Dr. William Bynum, president of Mississippi Valley State University, recently announced the appointment of Dr. Constance Bland as vice president of academic affairs. A native of Friars Point, Miss., she brings over 30 years of experience in higher education to her new role.
Dr. Bland began her career as an instructor of mathematics and computer science at Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale, Miss. In 1991, she began her tenure at MVSU. After proving herself as a profound instructor and assistant professor, Dr. Bland was appointed as chair of the Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences (MCIS) department in 1999.
“Given her 21 years of service to MVSU, Dr. Bland has actively demonstrated her passion and commitment for the University and its faculty, students and staff,” said Bynum. “She has established a great working relationship with the community and is well respected. With her academic background, credentials and grant writing abilities, she is absolutely the type of person you want as the chief academic officer. I am confident she will successfully enhance faculty contributions to the University and beyond.”
Under her leadership, Dr. Bland helped MCIS receive grants to enhance the quality of STEM education and retention at MVSU, a graphing calculators grant, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Odyssey II Scholarship grant, NSF CSEMS grant, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) GIS/Remote Sensing grant and the NASA PACE grant. She’s responsible for developing Valley’s first Women in Science and Technology Conference (WIST) designed to encourage young girls in grades 7th through 12th to consider majoring in STEM disciplines.
“I am thrilled to take on this new position and my motivation is simple,” said Dr. Bland. “Students at MVSU are brilliant beyond reasons that we can fully explain or understand. Their intelligence needs to be focused in the academic arena so they can soar to heights that they can only fathom in their wildest imagination. This is the call of Academic Affairs here at Mississippi Valley State University!”
Dr. Bland holds an associate’s degree in mathematics from Coahoma Junior College. She received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, Bachelor of Science in computer science, master’s degree in computer science and doctoral degree in computer engineering from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
An accomplished researcher, Dr. Bland has authored and co-authored several publications - Using Alice to Decrease Attrition in CS1, Road Map for Teaching Introductory Programming Using LEGO Mindstorms Robots, Java Resources for Computer Science Instruction and Distance Education: What is appropriate, What is not and Agents, Profiles, Learning Styles and Tutors.
She is married to Edgar Bland, Jr. The couple has two daughters, Amanda and Hillary, and one grandson, Taylan.