2018 Recipients

Award Title Recipient Description
Graduate Student Award for Teaching at MSU

Christian Stratton

Christian Stratton is a graduate teaching assistant in Statistics at MSU, a position he has held since 2017. Christian is a talented, enthusiastic and engaging instructor of Introductory Statistics. With his innovative teaching ideas, his availability for assistance, and his clear explanations, Christian creates a supportive and effective learning environment for his students. He eagerly shares his experiences and strategies with other graduate teaching assistants, distinguishing himself as an active and reflective teacher leader within the department. His expertise and enthusiasm as an instructor are valuable to the department and undergraduate students.                   

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Elizabeth Mery

Elizabeth Mery is an Instructor on the Faculty at MSU, a position she has held since 2013. She is adept at teaching a wide variety of mathematics and statistics courses. She makes meaningful connections for students, and they consistently comment on her availability for assistance, clear and helpful mathematical explanations, and course organization. Elizabeth is a popular and valuable tutor for mathematics and statistics in the Math Learning Center. She is one of the few instructors in the department to achieve a perfect 5.0 student evaluation score in courses with over 30 students enrolled. Her proficiency as an instructor on our faculty is a huge asset to the Department and to undergraduates at MSU.

Graduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. David Ayala

David is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at MSU, a position he has held since 2014. David is an accomplished classroom teacher, teaching graduate courses that are foundational to the master’s and doctoral programs in the Department. His careful supervision of graduate students, his one-on-one work with graduate students on individual problems and directed student learning, and his organization of a graduate student reading seminar in topology are all especially valuable. His contributions to graduate student learning are highly regarded by students and faculty alike.

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at Institution Other than MSU Dr. Jodi Fasteen, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Carroll College

Dr. Jodi Fasteen is an assistant professor of mathematics at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She is the primary mathematics educator at Carroll and works to support both elementary and secondary teachers in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Dr. Fasteen’s research has focus on curriculum development, supporting prospective and in-service teachers, and statistics education at the undergraduate level.

Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Teaching Dacia Lackey, Hyalite Elementary School, 5th Grade Teacher, Bozeman, MT

Dacia Lackey is a fifth-grade teacher with over twenty years of experience at the elementary level. She is an innovative instructor who challenges her students to learn rich mathematics in meaningful ways. Her exceptional teaching skills were evidenced in 2016 when she was one of seven Montana finalists chosen for the prestigious national Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. In addition to being an exceptional instructor, Dacia has taken on leadership roles in the district helping to evaluate math and science curriculum and leading teachers in professional development. She also works collaboratively with university faculty on research projects and has published two articles describing her classroom work and lessons in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.


