Career, mentorship of Auburn’s Jenda profiled in mathematics magazine

Published: January 19, 2021
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Auburn University’s Overtoun Jenda, assistant provost for Special Projects and Initiatives and professor of mathematics in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, is featured in the upcoming February issue of the magazine “Notices of the American Mathematical Society.”

Jenda—an Auburn professor since 1988 who received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring last year—is profiled in a four-page feature in an article titled, “Overtoun Jenda: A STEM Mentor Extraordinaire.” The article in the acclaimed mathematics magazine was written by his colleagues, Ash Abebe and Brittany McCullough from Auburn University, as well as Suzanne Lenhart from the University of Tennessee, and highlights Jenda’s teaching career, his various study abroad projects and decades of mentorship.

The piece—which runs from pages 258-261—also chronicles Jenda’s networking efforts, implementation of National Science Foundation grants and collaborations in Southern Africa.

In addition, Jenda’s Masamu Program—a collaboration with Edward Lungu, an international leader in mathematical biology and dean of faculty of science at Botswana International University of Science and Technology—is profiled in a separate article in the February issue. The feature, on pages 262-265, profiles the program’s successful efforts to promote mathematics education in Southern Africa and the United States since its creation in 2010.

“The feature articles in this issue provide just a sample of the scholarship and breadth of mathematics research being produced today by Black mathematicians,” said Robin Wilson, professor of mathematics at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, in the magazine’s welcome letter. “Their research interests and accomplishments are substantial enough to be highlighted in any issue of the Notices, yet the authors were generous enough to share their work in this special issue. The Masamu Program only scratches the surface of Dr. Jenda’s work in mentorship and outreach; in this issue, we also highlight his 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring with an article written by his colleagues about the impact he has had.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.