Cindy Melton Selected Distinguished Professor of the Year at Mississippi College
Cindy Melton combines many talents as Mississippi College’s education dean, a full-time mom, and a dedicated professor with a real heart for students.
The vibrant Mississippian remains a superb role model in so many ways, colleagues say. At the university’s spring commencement in early May, Dr. Melton received another stellar honor as MC’s Distinguished Professor of the Year for 2016-17.
Melton’s youthful energy is a vital asset as she oversees the College of Education, a post she’s held since January 2017. She’s doubled as chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership. A former metro Jackson Outstanding Teacher Award winner in 1998, Cindy joined the MC faculty in the elementary education program in 2001.
It’s been a splendid career for the Mississippi College graduate ever since she began teaching.
Melton expressed her gratitude to the colleagues who endorsed her nomination for the special honor. During her 16 years teaching at her alma mater, she’s been truly blessed.
“I am incredibly thankful for the many opportunities that I have had throughout my career at Mississippi College,” Melton said. “I look forward to what the future holds for our beloved university.”
MC’s newest professor of the year says it is wonderful to work with “such a talented team of faculty and staff not only in the School of Education, but also across our campus.”
There’s no shortage of Cindy Melton admirers on the Clinton campus.
“Her knowledge of education and love for her students have made her a favorite among the students and faculty across campus,” said longtime education professor Tom Williams. Her faithful work at MC, he said, “has been exemplary since the first day” she joined the School of Education.
Williams should know. He served as Cindy’s predecessor as Department of Teacher Education and Leadership chair. A former Mississippi Teacher of the Year, he currently oversees campus facilities.
Melton first taught as an adjunct instructor at Mississippi College. Then, she joined the faculty full-time prior to earning her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Mississippi. Growing up on the family farm near Batesville, Cindy yearned to be a teacher. She gave her heart to Christ as an 8-year-old. America’s 2nd oldest Baptist college is a perfect fit for the Hinds County resident.
Cindy and her husband, Derek, are the proud parents of two children, Caeley and Cameron, both students in the Clinton Public Schools. Derek, a hospital administrator, is also an MC graduate. All of the Meltons frequently attend MC Choctaws football games and other Blue & Gold events.
Ron Howard, vice president of academic affairs, joins the salute to Melton’s effective teaching methods and strong leadership skills.
“Dr. Melton is the complete professional, whether as a teacher or administrator,” Howard said. Her passion, he said, is for her students. She’s first-rate when it comes to preparing MC students for education careers. Cindy gives them “the knowledge, skills and values they will need for life-long learning,” he said.
Cindy Melton “quite literally personifies what Mississippi College is all about,” Howard added.
She’s reached out to assist students in a number of ways outside the classroom. Cindy has served for years as the sponsor of the Nenamoosha social tribe on the Clinton campus.
After earning her bachelor’s degree at MC in 1994, and master’s in education here in 1996, Melton got started in the profession as a teacher in Utica and Clinton public schools.
“The classroom is my mission field and my calling is to connect with students and relate to them,” Melton said in an MC “Beacon” magazine profile in the summer of 2016. “I’m passionate about making connections.”
In 2005, Melton was recognized as the Outstanding Young Professor of the Year at Mississippi College.