Alex McAllister, the H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics and current chair of the science and mathematics division, has been named associate dean of Centre College. His three-year term begins July 1.
In announcing his appointment, Ellen Goldey, the incoming vice president for academic affairs and Dean of the College, noted the breadth of McAllister’s administrative experience.
“I look forward to working with Alex,” she said, “and I am confident we will all benefit from his leadership.”
Besides his current role as a division chair, McAllister has served multiple years as chair of the mathematics program and on the college-wide Tenure and Reappointment Committee. He was also the mentor for the fourth cohort of Posse Scholars at Centre, a national program that identifies, recruits and trains individuals with extraordinary leadership potential.
McAllister’s nomination letters, Goldey said, “commended his caring personality, supportive mentorship, ability to engage thoughtfully and productively in difficult conversations, generosity of spirit and inspirational commitment to the ongoing pursuit of excellence.”
Known for his energy and positive outlook, McAllister identifies a “constructive restlessness” as the fundamental perspective that informs his engagement with the world.
“In my teaching and scholarship, in the curriculum revisions I have encouraged in mathematics and in my efforts as division chair, I have tried to think carefully about what we do and intentionally seek out ways to make our work even better,” he said.
Through his work as both a program and division chair, McAllister has learned firsthand, he added, “how amazing our faculty are in terms of their teaching, scholarship and service.” As associate dean, he looks forward to “helping, encouraging and supporting them in their efforts to provide truly transformational experiences for our students.”
In addition, McAllister said that his broader goal is “to support the efforts of Dean Goldey to understand and preserve what’s best in what we currently do, while also pursuing change that will make us even better.”
McAllister earned his B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and then he went on to complete a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
He joined the Centre College faculty in 1999 as assistant professor of mathematics, was promoted to associate professor in 2004, to professor in 2013 and was awarded the H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professorship in Mathematics in 2015. He began serving as the chair of the science and mathematics division in 2016.
Prior to arriving at Centre, he was a visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth College (1997-1999) and a graduate instructor at the University of Notre Dame (1995-1997).
McAllister received the Mathematical Association of America’s Kentucky Section Teaching Award in 2015 and Centre College’s Kirk Teaching Award in 2009, and he was honored as a Centre Scholar for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service in both 2005 and 2010.
In addition to these honors, McAllister is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa and Pi Mu Epsilon.
As an example of his innovative work as a teacher, McAllister co-designed the study abroad course HUM 284, Drama and Math in Ancient Greece, which he has co-taught with faculty colleagues Matthew Hallock and Patrick Kagan-Moore, who both serve as professor of dramatic arts.
McAllister has also taught courses at Centre College in mathematics, computer science, humanities and philosophy. His scholarly interests include mathematical logic and foundations, computability theory, and the history of mathematics. Research articles have been published in the Archive for Mathematical Logic, the Journal of Symbolic Logic, and the Mathematical Logic Quarterly.
Oxford University Press published his two co-authored textbooks: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics: A Survey Course, in 2009 with William Johnston of Butler University, and Mathematical Modeling and Applied Calculus, in 2018 with Joel Kilty of Centre College.
by Michael Strysick
May 17, 2019