The 2020 Distinguished Professor Award at Millsaps College has been awarded to Dr. Blakely Fox Fender, professor of economics and J. Armistead Brown Chair of Business Administration in the Else School of Management.
The award recognizes faculty members who inspire students through their excellence as teachers, and whose writing and research are of the highest quality and serve to enhance their teaching and their students’ learning.
A 1992 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Millsaps, Fender earned her master’s and doctorate in economics at the University of Texas at Austin. After some time spent working in Austin and Dallas, she joined the Millsaps faculty in 2000 as assistant professor of economics.
A prolific researcher and presenter, Fender has generated articles in peer-reviewed journals on a wide range of topics, but often focusing on underserved populations in Mississippi. She has published important work on race, gender and indigence and provided research on labor force issues to Mississippi’s public sector.
Fender is also known for developing and implementing programs to train business leaders. She has led the Business Advantage Program for Professionals to help business practitioners successfully manage and lead their organizations, and she has served on the ELSEWorks entrepreneurship team. She is currently also directing the Else School MBA and EMBA programs.
Fender most enjoys working directly with students. “Her students praise the personal attention given in helping them reach the potential that they themselves did not recognize,” said Provost Keith Dunn.