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Math Educator to Receive 2015 John Pleas Award at MTSU Feb. 26


A math master is the latest professor to be honored with MTSU’s annual John Pleas Faculty Award.

Dr. Michaele Chappell, a professor of mathematics education and program coordinator for the Masters of Science in Teaching program, will receive the award at a ceremony to begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in the Tom Jackson Building. This Black History Month event is free and open to the public.

“I am honored and appreciative to be selected,” Chappell said. “Considering I was unaware of the nomination, it came as a pleasant and delightful surprise.”

Chappell has authored or edited five manuscripts or books, authored more than two dozen academic articles and book chapters and given more than 65 presentations at conferences.

Her passion is promoting math literacy in historically disadvantaged communities. Chappell has administrated four summer institutes at MTSU that trained STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educators who work with at-risk populations.

“The mathematics education field has been quite rewarding and has afforded me opportunities to work with stellar colleagues, staff and students,” said Chappell, who has taught at MTSU since 2001.

Chappell also has served in multiple positions with the Benjamin Banneker Association, enabling her to mentor STEM teachers working in African-American communities.

Among the grants Chappell has been awarded is the $2.3 million National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship, for which she is co-principal investigator.

Chappell earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Southern University in 1981 and 1983, respectively, and her doctorate from Florida State University in 1991.

The John Pleas Faculty Award was established in 1997 to honor Dr. John Pleas, MTSU professor emeritus of psychology and recipient of an MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award in 1999. It is presented annually to a black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

Nominees should have completed at least five years of service at MTSU and have a record of outstanding service. Candidates must have three letters to support their nomination.

For more information, contact Jonell Hinsey, director of the Intercultural and Diversity Center and chair of the MTSU Black History Month Committee, at 615-898-5797 or jonell.hinsey@mtsu.edu.