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Charlotte Chell

Charlotte Chell, Carthage Flame Award winner, 2010

2010 Carthage Flame Award Recipient

Charlotte Chell, professor of mathematics, received the 22nd Carthage Flame in 2010. She is only the second active member of the faculty to be presented with the College’s highest award.

Professor Chell first taught at Carthage from 1975 to 1977. She returned in 1981, and has taught continually ever since. She is the senior member of the mathematics faculty, teaching in both the mathematics and computer science departments, as well as in the Great Ideas program.

She has served in a variety of capacities on the faculty, including chairing both the mathematics department and the Division of the Natural Sciences. As division chair, she recruited many superb natural sciences professors. Her success in building the reputation of her division enhanced both the reputation and prestige of the College as a whole.

Professor Chell was the first woman to serve as governor of the Wisconsin section of the Mathematical Association of America. In 2000, she also was the first woman to receive the Distinguished College and University Teaching Award from the Wisconsin MAA. Professor Chell has served on the Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility, and the boards of the Wisconsin Public Radio Association and Armitage Academy.

At Carthage, Professor Chell led the transformation of the annual Honors Convocation from a brief ceremony during chapel services, into a full day of ceremony and celebration. She received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1988, and was instrumental in establishing a chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society at the College.

A lifelong devotee of the arts — in particular vocal and instrumental music — Professor Chell conceived the Christmas Festival in its current format, growing this holiday celebration from an event attended by a few hundred people into one of the most eagerly anticipated musical events in Southeastern Wisconsin. Annual attendance now tops 5,000, with three performances fully subscribed several weeks in advance.

Professor Chell earned a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is married to Samuel Chell, Ruth Maxwell Distinguished Professor of English emeritus at Carthage. They have two adult children, Melissa Williams, an oncologist in Davis, Calif.; and Jeremy, a mechanical engineer in Madison, Wis.; and four grandchildren.