Cindy Melton Named Mississippi College School of Education Dean
December 9, 2016
Cindy Melton’s heart for students combines with her teaching excellence to make her a wonderful choice to lead Mississippi College’s School of Education.
That’s the assessment of Don Locke, who retires in January after 19 years serving as the school’s dean on the Clinton campus.
“Dr. Melton is a doer,” Locke said. “I am confident she will prove to be an exceptional leader as the dean.”
Literally moving a few feet away from her desk in Lowrey Hall to the dean’s office will represent a significant change at the 190-year-old university.
Serving for nearly two decades as dean is practically an eternity in higher education these days. Under Locke’s leadership, Mississippi College instituted the school’s first doctorate in educational leadership. MC also began offering a doctorate in professional counseling, the master’s in dyslexia therapy was established, and so was the Department of Kinesiology.
In early 2017, Melton becomes dean at the largest school on the Clinton campus at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
A full-time Mississippi College faculty member since 2001, Melton served as chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership in recent years. She’s taught classes in the department the past 15 years.
Cindy comes in pretty familiar with all three departments at Lowrey Hall, former home of the MC library. “Each department within our School of Education has invested in me and helped me grow both personally and professionally. Each one has provided me with wonderful opportunities and experiences.”
Growing up on the family farm near Batesville in North Mississippi, Cindy felt she was destined to become a teacher. The Mississippi College graduate enjoyed teaching stints at schools in Clinton and Utica. Melton later worked as an MC adjunct instructor while earning her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Mississippi.
Her hiring as dean is already earning her rave reviews from colleagues.
“Dr. Melton possesses the qualities of an effective servant leader,” said education professor Tommy Henderson, former superintendent of the Clinton public schools. “She is a good listener and a firm decision-maker, and she has a commitment to the growth of her team members.”
Henderson says the School of Education feels fortunate to “have someone with her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm as our leader.”
Tom Williams served effectively as chairman of the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership until Melton filled the post a few years ago.
A longtime MC education professor and the university’s energy specialist, Williams believes Melton was an outstanding choice to succeed Dean Locke. “Her knowledge of education and her concern for students and faculty are exemplary,” Williams say. “She possesses all of the leadership characteristics that are necessary to be a successful Dean.”
During his career, Locke, who is an MC graduate, has achieved national fame. He served as president of the 60,000-member American Counseling Association based in Virginia during the 2011-12 academic year. He was the recipient of MC’s Order of the Golden Arrow award, among other honors.
“To be able to return to my alma mater and serve as Dean has been the capstone of my career,” said Locke, a Clinton resident.
Melton and her husband, Derek, a staff member at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, are both MC grads and huge fans of the Blue & Gold. They stay busy as the parents of two children, Cameron, 12, and Caeley, 10. Both Melton kids make frequent visits to the Clinton campus to cheer for the Choctaws.
Contact Andy Kanengiser, University News Coordinator, at 601.925.7760 or at email@example.com.