and would later attain his Ph.D. in College Administration from the University of Mississippi in 1992. In 1980, he left St. Andrews to join Governor William Winters staff as a special assistant, and he and the rest of the “Boys of Spring” helped engineer Mississippi’s landmark Education Reform Act of 1982. Mullins continued his public service as the special assistant to one other governor and three state superintendents of education. He is the author of Building Consensus, A History of the Passage of the Education Reform Act of 1982 and the editor of The Measure of Our Days, Writings of William F. Winter. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Mississippi Library Association Non-Fiction Book Award.
In 1994, Mullins began his work for three different chancellors in various areas of responsibility including government relations and helping found the Mississippi Principal Corps. One of his tenure’s highlights came in 2008 when he served as Chairman of the Steering Committee for the 2008 Presidential Debate between then U.S.-Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. This was the first Presidential Debate in Mississippi’s history.
In 2013, Dr. Mullins formally announced his retirement from the University of Mississippi’s administration team. He is still actively involved in teaching as a Professor in the school of Education and helping lead the Mississippi Teacher Corps as the Assistant Director. He and his wife Lisa, a retired first grade teacher, have two children, Andrew and Katie, and reside in Oxford. Andrew is an assistant archivist at Louisiana’s Historic Archives at Tulane University in New Orleans, and Katie is teaching kindergarten in Nashville.
Program Coordinator, mississippi teacher corps
227 Guyton Hall
Hunter A. Holt serves as the Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Teacher Corps. An alumnus of the program, he taught science at West Point High School in West Point, MS. Voted on by his peers, Holt was given the Mullins Award for the class of 2013. In 2015, he received his M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Mississippi. After graduation, he stayed on a third year at West Point.
A native of Franklin, TN, Hunter is a proud alumnus of the University of Alabama’s Honors College where he received his B.A. in English. During this time, Holt directed a documentary that was screened as part of the University of Alabama’s Documenting Justice program. He currently resides in Batesville, MS.
MARY ANN CONNELL
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, Mississippi Teacher Corps
Mary Ann Connell is an Adjunct Professor for the Mississippi Teacher Corps. She also practices law with Mayo Mallette, PLLC. She served as university attorney for the University of Mississippi from 1982 to 2003 and as school board attorney for the Oxford School District from 2003–13.
Connell has taught courses in higher education law, school law, legal research and writing, business law and employment law. She is a frequent presenter at national, regional and state conferences on subjects involving higher education and school law.
She is a past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, past president of the Mississippi Council of School Board Attorneys, and a fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys; the Distinguished Service Award from the Lafayette County Bar Association; the Thomas S. Biggs Jr. Award for leadership, integrity, and service in the legal profession and the higher education community from Stetson University Law School; the NAACP Freedom Award for lifelong service in the area of education and civil rights; the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association Outstanding Woman Lawyer in Mississippi Award; the University of Mississippi Chancellor’s Award for outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity; and the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society Award for outstanding teacher of the year.
Connell is a member of the Vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford. She received her L.L.M. from Harvard Law School and her M.A., M.L.S., and J.D. from the University of Mississippi. A native of Louisville, Mississippi, she has four daughters: Elizabeth Sessums, Stella Connell, Mary Ann Percy, Jane Lee, and four grandchildren.