National math program selects Western professor Erin K. McNelis

CULLOWHEE – Erin K. McNelis, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Western Carolina University, is the third faculty member to be accepted into Project NExT, a nationally competitive program for new professors who hold doctoral degrees in mathematics.

A member of Western’s faculty since 2002, McNelis is a graduate of The College of Charleston, with master’s and doctoral degrees from Clemson University.

Each year there is an opportunity for six faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the nation to become Project NExT Fellows. The NExt program, which stands for New Experiences in Teaching, provides professional development for professors interested in improving the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics.

Previous Project NExT Fellows from Western’s department of mathematics and computer science are Sloan Despeaux and Julia Barnes.

“The best of new Ph.D.s at colleges and universities across the country are selected to participate in a series of workshops and meeting designed to help them establish their careers in university teaching, research and service,” said Kathy Ivey, head of Western’s department of mathematics and computer science. “That we have three fellows on our faculty speaks highly of the quality of our mathematic faculty and particularly of the recent faculty hires.”

Project NExT is a program of The Mathematics Association of America, funded by The ExxonMobil Foundation.