The hard work and dedication of faculty is recognized each year by the Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association through the New Faculty Award and Faculty Enhancement Grants.

Recipients were announced at Homecoming Convocation. They were 2018 New Faculty Award Dr. Chanley Rainey, assistant professor of political science; and 2017 Faculty Enhancement Grants to Dr. Joe L. Alexander, assistant professor of music; Dr. Dana Walker, assistant professor of nursing; and Dr. Meagan M. Wood, assistant professor of psychology.

The New Faculty Award of $1,000 rewards the hard work of a newer faculty member in supporting the academic mission of The W. The Faculty Enhancement Grant of $1,000 enhances educational and professional activities of faculty members.

Dr. Rainey, assistant professor of political science, has been with The W for two years. Her areas of teaching focus on contentious politics, regimes and repression, deliberative democracy, women in politics, and social movements, among others. Her research also examines how women’s movements affect political discourse and engage gender, race and ethnicity and religion as they contest public policy on reproductive health, family law and other areas. She earned her doctorate in political science from The University of Alabama and her bachelor of arts in political science and English from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala.

Dr. Alexander, who joined The W in 2016, is an associate professor of music. He teaches theory, composition, music history and low brass. He also serves as the national treasurer for the National Association of Composers, USA. In 2012, Alexander was the Louisiana Music Teachers Association commissioned composer, and in 2017, Alexander was the commissioned composer for the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. In 2005 & 2010, he hosted the Southeastern Composers’ League’s Forum and the 2013 NACUSA National Festival at Louisiana Tech University. His music has been performed throughout the United States, Ecuador, Germany, Russia and South Korea. Alexander holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of North Texas. He earned a master of music in theory/composition from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., and a bachelor of music in music education from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

Dr. Walker has been with The W for six years. Currently, she teaches nursing retention, which guides students to reflect on their organization, time management and leadership skills. She also teaches all of the RN-BSN courses except for research. Her research interest includes student retention and population health. She was named Top Nurse in Tupelo by the International Nurses Association. She earned her doctor of nursing practice in nursing administration from Samford University, both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing education and nursing from the University of North Alabama and an associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College.

Dr. Wood, assistant professor of psychology, joined The W two years ago. She teaches intro to psychology, adult development, sensation and perception, cognitive psychology, applied statistics, research in human behavioral sciences and practicum in psychology. Her research interests are focused on decision making, risk taking, game theory and gerontology. Wood is the recipient of numerous grants, including the Z-Degree Initiative Grant, APIL Innovation Grant,

Faculty Senate Development Grant and the NITOP Early Career Psychologist Travel Award. She earned a doctorate and masters in experimental/cognitive psychology, both from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Valdosta State University in Georgia.