A native Texan, Marshall Eakin received his B.A. in history and anthropology and M.A. in Latin American history from the University of Kansas. He then went to UCLA where he earned his doctorate in 1981.
Eakin taught at Loyola Marymount University before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1983. Eakin began serving as faculty adviser for Alternative Spring Break, a student-run community service program, in 1989 and led groups of students to places that included Monterrey, Mexico, and Union, W. Va. He and other faculty organized an ad hoc task force on service learning that brought together members of the Vanderbilt community who were interested in service learning to hear speakers on related topics.
For the past two years Eakin has been the faculty director for Family, Community and Social Justice in Nicaragua, a summer course offered through the Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship & Global Engagement (VISAGE). Students work with the MANNA Project in Managua, Nicaragua, as they examine the role of family and community in the struggle to achieve a better life in one of the poorest countries of the Americas.
Eakin said that it was an honor and privilege to serve as director of the Ingram Scholars Program. "I have worked with Ingram Scholars on an individual basis since the inception of the program, and they have been some of the most memorable and accomplished students I have known in my 26 years at Vanderbilt," he said.
Eakin teaches and writes about the history of Latin America, especially Brazil. His books include Brazil: The Once and Future Country (St. Martin's, 1997) and The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He is currently researching another book, Becoming Brazilians: Making a Nation and a People, 1930-1992. Since 2004 he has been executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association, an interdisciplinary international organization that promotes the study of Brazil. Eakin is a former chair of the Vanderbilt Department of History and former acting director of Vanderbilt's Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies. He's also a past president of the Friends of the Library.
In 1999 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named Eakin the Tennessee Professor of the Year in recognition of his "extraordinary dedication to teaching, commitment to students and innovative teaching methods."
Eakin's other awards include the Chancellor's Cup (for the greatest contribution to student-faculty relationships), the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Jeffrey W. Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Ernest A. Jones Faculty Adviser Award in the College of Arts and Science. He held a Chair of Teaching Excellence from 1998 through 2001 and was the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Professor from 2004 to 2005.
"My most important contribution as an undergraduate teacher has two intertwined components: the development of service learning on campus and the fostering of a conversation among faculty about the culture of teaching at Vanderbilt," Eakin said.
The Ingram Scholarship Faculty Director serves as the spokesperson for the Ingram Scholarship Program, acting as a liaison between Vanderbilt administrators and members of the Ingram family directly involved with the program. He also oversees all aspects of the scholarship. The Faculty Director monitors each Scholar's fulfillment of the program requirements and works with Ingram Scholar Advisors and faculty in the development of various Ingram seminars and workshops. The Faculty Director is also directly involved in the selection of new Ingram Scholars. Finally, he regularly evaluates the program and implements changes consistent with the original intent of the program.
Ann Neely served as the Faculty Director for the Ingram Scholars Program from 1994 - 2009. She is an Associate Professor of Education with an office on the Peabody campus in the Wyatt Center (Room 362).
Before coming to Vanderbilt, Ann earned her B.S. and M.Ed. in elementary education at Auburn University. She then completed her Ed.D. at the University of Georgia.
Professor Neely has been a member of the Department of Teaching and Learning since 1985. From 1991-1996, Ann served as Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Affairs in Athletics. From 1987-1991, Ann served as Peabody College's Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. Her research and scholarly interests are focused on children's literature, language and literacy, and elementary teacher education.