Alexander endowment established at Northwest

The Charlotte Annice Alexander Endowment was established by her colleagues in the Department of Mathematics at Northwest Mississippi Community College as a tribute to her 39 years as a stellar educator in the field of mathematics.

Alexander graduated from Senatobia High School, where she was an honor graduate and selected to the Hall of Fame. She was also a member of the band, Beta Club, Drama Club, newspaper staff, and yearbook staff. She attended what was then Northwest Mississippi Junior College on a mathematics scholarship. While at Northwest, she was a member of the Ranger Band and was selected as Outstanding Mathematics Student during her sophomore year.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Mississippi where she was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society.

Her first teaching position was with the East Tallahatchie School district in Charleston.  At Charleston High School, Alexander convinced her principal of the need for computer education beyond a business education emphasis. She developed and taught computer programming, a technological innovation that was fairly new at that time. Alexander’s initiative provided students in a rural area with exposure to computer programming, something that was not common at the time.

Alexander continued to further her education, earning a Master of Education in Secondary Mathematics from Delta State University and a Master of Science in Mathematics from Ole Miss. She graduated with honors and is a life member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

Encouraged by Anita Wilbourn, her former Northwest differential equations instructor, Alexander applied for a position at Northwest in 1989, which began her career in the Northwest Mathematics Division.

A highlight of her career at Northwest was working as co-chair with Dr. Gwen Aldridge on Northwest’s first Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) requirement for reaccreditation.

The Math Department led college-wide efforts to strengthen math learning. They coordinated, planned, and implemented a QEP that was so successful that faculty from Northwest were invited to display their documents for two consecutive years in the SACS resource room at the national SACS convention as a model for other colleges in the Southern region. Along with other members of the leadership team, Alexander presented at the 2007 SACS convention. She also led a round table discussion on TIPS for encouraging college-wide participation and marketing a QEP.

Alexander served on the Northwest building committee that helped plan and design the addition to the Physical Science building, later named the Math and Science (MAS) Building. First occupied in 2009, the MAS Building houses state-of-the-art technology equipment and classrooms.

Alexander was presented the President’s Award for community service in 2009, an honor reserved for one faculty member each year. In early 2010, the administration decided to separate the Mathematics Department from the Science Division to create a new Mathematics Division. Alexander became the first director of the Division of Mathematics at Northwest and served in that position until her retirement in June of 2018.

Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects at Northwest, is pleased that this scholarship has been established. “Charlotte has a God-given calling to encourage students who come into a mathematics classroom with a pre-conceived notion that they cannot succeed. She has provided encouragement and respect, and she has given them confidence to master a complex subject. Of course, not every student has mastered mathematics, but even those who did not master it, did not leave Charlotte’s class feeling defeated. Rather, they were resolved to try again. How wonderful it will be to have this endowment to honor this awesome teacher for generations to come,” Canon said.

The scholarship will be awarded to students who have chosen mathematics as their career pathway.

For more information on the Foundation, contact Marla Kennedy, institutional advancement specialist, at 662.560.1105 or email mkennedy@northwestms.edu.

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