Vocation, Ethics, and Society (VESO) is an interdisciplinary minor intended to help you explore your world as you contemplate your own lives, ideals, and work. Most students come to college asking “What am I good at?”, “How can I make a good living?”, and “How will I get a job?” While these are important questions, VESO minors get to consider their vocations in a broader context. VESO minors end up asking questions such as, “How are my perspectives and vocational goals shaped by my socio-economic status and culture?”, “What responsibilities do I have within my society?”, and “How will my life’s work contribute to the well-being of others?” At Millsaps, we don’t only want to help you get a job, we also want you to find your voice.

  • Louwanda Evans

    Louwanda Evans

    Assistant Professor of Sociology



    BA, MA, University of Texas-Arlington; PhD, Texas A&M University

    Louwanda Evans joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2012. In the program, Louwanda teaches Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods & Statistics, The Many Dimensions of Poverty, and numerous other courses that focus on social inequality and criminology. Her newest course on poverty is directly connected to the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, an interdisciplinary program housed at Washington & Lee University that focuses on the eradication of poverty. This course also serves as the gateway course through which several Millsaps students enter a summer internship housed throughout the nation.

    Louwanda joined Millsaps because of the great opportunities it offers students to learn and grow though community engagement. Her teaching philosophy is one in which everyone takes responsibility for learning. Her courses center on conceptual discussions in which students engage the material in a way that creates deeper connections between sociological concepts and the real world. At Millsaps, "I have the opportunity to bring students into the local community to understand the connections between our social lives and our social outcomes. " In the classroom, Louwanda believes in the reciprocity of learning and that all students have a voice. "I believe that everyone has a responsibility in the classroom and that all perspectives and voices are valued, not just my voice."

  • Shelli Poe—Millsaps College

    Shelli Poe

    Assistant Professor of Religious Studies; Director of Initiative for Vocational Inquiry; Director of Vocation, Ethics, and Society



    B.A., Bethel University; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Virginia

    "I teach in the Religious Studies Department and specialize in Christianity. One of my aims as a teacher is to open students to the broad and rich thought-life of Christians throughout time and space. My students and I explore the many different Christianities we find across the globe and here in the U.S. It’s amazing just how diverse Christians really are. What’s more—we find that Christianity has profound capacities for self-criticism and change. By studying Christianity in an academic context, students become empowered to engage in our multi-religious world with deep respect for the complexity of religious life.

    "I teach courses like History of Christian Thought, Modern and Contemporary Theology, Christian Liberation: Race and Sex, The Pentecostal Explosion, The Meaning of Work, Does Religion Belong in the Hospital?, Feminism in Religious Traditions, and Re-thinking Jesus. In these courses, I take a learner-centered approach. I focus on helping students achieve their particular learning goals and providing opportunities and assistance for them to develop their own reflections and thoughts."

    View Dr. Poe's personal website.

  • Julie Rust

    Julie Rust

    Assistant Professor of Education

    601.974.1350 | Email


    BA, Taylor University; PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington

    "Teaching young people is no one-size-fits-all endeavor; it is the most complex challenge that any professional could ever undertake. It forces you to think about identity and philosophy and logistics in concert; you can’t effectively teach without being incredibly wise to all of the contextual factors at play. This is why I love being a teacher of teachers at a deep-thinking place like Millsaps College. I am especially interested in pushing the envelope of what is conceived as “traditional” literacy education, and I define literacy as an inherently social form of “meaning-making.” I enjoy exploring with students and practicing teachers just how reading and writing practices are shifting, adapting, or remaining the same as learners interact with new media.

    "In all of my courses, students will find themselves surrounded by a variety of texts (e.g. articles, textbooks, podcasts, blogs) and a variety of instructional approaches (collaborative, project-based, etc.). They will constantly be pushed to make connections between their community-engaged learning experiences (often situated in schools) and the theories we are discussing in class. I believe that learning spaces are co-constructed, and I actively invite students to stamp their own identities, passions, interests, and question marks into the curriculum. Millsaps' commitments to cross-disciplinary connections and local-global partnerships make it a fertile space to explore the intersections of education, new media, society, and literacy practices in the 21st century."