Overtoun Jenda

Auburn University | Auburn, AL | 2020

Overtoun Jenda Portrait Photo

Throughout my adult life, I have devoted a lot of time to mentoring students, faculty, and administrators while carrying out the core functions of my academic duties: teaching, research, and administration. For me, mentoring provides immediate rewards because at the end of each day I can go home and say, 'I made a difference in someone’s life today.' I never imagined that I would be recognized for mentoring at this level, and I feel humbled and truly honored to receive this prestigious award.

The official biography below was current at the time of the award. Awardees may choose to provide their latest biographical information on their profile page.

Overtoun Jenda has served as Assistant Provost for Special Projects and Initiatives for four years at Auburn University (AU) and previously served as Associate Provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics at AU. Overtoun has been a Professor of Mathematics at AU for over twenty years. Overtoun has been the Principal Investigator and Project Director for numerous National Science Foundation grants focusing on STEM education and student success, including the U.S.-Africa Collaborative Research Network in Mathematical Sciences and Masamu Program, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program and LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) Program, Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM, INCLUDES South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM, and many others. His mentoring efforts have impacted hundreds of students over the years, most being underrepresented minorities or students with disabilities. Prior to AU, Overtoun was a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, University of Botswana, and University of Malawi. He has published three books and over 60 research articles in Homological Algebra. He has also published several research articles and given many presentations on STEM mentoring and retention programs. Overtoun received a B.S. with distinction in mathematics from the University of Malawi and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky. His honors include the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, AU College of Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Achievement Award, renaming of the AU Summer Bridge Scholarship as the Overtoun Jenda STEM Scholarship, and the Minority Access National Role Model Faculty Mentor Award.