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MAA Announces 2022 Recipients of the Meritorious Service Awards

The MAA is also excited to announce the Meritorious Service Award winners as Jennifer Wagner, Rob Poodiack, David Hendricks, Linda Sundbye, Jacci White, and Matt Boelkins.

Meritorious Service Awards

Certificates of Meritorious Services are presented, on the recommendation of the Sections of the Association, for service at the national level or for service to a Section of the Association. The first such awards were made in 1984. Each  year, honorees from several Sections are recognized.

Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner is a professor of mathematics at Washburn University. She earned a BA in mathematics from Grinnell College, and both an MA and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego. She held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Minnesota (including work with the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program), and the University of Kansas before joining the faculty at Washburn University in 2006. Her research interests are in algebraic combinatorics, but what she loves most about her job is teaching a variety of courses to a diverse student body. She has been a member of the MAA since she was an undergraduate, participated in Project NExT,  and is currently serving as the Secretary of the Kansas Section.

“I am extremely honored to receive the MAA’s Meritorious Service Award. It has been a pleasure working with my colleagues in the Kansas Section, and I am grateful to be part of such a friendly, close-knit community,” she shared.

Jennifer Wagner

Rob Poodiack

Rob Poodiack is a professor and chair of mathematics at Norwich University, America’s oldest private military college, where he has been on the faculty since 1999. Poodiack earned his bachelor’s in computer science from Cornell University, his master's in mathematics from Western Connecticut State University, and his Ph.D. in mathematical sciences (in the area of analysis) from the University of Vermont. He has been a member of the Northeastern Section of the MAA since joining as a graduate student in 1997. In addition to organizing and attending contests and meetings of all types, Rob has written extensively on generalized trigonometry.

“I am delighted and honored that the NES/MAA executive committee thought of me for this award. I  became a member of the Northeastern Section 25 years ago. The members of the section are so warm and welcoming that you can’t help but want to do things for them. The section itself has a small army of volunteers that keep things running smoothly. I have to thank all of the members of the executive committee and the various coordinators over the years for setting such a great example, but especially Ed Sandifer, Ockle Johnson, Rick Cleary, Frank Ford, Tommy Ratliff, Karen Stanish, Eric Johnson, and Vince Ferlini for pushing me to do things where I had a chance to be successful. I thank my family for allowing me to attend so many conferences, and to participate so fully. It has been a highly pleasurable ride,” he responded to his achievement. 

David Hendricks

David Hendricks has been an essential member of the Texas MAA Section. Through his long service as Secretary-Treasurer, he has been the backbone of the Texas Section Executive Committee, lending his institutional memory to shape multiple decisions, including updating By-Laws. He has trained numerous Section officers, especially Chairs and Arrangement Chairs. David has also led Abilene Christian University to host the Texas Section Meeting. David has attended MAA MathFest and Joint Mathematics Meetings regularly. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Section in 2018. We are extremely grateful for his leadership and service to the MAA both locally and nationally. 

“I am greatly humbled and honored to receive this award. Service is accomplished within the community, and I  am blessed that I am able to work alongside many incredible mathematicians who helped me along in my  various roles,” he added.

Linda Sundbye

Linda Sundbye is a professor of mathematics at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she has been on the faculty since 1995. She earned her BS in mathematics from Texas A&M University and her MS in chemical engineering and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“It is a nice surprise and a great honor to receive the 2022 MAA Meritorious Service Award from the Rocky  Mountain Section of the MAA. Although I have retired as newsletter editor after 16 years of service, it has been a pleasure to work with section members over the many years. I would like to thank my colleagues for nominating me for this award,” she shared.

Dr. Jacci White

Dr. Jacci White is a professor of mathematics in the School of Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics,  and Data Science at Saint Leo University, where she has taught for 24 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rollins College, a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction for higher education from the University of Central Florida. Her educational interests include mathematics education, classroom  technology, and sports analytics. She has written several books that are used as classroom aids for student discussion, projects, and other activities. Dr. White is active in professional organizations where she has been honored with the MAA—FL award for Excellence in Teaching, the Florida Association of Women  in Education Service Award, and the Saint Leo University awards for Researcher of the Year in Arts and Sciences and the University Faculty Service Award.

“What a surprise and honor from my friends in the Florida Section, to be nominated for the meritorious service award. There is nothing I would call “service” in the Florida section, only an opportunity to create fun times with friends. I appreciate and am humbled by the opportunities I have had to learn from so many great mathematicians,” she added.

Matt Boelkins

Matt Boelkins is a professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, where he has been a member of the faculty for almost 25 years. A passionate teacher and proponent of active learning, Professor Boelkins has been recognized with several teaching-related honors, including the Michigan  Association of State Universities’ 2016 Distinguished Professor of the Year. Throughout his career, he has worked to promote the scholarship of teaching and learning mathematics through scholarly papers, conference presentations, and the journal PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies), which he serves as editor-in-chief. Professor Boelkins has co-authored several research papers with undergraduate students and is the author or co-author of four textbooks, including Active  Prelude to Calculus, Active Calculus Single Variable, and Active Calculus Multivariable.

“I love the MAA and have benefited tremendously by being a member. It’s been an honor and privilege to contribute to the collective work, and I have gained far more than I’ve given. I’m grateful to all of the wonderful people in the organization who contribute their time, talent, energy, and goodwill to the collective cause of making mathematics more accessible to others,” he shared.

“The MAA is honored to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of these meritorious individuals,” said Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA, “their service to the MAA and Mathematical Community is unmatched.”