Please join with the MCTM Board in congratulating our
2016 Miriam Schaefer Scholarship Recipients

Stephanie Harper – Elementary, Hope College

Harper S 2Stephanie Harper, a 2013 graduate of Fowlerville High School, is currently a senior at Hope College, where she is majoring in both Elementary Education – Mathematics and Elementary Education – Integrated Science. During her time at Hope, she has completed research on preservice elementary teachers’ affect toward math with Dr. Eric Mann. Stephie has also collaborated with Dr. Stephen Scogin and fellow Hope students to start a student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association at Hope.

Stephie has passions for both mathematics and developing relationships with her students, getting to know them as learners and as people. Her math methods professor noted, “Stephie’s strength as a math teacher comes from a combination of 1) having a deep understanding of mathematics standards and effective instructional strategies and 2) knowing her students as learners.” To truly reach all of her students, Stephanie plans to use a variety of strategies in her math instruction, including everything from problem-based learning to number talks (a personal favorite – math comes alive through number talks!) to multiple algorithms and representations to celebrating fact family days to direct instruction. She believes that students benefit from being taught in multiple ways, as a variety of perspectives on a topic help students develop their own understanding of the math. As a math teacher, Stephie wants to encourage her students to find math in the everyday things of life and to play with math, using mathematics as a tool and for enjoyment.

This fall, Stephanie will complete her student teaching in 5th grade at Holland East K-7 in Holland Public Schools. She considers fifth grade the Year of the Fraction (and Decimal) and cannot  wait to make this complex topic understandable and fun for her students!

Melody Wilson
– Secondary, University of Michigan

Wilson MMelody Wilson, a nontraditional student and mother of five, is working toward her teacher certification in secondary mathematics. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1996 with a BS in physics, she taught high school math and physics in the South Pacific for two years. She subsequently lived and worked in Detroit with a youth outreach nonprofit, mentoring local teens and hosting college-age volunteers in her home.

In her most recent job as a math and physics tutor in Ypsilanti, MI, Melody was able to see students’ boredom and frustration turn to interest when she succeeded in showing students that they actually could do math. This reinforced one of her primary goals – to create an inclusive and affirming classroom community that will allow each student to contribute something of value. She has been able to observe this dynamic in her teaching internship placements, where students’ sense of self-efficacy has paved the way for a high level of mathematical rigor.

According to Melody’s field instructor, “She is naturally curious about mathematics and about the work of teaching mathematics, and has channeled this curiosity into a desire to support her students and to give them access to mathematics as a discipline. … Given her trajectory so far, I am confident that her hard work and careful thinking around the work of teaching will only increase, and that she will go on to be a real influence on her students in a very positive way.”

Gwendolyn Hoenke
– Secondary, Northern Michigan University

Hoenke G 2Gwendolyn Hoenke is a fourth year student at Northern Michigan University (NMU). Gwen is double-majoring in Secondary Education-Mathematics and Spanish. While at NMU, Gwen has had the opportunity to become involved in several different student organizations, including the NMU All Student Conduct Board, Student Leaders Fellowship Program, Secondary Education Mathematics Club, Superior Edge, and Platform Personalities. Gwen also works at the mathematics tutoring center on campus and as a substitute teacher. This past summer, Gwen also had the opportunity to work at a seven week teaching internship in Brooklyn, NY. Through these teaching experiences, Gwen has seen first-hand how students grasp mathematics concepts through many different modalities. She wishes to honor and celebrate her students’ varied learning styles. Consequently, her teaching philosophy centers on the need to adapt instructional methods for different students through.        

According to a professor for two of her field-based education courses, “Gwen demonstrated that she is a conscientious, reflective, and diligent scholar-educator who was able to make clear connections between the theory and best practices she studied at Northern Michigan University and her numerous ‘real-world’ tutoring and teaching experiences. Her ability to contextualize mathematics instruction in real-world situations…was masterful.” Gwen hopes to help her students see the value of mathematics in the real world through project based and application based instruction. Gwen enjoys the opportunity to help students come to a better understanding of the beauty and necessity of mathematics in our everyday lives. She is excited to work in
her own classroom after graduation. She hopes to help each of her students see the intrinsic beauty of mathematics.


