Dr. Overtoun Jenda
Dr. Overtoun Jenda serves as Assistant Provost for Special Projects and Initiatives and Professor of Mathematics at Auburn University. He previously served as Associate Provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University.
Prior to coming to Auburn, Dr. Jenda was a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, University of Botswana, and University of Malawi. Dr. Jenda received a PhD and MA in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky and a BS in Mathematics (with Distinction) from the University of Malawi. His area of research is Homological Algebra, and he has published three graduate and research level books and numerous research articles in this area. He has also published several research articles in STEM Education.
Dr. Jenda has been the Principal Investigator and Project Director for numerous US National Science Foundation grants focusing on STEM education, including the US-Africa Collaborative Research Network in Mathematical Sciences and Masamu Program, Research Experience for Undergraduates in Algebra and Discrete Mathematics, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM, INCLUDES South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM, MAKERS Scholarships in STEM, GK-12 Fellows in Science and Mathematics for East Alabama Schools, Alabama Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, and the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate program.
The idea of US-Africa Collaborative Research Network in Mathematical Sciences and Masamu Program was mooted at the 2009 SAMSA conference held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania when Dr. Jenda was invited to the conference as a keynote speaker in Algebra. Dr. Jenda has been directing the annual Masamu Advanced Study Institute (MASI) and Workshops since 2011.
Dr. Brittany McCullough
Dr. Brittany McCullough is the Program Analyst for the Office of Special Projects and Initiatives. As the Analyst for the office, Brittany is responsible for assisting in planning and implementing special projects and initiatives, developing data collection systems and tools, maintaining databases and other records to measure and report on programs, providing quantitative and qualitative data related to the office’s initiatives, and preparing and presenting technical reports, publications, and presentations. She is also an instructor in Auburn University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Brittany received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics (summa cum laude) from Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky, a Master of Probability and Statistics degree from Auburn University, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from Auburn University with a focus in Educational Research Methods and Analysis.
Keri Hesson serves as the Academic Programs Administrator for the Office of Special Projects and Initiatives, where she is responsible for planning, developing, and executing strategies and programs for academic related programs and services. Keri serves as the program manager for the office's two summer academies for students with disabilities: College Quest Summer Academy for students who are blind or have low vision and the ACT Prep Summer Academy for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. She also serves as the advisor for Auburn University’s chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society and for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). In addition, Keri is responsible for all departmental business and accounting functions, including managing multi-institutional grant budgets; management of and accounting for pre and post-award funding; and budgetary management and monitoring of grant and departmental expenditures.
Keri received her Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University, with a concentration in Business, and a Master of Science in Business and Human Relations from Amberton University in Texas. She relocated from Pennsylvania to Columbus, Georgia and began working at Auburn University in 2013.