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Four Outstanding Teachers Honored with MAA’s 2020 Teaching Awards

Washington, DC(July 27th, 2020) -Annually, the Mathematical Association of America honors teachers who are making an impact on STEM education with the Alder Awards and Dolciani Award. We are pleased to announce the 2020 Alder Award winners, Selenne Bañuelos, Kenneth M Monks, and Brandy Wiegers; and Dolciani Award winner, Henry Pollak.

Henry L. Alder Award

The Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching honors beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms.

Mary P. Dolciani Award

The Mary P. Dolciani Award recognizes a pure or applied mathematician who is making a distinguished and active contribution to the mathematical education of K-16 students in the United States or Canada.

About This Year’s Recipients

Alder Award

Dr. Bañuelos has brought new and exciting mathematical pedagogy to California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), while also mentoring students outside of the classroom. Dr. Bañuelos has worked to make math more inclusive, welcoming, and humanizing through workshops and professional development on building classroom community teaching. She teaches with a student-centered lens and ensures everyone feels comfortable and empowered in the classroom.

Dr. Monks wants his students to take risks and models this risk-taking through a unique lens in the mathematical world. Dr. Monks has authored an open-source textbook and places math in historical contexts to make it more interesting and relevant to a wider population. He is busy outside of the classroom as well, mentoring many mathematical clubs and teams, and serving as President of the Colorado Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

Dr. Wiegers represents a wide range of activities that fall under the title “Professor.” At Central Washington University, Dr. Wiegers teaches math interactively, using group projects and presentations all while building relationships with students. She also mentors students and creates opportunities for middle-school mathematicians to connect over their love for math with both English, and Spanish-speaking, Math Circles.

Dolciani Award

Dr. Pollak pursued his career at Bell Labs and made a significant contribution to mathematics education through service to many advisory boards, committees, and groups on undergraduate education reform. After a 35-year career at Bell Labs, Dr. Pollak continued pursuing his passion for education as a professor at Columbia University. Dr. Pollak is a prolific author in mathematical research and pedagogy. He takes pride in mentoring his students and colleagues while showing genuine interest in their work.

“These award winners have demonstrated a deep concern about the quality of mathematics instruction, and a willingness to roll up their sleeves to improve student success,” said Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA. “We all benefit from the shared wisdom and experience of our colleagues, and MAA is pleased to recognize these exemplary individuals for their contributions.”

Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA