All Press Releases for July 21, 2023

April Crenshaw Celebrated for Dedication to Mathematics Education

April Crenshaw, Ed.D. candidate, lends years of expertise to her role with Chattanooga State Community College

She creates inclusive and equitable syllabi to support racial/ethnic minority students, fostering a welcoming and validating classroom environment.

    CHATTANOOGA, TN, July 21, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- April Crenshaw has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Drawing on nearly two decades of experience in mathematics education, April Crenshaw presently excels as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Chattanooga State Community College where she continues to change lives through mathematics. She creates inclusive and equitable syllabi to support racial/ethnic minority students, fostering a welcoming and validating classroom environment. Professor Crenshaw is well-versed in the research on college student belongingness, which leads to effective help-seeking strategies, reduced dropout rates, and increased student satisfaction. She emphasizes representation in her presentations, showcasing women in mathematics, students with children, LGBTQIA individuals, and students with visible disabilities. Professor Crenshaw is dedicated to making her students feel respected, accepted, included, and supported. She engages regularly with her non-traditional student population, who often juggle full-time jobs, caregiving responsibilities, and part-time studies. April goes the extra mile by checking in with her students via email, addressing their questions and concerns individually. Her commitment to creating a valued and seen classroom sets her apart as a compassionate leader and culturally relevant pedagogue. Alongside her work with the College, she is a mathematics subject matter expert for several independent consultancies.

Professor Crenshaw began her career as a mathematics educator at Twiggs County High School—an economically disadvantaged school where students have just a 7% mathematics proficiency (according to the U.S. News and World Report). Whereas some new teachers would be deterred by this dismal outlook, she was not. Professor Crenshaw rejected this deficit perspective and realized her students' mathematical brilliance, helping to positively shape their mathematics identity. Instead of focusing on the mathematics "achievement gap," she encouraged her students, in the spirit of the late historian Dr. Asa Hilliard, to aspire to excellence. Several of her seniors that year graduated from Twiggs County High School and went on to complete college on academic and athletic scholarships. April was such an amazing and influential teacher that the school even honored her that year with its Teacher of the Year Award.

An expert in her field, Professor Crenshaw holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Spelman College and a Master of Science in financial mathematics from Florida State University. She continues to hone her craft and remain abreast of changes in the field through ongoing professional development. Since earning her teaching certificate in 2005, she has gone on to complete the Effective Teaching Practices certificate from the Associate of College and University Educators (ACUE) along with the Effective College Instruction certificate from Lumen Learning. Professor Crenshaw is also a doctoral student in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University and will graduate in May 2025. She holds professional memberships with the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (TMATYC), National Organization for Student Success (NOSS), and Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association.

Professor Crenshaw contributes to the academic community through conference presentations and publications. She has presented to standing-room-only audiences at AMATYC and NISOD and highly attended webinars with Lumen Learning and Hawkes Learning. Her publications – Faculty Teaching Strategies to Promote a Sense of Belonging Online and Using Connection and Belonging to Improve Academic Help-Seeking – have been viewed by hundreds of educators committed to fostering a culture of belonging in their classrooms. Professor Crenshaw further contributes to the professional learning community by hosting professional learning workshops and facilitating professional development courses, including the Fostering a Culture of Belonging with ACUE.

A servant leader, Professor Crenshaw, contributes to her local food and clothing drives. She co-founded the Elaine Toney Hill Memorial Scholarship to honor her late mentor and dear friend –Mrs. Elaine Toney Hill who dedicated 42 years of service and commitment to student success at Chattanooga State Community College. Professor Crenshaw serves as an executive board member for the Greater Chattanooga Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., regularly hosting the chapter's annual service project on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In recognition of her professional achievements, Professor Crenshaw has been invited to participate in Lumen Learning's LUMENary Program and was also nominated by her Chattanooga State colleagues for the SOAR Faculty Excellence Award. Most recently, she won the Teaching Excellence Award through the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, which she will receive at this year's annual conference.

The cornerstone of her overall success lay in the love and support of her family. Looking ahead the soon-to-be Dr. April Crenshaw aims to expand her championing teaching and learning excellence through consulting and facilitation of professional development.

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