Dr. Stuart Rockoff, Executive Director
A native of Texas, Stuart Rockoff received a B.A. in History from Wesleyan University in 1991. He then earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in immigration, race, and American Jewish history. He then spent over 11 years as the Director of the History Department at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was responsible for creating the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities. He has written and lectured widely on the history of Jews in the American South. In 2013, he became just the third executive director in the history of the Mississippi Humanities Council, following in the large footsteps of Dr. Cora Norman and Dr. Barbara Carpenter.
Carol Andersen, Assistant Director
Andersen joined the Mississippi Humanities Council in 2005. She previously worked as the program director for the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits, after an early career in journalism. She has a B.S. in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University and a master of liberal arts from Tulane University. She moved to Mississippi from Iowa in 2001, and lives in Jackson with her husband and two daughters. Carol administers the Council’s grants program, speakers bureau, and prison education programs, and edits the Council’s monthly e-newsletter.
Brenda Thigpen Gray, Finance Director
Originally from Taylorsville, Mississippi, Brenda Thigpen Gray holds a B.S. and a master’s degree in business education from Jackson State University. As finance director, Brenda handles all financial accounting, reporting, and grants management details of the MHC; she also assists the executive director in developing and monitoring the budget and all expenditures. She has been with the MHC since 1979.
Caroline Gillespie, Program Officer
Caroline has been with the MHC since 2014, and has served as Program Officer since 2016. Originally from Oxford, Mississippi, she received her B.A. in History and Southern Studies from the Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi. As program officer, Caroline oversees and develops Council-conducted programs, such as the Family Literacy Project, Ideas on Tap, and Museum on Main Street.
Timothy Lampkin, Outreach Coordinator
Tim Lampkin has over 10 years of experience working with community based organizations to develop and execute projects. He has twice been invited by the White House Rural Council to share his knowledge with national stakeholders. Tim has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mississippi Valley State University, and master’s degrees from Delta State University and Bellevue University. Tim serves as outreach coordinator, working with potential grantees for the MHC’s W.K. Kellogg-funded racial equity grant program.
Kourtnee Harris, Executive Assistant
Kourtnee Harris is originally from Pensacola, Florida, where she began her career in the banking world. After relocating to Salt Lake City, she transitioned into the public education sector. After seven years working with public and private education administration and a move to Jackson, Mississippi, she joined the Mississippi Humanities Council in January 2016. Kourtnee provides administrative support, handles event planning, and oversees the Humanities Teacher Award program.
Lillie Lovette, Volunteer Extraordinaire
Lovette, a native of D'Lo, helps the MHC with various programs, including Museum on Main Street and our annual awards gala. She is also a member of the MHC Speakers' Bureau. Lovette refuses to list how long she has been affiliated with MHC. It should be noted that she has served with all of three Executive Directors of MHC and her tenure predates computers, adhesive stamps, and cell phones.