Lindon Ratliff


He's an assistant professor of secondary education at Mississippi State's Meridian campus. He's a United Soccer League referee. He's a civil rights scholar.

But most of all, Lindon Ratliff is a Bulldog.

"I got my bachelor's from State, and I got my master's from State; I've been teaching here for five years, and this job is great," he said. "I get to do the research I want to do, and I get to teach around 100 teachers a year, so when they graduate, I can reach 100,000 students across the state and beyond.

"This is the best job I ever had."

Ratliff teaches future high school teachers about social studies instruction, and his most recent research is focused primarily on civil rights in education, especially as related to gay and lesbian students.

"I believe in equality, and new teachers need to understand that gay and lesbian students are part of the new civil rights movement," he said.

Ratliff also studies the teaching of civil rights in the South, as well as the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County.

If not working in the classroom or researching civil rights topics, Ratliff can often be found on the soccer field for USL games. He refs for the Premier Development League, which is soccer's leading minor league.

"Because I work for a university, I ref at the national level," Ratliff said. "I'll travel all over the Southeast on the weekends, but work and family come first. That's why I stay close to home."

He credits MSU-Meridian for providing the opportunities to achieve his professional goals. In 2010, he received the MSU-Meridian College of Education's Researcher of the Year departmental award. Two years later, he was named campus-wide researcher of the year.

"Everybody's a family here, and this is my dream job," Ratliff said. "I can do what I want to do and build my career in a positive, supportive environment.

"Mississippi State-Meridian is my home."

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