2017 Recipients

Award Title Recipient Description
Graduate Student Award for Teaching at MSU

Katherine McWalters

Katherine is a masters student in the Masters of Mathematics-Mathematics Education program and will graduate this semester. Katherine came to MSU after teaching for several years as a high school teacher in Rhode Island and Switzerland. At MSU, she has taught each of the following courses: M121 (College Algebra), M 133 (Geometry and Measurement for K-8 Teachers), and M234 (Higher Mathematics for Elementary Teachers). Katherine is passionate and reflective in her teaching practices. She is always looking for ways to help students improve in their understanding. For example, this semester she engaged in an action research project to evaluate the role of different types of assessments on her students’ understanding. Her students appreciate her commitment to teaching and consistently give her high ratings. Katherine will join the NTT faculty in the department beginning Fall 2017.
Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. Jerry Markman Dr. Markman has been an NTT instructor at MSU since 2009. He has taught a wide variety of courses including M 171 (Calculus I), M 172 (Calculus II), M 273 (Multivariable Calculus) and M 274 (Differential Equations). His versatility in teaching the full range of 100- and 200- level calculus courses is a huge asset to the department. He is consistently recognized by his students as an outstanding instructor.
Graduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. Laura Hildreth Dr. Hildreth is a statistics faculty member who joined us in 2013. She has become a critical part of our teaching of statistics courses in the department, focusing on teaching statistical methods courses to graduate students in the department and graduate students from other departments. She holds the students to high standards, preparing them to do their own statistical analyses in a wide variety of areas. She consistently seeks out data sets from published research to challenge the students to develop skills that would help them to work on their own papers. When she began teaching the graduate statistical methods sequence, she explored the possibility of having daily homework, and the students liked it to so much that it has become a constant part of that class. She works to get to know her students to encourage them to ask questions and they routinely seek her out with questions outside of class.
Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at Institution Other than MSU Dr. Rich Rehberger, Dept Head Gallatin College, MSU-Bozeman Dr. Rich Rehberger is the Department Head of the Gallatin College Department of Mathematics.  He has led the Gallatin College – Montana State University co-requisite initiative, and he was the co-chair of Montana’s Pathways Project, a program aimed at aligning students’ initial college math courses with their programs of study. He is instrumental in ensuring a successful transition for students who move from taking Gallatin College math courses to courses at Montana State. He is also an excellent mathematics instructor in his own right.
Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Teaching Lisa Scott, Middle School Mathematics Teacher, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Billings, MT Lisa Scott, a secondary mathematics teacher in Billings, earned two degrees from MSU (B.S. 1992, M.S. 2004). Her 25-year career includes many years of classroom teaching, serving as a district mathematics coach, providing professional development, and assuming leadership roles at the state and national level. Lisa’s accomplishments include receipt of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (2002), election as President of the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and appointment to the board of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. Her ongoing contributions to mathematics teaching and learning include authoring curriculum at the national level; assisting with writing and revising state content standards; consulting with individual school districts on mathematics reform; and leading statewide professional learning for K-12 mathematics leaders.



2016 Recipients

Award Title Recipient Description
Graduate Student Award for Teaching at MSU

Anthony Gaussoin

Anthony is a doctoral student in the applied mathematics track. He is making excellent progress on his coursework and research. He has taught each of the following courses multiple times: M 121 (College Algebra), M 165 (Calculus for Technology I), M 171 (Calculus I), and M 273 (Multivariable Calculus) in his three years in the department. Students give him very high ratings. His course supervisor had the following to say about him: “Tony taught me that curl and cross both start with C, while divergence and dot both start with D.  We both taught early classes, and Tony often came by my office in the wee hours with tidbits like this.  I also lifted a few exam problems from Tony, as he had a knack for writing problems that got to the heart of the material without being opaque to the students.  Tony has the right combination of enthusiasm, creativity and effort that makes a great teacher.” We will continue to expect great instruction from him as he makes his way to completing his degree.

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Jade Schmidt

Jade is the student success coordinator for STAT 216 (Introduction to Statistics). It was a notorious class on campus with a high failure rate. So high that the President was getting calls about it... Jade, working with Jim Robison-Cox (Associate Professor of Statistics) flipped the classrooms, writing their own set of materials for the course (basically a textbook), and have dramatically improved the student success rates in the class. The President now routinely mentions the successes of the changes made. Jade has been responsible for all the day-to-day running of the course, training of instructors and undergraduate assistants, and also has been working to target struggling students early with extra assistance. She also teaches the class and her sections are the highest rated and in high demand. She is a valued resource for the other instructors. She also has taught other courses for the department before she started this work and has won graduate student teaching awards for those efforts. She is one of our best non-tenure track teachers and it was great to be able to recognize that success with this award.

Graduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. Jack Dockery Jack is a Professor of Mathematics and has a vibrant applied mathematics research program. He is very unassuming about himself but cares very deeply about his teaching and about helping others to succeed at all levels in our program. He has been heavily involved in M 171 (Calculus I) and making that a better course working with Veronica Baker (a previous Stannard Award winner) as the faculty course supervisor. His teaching responsibilities have been focused on upper level and graduate mathematics courses. He has worked to modernize the numerical linear algebra and optimization class to bring in “Big Data” problems. This puts it at the forefront of efforts to bring extremely useful tools to our students to prepare them for research or industry positions. He gets extremely high ratings from his students and pushes them to learn the material at a deep level. The other mathematics faculty use his as a resource whenever they are stuck on a problem and to make sure their students’ research and presentations are accurate and correct. He also received his bachelors and master’s here before getting his PhD at the University of Utah in 1987.
Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at Institution Other than MSU Dr. David Erickson, Professor of Mathematics Education, PJW College of Education at UM-Missoula

Dr. Erickson has been at UM for over 20 years. He is dedicated to designing productive learning experiences for prospective mathematics teachers, to recruiting and preparing “non-traditional” K-12 mathematics teachers, to developing leadership capacity among classroom teachers across Montana, and to building relationships between mathematicians and teachers of school mathematics. His accomplishments and activities this year include:

  • Instructing and facilitating an innovative mathematics methods course for pre-service secondary teachers; where he works alongside students in local schools for extended periods of time.
  • Leading a Noyce scholarship program in recent years to attract non-traditional students into the teacher profession.
  • Co-directing the Montana Math Teachers’ Circle project, which brings mathematicians and teachers in five cities together for informal exploration of mathematics.
  • Co-directing the MSP-LEAD program, which will prepare 28 mathematics and science teachers for leadership roles in the state and region.

Dr. Erickson is also a willing contributor to many mathematics organizations and endeavors in the state (e.g., Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Montana Learning Center). He is a rare example of a busy faculty member who also sacrifices time to support the broader enterprise of teaching and learning mathematics in Montana. 

Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Teaching Shari Kepner, High School Mathematics Teacher, Park High School, Livingston, MT

Shari has taught in the Livingston schools for over 10 years. She has demonstrated excellence in teaching AP Calculus and other advanced courses, and earned a masters degree from MSU-Bozeman in secondary mathematics. Shari is a masterful teacher who challenges her students daily and cares deeply about their welfare. She is also an active leader in state efforts to improve mathematics, most notably serving as current director and coordinator of the statewide MCTM Math Contest. This year, Shari was invited to be the Teacher in Residence in MSU-Bozeman’s Mathematical Sciences department. In this role, she worked closely with prospective high school teachers nearing the end of their preparation. She also taught calculus as well as courses for future elementary teachers, demonstrating the breadth of her knowledge and ability to engage students at all levels. Shari will return to the classroom next fall, and will be an outstanding liaison between K-12 and higher education mathematics.



2015 Recipients

Award Title Recipient Description
Graduate Student Award for Teaching at MSU

Jennifer Weeding

Jennifer has taught M 165 and 166 (Calculus for Technology I and II), STAT 216 and 217 (Introductory and Intermediate Statistics) and M 145 (Math for the Liberal Arts) to very positive student feedback over her years in the department. She has volunteered to help in textbook selection for M 165/166. Dr. Kim Nordby (student success coordinator for M165/166) especially noted in her nomination that "Having Jennifer Weeding as a GTA for M166 for two semester has been an immense help to me in my position as the SSC. Jennifer has written exam reviews, contributed with input on exams, proctored evening exams, providing input into homework problems, shared quizzes and solutions and she has really gone above and beyond what is expected of her as a GTA. M166 would not have the success rate it had last semester without Jennifer's hard work to help improve the class.” Dr. Mark Greenwood has also observed Jennifer in the class-room when teaching M 145 and STAT 217 and noted that she did an excellent job in the classroom. She answered student questions with confidence and she presented new material in a clear and concise manner. She made sure all the students were engaged in the material being presented.