Please join with the MCTM Board in congratulating our
2015 Miriam Schaefer Scholarship Recipients

Alexandria Bingham – Elementary, Eastern Michigan University

Alexandria BinghamAlexandria Bingham graduated from Milford High School in 2008. Alex was a committed student-athlete with 4 years on Milford’s varsity swim team. Alex also played on the Huron Valley Girls Lacrosse Team as a junior varsity member for her freshman and sophomore years, she then went on to be a varsity captain in her junior and senior year.  Alex took pride in her leadership role as a captain and enjoyed helping new athletes develop and gain confidence on the field.

Alexandria continued her education at Oakland Community College, earning her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts in April of 2012. Alex worked as a lifeguard and swim coach throughout her tenure at Oakland Community College. It was through teaching swimming lessons and coaching that she found her passion to become a teacher. Alex stated, “I feel that the most rewarding part about coaching and teaching is seeing a student reach a goal and watching their confidence grow.”

In the fall of 2012 Alexandria streamlined her quest to become a teacher at Eastern Michigan University, specializing in Elementary Mathematics and Integrated Science. Alex continued to teach and coach swimming and soon became an assistant coach for her high school lacrosse team, as well as a substitute teacher to help gain more experience in the field. “The professors at Eastern were so supportive and motivating throughout my entire experience,” stated Alex. “I was so sad when I completed all of my math classes at Eastern so I ended up becoming a member of the NCTM and going to the annual conference this past April in Boston.” Alexandria is looking forward to her last semester of undergraduate work this fall as a student teacher.   She will be working in a first grade classroom, and can’t wait to help
her future students become confident problem solvers who love to play with and think about math!

Heather Crull – Elementary, Western Michigan University

Heather Crull 1Heather Crull is a non-traditional elementary education student at Western Michigan University with a triple minor in mathematics, integrated science and language arts. The daughter of a mechanical engineer and social science researcher, she has enjoyed studying and playing with math since an early age.  She loves how math shapes our human experience and shares her passion for math explorations with others whenever she can. One professor states "Heather possesses the qualities of a natural teacher and true professional...She is a hard-working individual with a positive attitude that makes her a pleasure to work with." 

As an educational garden manager at a non-profit organization, Heather works with teachers to extend classroom activities into the school garden for K-4 students at a local elementary school.  As such, she is no stranger with aligning math activities with national common core standards.  A teacher at the elementary school shares "Heather Crull is a valued member of our staff who we've learned we can rely on, regardless of the challenge.  Her combination of intelligence, commitment, perseverance, creativity, and compassionate character certainly make her a valuable member of any academic program."  Having personally experienced classroom math lessons as a myriad of purple mimeographed worksheets as a child, Heather also understands the importance of engaging students with rich, complex, and meaningful tasks; she seeks to provide students with ample opportunities for mathematical inquiry, hands-on cooperative learning, and group discussion.   A reflective practitioner, she enjoys utilizing the resources of both the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics as well as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to better her teaching.

Sam Morey – Secondary, Northern Michigan University

Sam MoreySam Morey, graduated from Alma High School in 2011, is currently studying secondary education mathematics at Northern Michigan University and will complete his student teaching in the fall at Ithaca High School. While at Northern Michigan, Sam was a Resident Advisor (R.A.) for three years, which he views as an important experience that has prepared him for teaching in the secondary classroom.

Sam has always enjoyed mathematics, but it was not until studying mathematics that he gained a true appreciation for the subject. His passion for mathematics has been noticed by a professor who said, “What I have always appreciated about Sam are his enthusiasm for learning, his determination to truly understand the mathematics at a deep conceptual level, and his persistence in working on problems…” As an extension of his desire to understand mathematics at a deeper level during the previous academic year Sam has presented a journal article he co-authored, with Dr. Dave Buhl, at a regional Mathematics Association of America conference and as part of a monthly series of talks, “Science on Tap,” sponsored by NMU’s chapter of Sigma Xi.

Sam is anxious to enter the classroom and plans to structure student learning around inquiry activities while using educational technology. He believes it is important to find material that students are interested in to help that develop a better understanding of mathematics. He hopes his creativity in his teaching methods will inspire students to be active participants in the classroom.