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Three Outstanding Teachers Honored with MAA’s 2022 Teaching Awards

Outstanding teachers are imperative to our society. Without them, we would not learn and grow to produce academic accomplishments

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2022) – Each year, the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) honors teachers who are making an impact on STEM education with the Henry L. Alder Award. We are pleased to announce the 2022 Alder Award winners Vinodh Kumar Chellamuthu, Lauren Keough, and Brittany Stephenson. 

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.

Alder Awards

Vinodh Kumar Chellamuthu

Vinodh Kumar Chellamuthu is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Utah Tech University in St. George, Utah. He received his MS in Applied Mathematics from Tulane University and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is firmly committed to promoting quality education for future scientists by creating opportunity channels for career development through research as a high-impact teaching pedagogy. He has mentored several undergraduate research projects coming directly from Business, Industry, and Government Agencies. His work with students has been supported by MAA's PIC Math and NREUP grants and funding from the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics. In recognition of his success as a teacher-mentor, Dr. Chellamuthu has received the Early Career Mentoring Award from CUR, the Distinguished Teaching Award from the MAA's Intermountain Section, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from Utah Tech University. Dr. Chellamuthu currently serves as a councilor on the Council on Undergraduate Research, Vice-Chair of Programs for BIG SIGMAA, Program Coordinator for UR SIGMAA, and Chair for the MAA Intermountain Section.

Dr. Lauren Keough

Dr. Lauren Keough is an assistant professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Her favorite activities as a child in Rhode Island were those that allowed room for creativity. In fact, she thought she was cheating when she used her creativity to find patterns to do timed multiplication tests. Her love for math developed as an undergraduate at Hofstra University where she learned she could be creative in her math courses. Lauren completed her PhD in 2015 at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Radcliffe. Her research is in graph theory, and she especially loves areas where she can involve undergraduates. After graduate school, Lauren spent a year at Davidson College as a visiting assistant professor before moving to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2016. At GVSU, Lauren has tried to teach as many classes as possible, started a math circle with an MAA Tensor grant with co-PI’s Dr. Feryal Alayont and Meghan VanderMale, and mentored many undergraduates in research experiences. In 2018 she received a Center for Undergraduate Research Mathematics grant with co-PI Dr. Austin Mohr and has been awarded an NSA REU grant for summer 2022 with co-PI Dr. Michael Santana. She looks forward to continuing to mentor and learn from her students. Beyond math, Lauren likes to do crossword puzzles and is learning to embrace winter sports.

Brittany Stephenson

Brittany Stephenson, originally from Mississippi, grew up in a mathematically oriented family. Her older brother and first mentor Matt never missed a phone call when she needed help and would even answer difficult math questions while riding his bike across campus. Following in her mother and brother’s footsteps, Brittany decided to major in mathematics and attended Mississippi State University to complete her degree.  Brittany’s undergraduate academic advisor was Ratnasingham Shivaji. From the time Shivaji met her, he immediately took her under his wing, included her in his summer REU, and opened her eyes to the field of mathematical biology. After graduating with her B.S., Brittany attended the University of Tennessee, where she pursued her Ph.D. in Mathematics with a concentration in Mathematical Ecology. There she worked under the guidance of Judy and Day and Suzanne Lenhart on research in the mathematical modeling of disease transmission and optimal control theory. In the fall of 2018, Brittany began her role as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. During her time there, she has worked on developing an applied mathematics curriculum, offering mathematical research experiences for undergraduates, and serving her department and college. She feels very lucky to have amazing colleagues who inspire her to try new things in the classroom and constantly evolve her teaching. Brittany’s non-academic favorite activity is anything that involves her two Boston terriers, Rudy and Corky.