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University of Notre Dame Student Receives $10,000 NCTM Scholarship

Reston, Va., August 30, 2012—The Mathematics Education Trust (MET) of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has awarded the Prospective Secondary Teacher Course Work Scholarship to John Brahier, a junior at the University of Notre Dame. The $10,000 scholarship, which is supported by the Texas Instruments Demana-Waits Fund, will help Brahier continue his undergraduate studies in mathematics. Brahier is from Perrysburg, Ohio, and is the son of Dan and Anne Brahier.

The scholarship provides funding for tuition, books, and other academic expenses to full-time university students who are rising juniors preparing to become certified teachers of secondary mathematics. Brahier is studying mathematics and theology at Notre Dame and is pursuing secondary education as a minor at nearby Saint Mary’s College.

When asked what has been his inspiration to become a math teacher, Brahier said, “In my math classes, all of my teachers and mentors were guiding the person that I was rapidly becoming, helping me to gain a broader perspective and realize my responsibility to help those around me. Through their guidance, I developed a keen sense of my own duty to serve others, and I began to truly love the various ways in which I was able to serve. This desire to serve others was the initial reason that I wanted to become a teacher.”

Brahier earned the scholarship on the basis of his excellent academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and volunteer community projects, all of which demonstrate the leadership, dedication, and selflessness needed by a successful math teacher. He has worked as a camp counselor and lesson planner at an educational facility serving disadvantaged youth in Toledo. He has planned instruction and teaching education classes at a local church. He has also taught and worked in an impoverished school in Guatemala City, and he organized a $2,500 fundraiser to buy textbooks for the children during a service trip that he took to Guatemala.

One nominator wrote, “He is always on the search for new and inventive ways to teach mathematics, and he shares these with his math colleagues with humility and excitement. He balances the roles of leader and collaborator with grace far beyond his sophomore status.”

Another nominator commented, “One thing that has impressed me the most about John is that he realizes that he has to become an effective educator. Not only is he well versed in pedagogical approaches, he desires to understand the real world in front of him.”  

For more than 35 years, the Mathematics Education Trust has channeled the generosity of contributors through the creation and funding of grants, awards, honors, and other projects that support the improvement of mathematics teaching and learning. The trust provides funds to support in-service teachers in improving their classroom practices and increasing their mathematical knowledge and also provides funds for prospective teachers.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With more than 80,000 members and 230 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s landmark Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, published in 2000, includes guidelines for excellence in mathematics
education. Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, released in 2006, identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level. Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making, released in 2009, suggests practical changes to the high school mathematics curriculum to refocus learning on reasoning and sense making.

Contact:  Tracy Withrow,Communications Manager, twithrow@nctm.org, 703-620-9840, ext. 2189

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