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Corinne Casolara

Corinne is the student success coordinator for Calculus II (M 172) which involves being involved in the day-to-day running of the course, writing exams, setting schedules and policies, etc. She has worked with the faculty supervisor (Dr. Mark Pernarowski) to revamp the curriculum and provide enhanced support for struggling students. She has recorded dozens of short videos that provide students with either first or second exposures to the concepts in the course. She has incredibly high teaching evaluation ratings from students while maintaining strict standards. She makes an effort to see all of the instructors teach the course she supervises and provide them with useful feedback to improve the instruction in all the sections of this critical course. She has been teaching two sections of M 172 each semester since returning to MSU two years ago. 

Graduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. Lucas Geyer

Lukas is an associate professor of mathematics and has maintained strong student evaluations teaching mainly core theoretical mathematics courses. Dr. Jennifer Luebeck has an office near Lukas’s and because of our paper-thin walls, hears him working with students and remarked about his availability and concern for students when they came by to ask questions about the material in the courses. In recent years, he has taught the undergraduate and graduate level versions of Abstract Algebra (M 431 and 504), Measure Theory (M 547), Complex Analysis (M 551) and a graduate special topics course. He also is involved with lower-level courses but has focused most of his instructional efforts on keeping the PhD program in Mathematics viable by offering these critical courses and excelling in teaching them. Lukas has also been involved in writing and grading comprehensive exams and had his first two PhD students complete their degrees this spring.

Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at Institution Other than MSU Dr. Matt Roscoe, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, University of Montana

Matt Roscoe is an assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Montana. Matt is active in mathematics education at the local, state, and national levels. He edits a column in the NCTM journal Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, contributes to Team Desmos and the GeoGebra community (both are technology-based groups), and participates in Project NExT. At the local level, Matt has obtained seed funding to launch a Montana Middle School Teachers Circle in the Missoula area, and is partnering with Missoula County Public Schools to begin a "bridge to algebra" program for incoming freshmen at Big Sky High School this summer. Matt’s research interests center around developing creative and investigative approaches to teaching mathematics, and on using technology tools and software to support the teaching of challenging concepts.

Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Teaching Eric Humberger, Bozeman School District and Montana State University

Eric Humberger has taught mathematics at Bozeman High School for over 15 years. He has taught a wide variety of courses, including AP Calculus and engineering-focused classes through Project Lead the Way, has served as head of his department, and has hosted many prospective teachers from MSU in his classroom. Eric took a one-year leave of absence in 2014-15 to accept a position as the Lyle Andersen Mathematics Education Teacher in Residence in the MSU Department of Mathematical Sciences. In this role, Eric taught courses for pre-service secondary mathematics teachers, interacted with Ph.D. students in mathematics education, and worked closely with MSU students completing field experiences and student teaching. Eric’s presence both at Bozeman HS and MSU has helped improve connections and collaboration between MSU and local schools, and he has a growing involvement in statewide and regional outreach.


2014 Recipients

Award Title Recipient
Excellence in Graduate Student Professional Presentation Award

Sydney Akapame                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU

Veronica Baker

Excellence in Graduate Mathematics Teaching by Faculty at MSU Dr. Steve Cherry
Excellence in Outstanding Service to the State of Montana in Mathematical Science Education Dr. Jennifer Luebeck
Excellence in Pre-Collegiate Mathematics Teaching Don Hickethier, Flathead Community College


2013 Recipients

Award Title Recipient
Excellence in Graduate Student Professional Presentation Award

Kelly Spendlove                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Excellence in Lower Division Mathematical Sciences Instruction Tom Hayes
Excellence in Upper Division Mathematical Sciences Instruction Dr. Lisa Davis
Excellence in Graduate Mathematical Sciences Instruction Dr. Megan Higgs
Outstanding Service to the State of Montana in Mathematical Sciences Education LeAnne Yenny, Teacher at Sacajawea Middle School, Bozeman and MSU Teacher in Residence

Excellence in Mathematical Sciences Instruction


Dr. Jim Hirstein, Department of Mathematics, University of Montana