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Friday 25 Jul 2014
You are here: Home Scholarships Miriam Schaefer Award
Miriam Schaefer Scholarship Award
MCTM 2013 Miriam Schaefer Scholarship Recipients PDF Print E-mail

Please join with the MCTM Board in congratulating our
2013 Miriam Schaefer Scholarship Recipients


Willia
m Brown, GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY

Bill_Brown_PhotoWilliam Brown, a graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, is currently a senior at Grand Valley State University completing a double major (Secondary Education and Mathematics) and double minor (Physics and Philosophy). While at GVSU, William has been able to maintain a 3.95 GPA including all A’s in both of his majors while raising his 13 year old daughter as a single parent.  For his senior thesis, he worked on writing fun activities designed to allow students to learn mathematics while in libraries.  These activities were presented at the 2013 Math in Action conference.  Other activities of William’s have been published in the Adventures with Mathematics books and he will be co-presenting similar activities at the 2013 annual State Conference in Traverse City.

As a teacher, William plans to use the many lessons that he has learned at Grand Valley State, as well as his personal experience as a father, to engage students with mathematics in fun and interesting ways. He has been a volunteer at Pinewood Middle School for the past 2 years where one of the teachers had this to say: “I am impressed with his genuine interest and creative energy.” His professors at GVSU agree adding “I know he will be a very thoughtful teacher who will challenge his students at a high level.”


Melanie Leonard
, HOPE COLLEGE


Melanie_LeonardMelanie Leonard, a graduate of Hartland High School, is currently a senior at Hope College studying secondary education with a major in mathematics and a minor in English.  Although she was told it was an odd combination, she could never give up her passion for either subject.  She decided to pursue a career in secondary education due to the influence of her own high school teachers who served as mentors and a support system that she wishes to replicate.  Throughout her college career, she worked as a math tutor and a writing tutor while volunteering as a participant in Hope’s annual Dance Marathon fundraiser for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.


Melanie spends her summers working as a day camp counselor at Wildwood Ranch in Howell, MI where she has the pleasure of mentoring children ages 4-12.  Following graduation from Hope, Melanie looks forward to beginning her teaching career and passing on her passion for learning and mathematics.


Brent Nicklas, MICHIGAN TECHNILOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Brent_NicklasBrent Cedric Nicklas graduated from Northview High School, Grand Rapids in 2008 and is now in his 6th and final year of study at Michigan Technological University with an overall GPA of 3.97. He will graduate with bachelor degrees in both mathematics and physics with concentrations in secondary education.


Brent discovered his passion for helping others learn through tutoring. He currently works for his university as a tutor in the mathematics learning center and as the head tutor in the physics learning center. Brent believes that education must prepare students to be innovative, self-educating, creative and adept to be ready for the fast paced world we live in. To better appreciate the meaning of this goal, he has worked for NASA as both an intern of oceanography and astrophysics. At the time of this publication, he was working on a lesson plan that incorporates a real problem he had while working for NASA. By sharing his experiences, Brent is confident he will hold the attention of his students, develop their curiosity and be a better role model.


Brent recognizes the value of creativity and communication in problem solving. He knows that real problems do not have one correct method or approach, and everyone has something to bring to the table. Brent strongly believes in guiding students through material rather than demonstrating so as to let them ask and answer their own questions among peers while making their own connections. He plans to foster creative approaches and mathematical discourse by using real world examples and exploring multiple forms of presenting problems and their solutions.


When asked to speak on behalf on of Brent, one professor wrote, “Brent’s enthusiasm for teaching, deep content knowledge, and ability to reflect lead me to believe that he has the potential to make significant contributions as a high school teacher.” Brent is highly honored to be recognized by the MCTM. In receiving this scholarship Brent would like to specifically thank Dr. Rebecca Schmitz and Dr. Shari Stockero for their invaluable support and instruction.

 

Brent Cedric Nicklas graduated from Northview High School, Grand Rapids in 2008 and is now in his 6th and final year of study at Michigan Technological University with an overall GPA of 3.97. He will graduate with bachelor degrees in both mathematics and physics with concentrations in secondary education.

 


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