Distinguished College or University
Teaching of Mathematics
Charlene E. Beckmann
The Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America is pleased to announce that Professor Charlene (Char) E. Beckmann of Grand Valley State University has been selected as the 2002–2003 recipient of the Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.
Dr. Beckmann has been teaching at Grand Valley State University for the past 12 years. Char is an effective and innovative classroom teacher who began her career as a mathematics teacher (grades 7–12) after graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Marquette University in 1974. After a variety of teaching experiences, she continued her schooling and received her Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in 1988.
In all of the courses that Char teaches, she requires students to be active learners both inside and outside the classroom environment. She immerses her students in mathematics by routinely incorporating authentic assessment, mathematics in real context, appropriate technology, and cooperative learning. Dr. Beckmann has published a series of workbooks with Addison Wesley (1990, 1992, 1993) that integrate the teaching tools that she has used so well over the years.
In the mathematics education courses that Dr. Beckmann teaches, she takes her responsibility for preparing prospective teachers seriously. She expects prospective teachers to find, adapt, and/or create appropriate mathematical curricula and organize these materials into a cohesive and mathematically meaningful unit.
It takes 16 pages to documents all of Dr. Beckmann’s accomplishments. Amongst the most notable are her publications in PRIMUS, School Science & Mathematics, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Mathematics Teacher, MAA Notes, NCTM 2002 Yearbook, and numerous ICTCM Proceedings. Dr. Beckmann has received over $350,000 in external funding, in particular Eisenhower grants, which have been dedicated to improving the mathematical competency of teachers and prospective teachers.
Char also finds time in her busy schedule to be an active member of the Michigan Calculus Network and has served as a site director for the MCTM 2001 conference. She is a member of the MCTM Executive Board.
One of Prof. Beckmann’s students writes, “Dr. Beckmann is one of the more effective instructors I have ever had. I have worked hard but have learned a great deal. Her methods of teaching and assignments and tests are very thought provoking and stimulate one to explore the why, creating a better basis of knowledge to take away with you.”
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