2013: Women to Watch

Published 8:37 am Monday, February 25, 2013

By Jennifer Harvell

Whether it’s at church, school, or in the local community, Dr. Brenda Tinkham always has something happening in her life.

Originally from the small piedmont town of Spring Hope, North Carolina, Mrs. Tinkham moved to Hertford County in 1972 with her husband. Many people have even said that she is more of a native to this area than some of the locals. And considering all the activities and organizations she’s involved with, it’s easy to understand why.

Mrs. Tinkham is an active member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, a small, but active church located between Murfreesboro and Winton. There, she currently teaches an adult Sunday school class, she is involved in the Women’s Missionary Union, and she has also served as a Church Deacon.

However, the faith-based community is not the only avenue of Tinkham’s service to the local area. She is also a member of the Murfreesboro Rotary Club, where she holds positions on the local and district levels.

Dr. Tinkham first got her start working in education by teaching elementary and middle school grades. She then advanced to becoming an assistant principal and principal. She didn’t rest on those laurels, advancing her own education to reach the status of an administrator at the school district level in Hertford County.

But her success did not stop there.

In 2006, she began teaching education courses at Chowan University in Murfreesboro. A year later, the system was reorganized and three separate educational entities were formed: the departments of education, arts and science, and business. With these new schools, she was made chair of the Department of Education, and then shortly after she became the Dean of the School of Education. Her main role in this job is to publicly represent the university. Since Chowan is an independent college, she goes to represent the university at dean’s meetings with the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

“It’s sort of like being a cheerleader for the teacher education program, commented Tinkham on her part in helping spread the word about the program.

Since she’s been involved with Chowan University, another respectable accomplishment for Dr. Tinkham is her assistance in starting up the graduate program for the Education Department. She, along with Chowan University President Dr. Chris White, Dr. Carolyn Modlin, and Provost Dr. Danny Moore, are the founders of this auspicious program.

“It had been a dream and a main focus of Chowan to get the graduate teacher education program started, and since it was formed, many have benefited from it,” Tinkham said. “Students who continue their education studies are now able to earn a master’s degree in Elementary Education. This program also gives attention to students being able to review, interpret, analyze, and conduct research pertinent to the discipline and the profession. Graduates from this program are also eligible to apply for the North Carolina M-Level license in elementary education.”

Being involved with so many different organizations and activities, how could one possibly have time to take on more? Well, for Dr. Tinkham, this is no problem. Along with all of her obligations to her church and school, she somehow manages to find time to be highly involved in the Boy Scouts of America. She has served as an assistant Cub Scout Den Leader, a treasurer, and the district chair. The counties that she represents as district chair include Halifax, Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie Counties.

In acknowledgment of her loyal dedication and contribution to the Boy Scouts of America, she has been selected to receive one of Scouting’s most highest awards (to be announced soon) that can be given to an individual at the Council level. She is being recognized for her copious involvements in organizing and helping with activities for the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. She will be receiving this exceptional award on Sunday, February 24, in Kinston.

Along with receiving this outstanding award, Dr. Tinkham has also been recognized for other things with the Boy Scouts as well. She was presented with the “Do everything but camping award.”

When asked if she ever went out with the scouts, she quickly replied, “I sure hope not. I don’t camp. I like to organize and help them do various and sundry things, but no camping.”

She appreciates and enjoys working with the scouts because they’re young and active and they’re always doing fun things.

Dr. Tinkham is very involved in many different groups and organizations in the local area. Working at Chowan University and being involved with the Boy Scouts shows just how much she appreciates and wants to better the younger generations. Her main objective is to make a difference in people’s lives. She is the type of woman who is always willing to help others, and her dedication and commitment to everything she is involved with is a great asset.

By being such a dependable and reliable operative, she has a very good reputation in the community. Her many notable accomplishments and achievements greatly reflect on what an incredible person and wonderful contribution she is to this community.