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Mrs. Pam Merryman Mrs. Merryman is the 2022 Eudora Welty Fellow

Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) is proud to announce PCA Plano Upper School teacher, Mrs. Pam Merryman, who teaches AP/Honors English IV and is a doctoral student at Southern Methodist University, was recently named the 2022 Eudora Welty Fellow. Mrs. Merryman used archival holdings at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) this summer to research how Eudora Welty constructed her identity in her writing.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to conduct research in the Eudora Welty archives and am grateful to those who make the Eudora Welty Research Fellowship possible,” said Mrs. Merryman. “Through my research in the Welty archives, I hope to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the personal inspiration and creative process that went into Welty’s writing of her only children’s book, The Shoe Bird. Ultimately, I seek to note how this entertaining tale of Arturo the Parrot and the bird community—who gather from all over the world to learn about the power and value of communication, love, memory, and freedom—provides insight into Welty’s other literary works that also explore these vital aspects of the human experience."

Established by MDAH and the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research in the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students. The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States.

“We are so grateful and blessed that Mrs. Merryman is using her God-given talent through her research and that our students are the beneficiary of her passion and expertise,” said PCA School System Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Shannon Cole.

After receiving her BA in secondary education from Howard Payne University, Merryman completed her MA in liberal arts at Southern Methodist University where she is currently working toward her Ph.D. Merryman used the $5,000 fellowship to cover travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing primary research at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.

Interim Upper School Principal, Dr. Chad Nichols, who has worked with Mrs. Merryman for many years, said, “Pam Merryman is one of the finest educators I have had the privilege to know, and that is in part because of her intense scholarship and dedication to being a life-long learner.  By constantly honing her skills in literary interpretation, she is able to draw from a constantly growing pool of knowledge to pour into her students as is evidenced by this fellowship.”

Prestonwood Christian Academy is made up of six schools serving students across the Dallas Metroplex and virtually throughout the world. More than 2,000 students are enrolled at four campuses: PCA Plano (Pre-K3 through 12th Grade), PCA North in Prosper (Pre-K3 through 11th Grade with first graduating class of 2023), PCA Hybrid (a three-day in classroom/two-day at home program) and PCA Online. St. Timothy Christian Academy in Plano serves students with learning differences and The King’s Academy provides a Christian education to students in South Dallas. The PCA School System has been recognized as having one of the strongest Christian education programs in the country providing intentional biblical worldview training and integration. PCA places great value on the growth of students’ spiritual health in addition to their scholastic endeavors and co-curricular activities. Tantamount to its Spiritual Development plan is PCA’s rigorous Liberal Arts academic program. From the first graduating class in 2002 through the class of 2021, graduates have been offered more than $154.6 million in scholarship for academics, arts and athletics from universities and other institutions of higher learning. PCA is now enrolling. Go to prestonwoodchristian.org/admissions for more information.

About The Eudora Welty Research Fellowship

The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, and essays that span Welty’s entire life. Beginning in 1957, and over the course of more than forty years, Welty donated materials to the department, primarily literary manuscripts and photographs. At her death the remainder of her papers were bequeathed to MDAH and included unpublished manuscripts and 14,000 items of correspondence with family, friends, scholars, young writers, and noted writers. The collection may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building, 200 North Street, Jackson. The application is available at mdah.ms.gov. For more information about the collection or the fellowship, email April Blevins at ablevins@mdah.ms.gov.

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