Mary Baldwin University Associate Professor of History Dr. Ann Field Alexander has received the 1997-98 Karl F. and Patricia H. Menk Award for Faculty Support and Development. Dr. Alexander, who holds a Ph.D. from Duke University, is also a Mary Baldwin University alumna (Class of 1966). She has served on Mary Baldwin’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs faculty since 1989.
The Menk Award honors two outstanding Mary Baldwin faculty: Dr. Patricia H. Menk, professor emerita of history, college historian and author of the college’s sesquicentennial history, “To Live in Time;” and her late husband, Dr. Karl F. Menk, associate professor of microbiology from 1959 to 1981, director of laboratories at King’s Daughter’s Hospital and founder of Mary Baldwin’s Medical Technology Program. The annual award is made in recognition of the Menks’ achievements as teachers and scholars and is intended to help ensure a continuing tradition of outstanding teaching at Mary Baldwin University.
The Menk Award is offered annually to help support a faculty member on sabbatical and is made possible by an endowed fund. Dr. Alexander is using her sabbatical to complete a biography of John Mitchell Jr. (1863 – 1929), an African-American journalist, who for 45 years published the Richmond Planet. Dr. Alexander says that her book on Mitchell “stems from a doctoral dissertation that I wrote while at Duke University.”
Since resuming work on Mitchell’s biography in 1989, Alexander has received three summer grants to support her research. She has published articles on Mitchell’s life and made presentations on various aspects of African-American history to audiences throughout Virginia. She has interviewed Mitchell’s descendants and discovered some major, previously untapped manuscript sources at the Library of Virginia. Dr. Alexander has signed a book contract with The University of Illinois Press to publish this biography.
Dr. Alexander has received a Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Mednick Fellowship for research and advanced study, and she also received a William M.E. Rachal Award for the best article appearing in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.
Dr. Alexander resides in Christiansburg, VA, with her husband Michael. She teaches in the Roanoke-based office of Mary Baldwin’s Baldwin Online and Adult Programs.