Valpo Math Professor Lara Pudwell Wins MAA’s Alder Award

pudwellAssociate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Lara Pudwell, is one of just two people nationwide to win the Mathematical Association of America’s 2014 Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member. The award was presented at Mathfest 2014 in August, in Portland, Ore.

The Alder Award honors a 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. Learn more about the “Henry A. Alder Award.

The text of the award citation follows:

Lara Pudwell is cited as the faculty member with the leading performance in teaching at all levels, the most prolific faculty member publishing undergraduate research with student co-authors, and the faculty member with the most contact and impact on student learning outside of campus at Valparaiso University. Her students describe her as one of the most approachable, effective, patient, inspiring, engaging, and amazing teachers they have ever had. One of her colleagues describes her as “wonderful in her effectiveness, organization, ability to motivate, and in her concern for students.” She has made a significant impact within her department, as many of her colleagues have adopted her creative “homework check” quizzes, and also at the university level, as the Experimental Mathematics course she designed has been added to the official University catalog. Professor Pudwell has led many undergraduate research projects with Valparaiso students, and her students have regularly presented their work at the Valparaiso Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship, the Indiana Section MAA meeting, and the Joint Mathematics Meetings. Students in her summer programs have published their work in significant peer-reviewed journals, and Professor Pudwell was one of three national recipients of the 2013 Faculty Mentoring Award from the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research. In addition, Professor Pudwell mentors for Discoveries Unlimited, encouraging middle school girls to pursue interest in STEM fields. For all of these reasons and more we recommend Lara Pudwell for the Alder Award.

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