2019 Zweng Awards

  • Aug 2, 2019

Marilyn Zweng PhotoChristopher “Chris” Dubbs and Sunghwan Byun, PRIME mathematics education doctoral students, have been awarded the Dr. Marilyn Zweng Endowed Graduate Student Award in Mathematics Education for 2019.

Dr. Marilyn Zweng, a retired mathematics educator who completed her undergraduate work at Michigan State University, has generously contributed funds establishing an endowment to provide fellowships to PRIME students.

Fellowship recipients were selected based on how they have been active ambassadors of mathematics education and what the student plans to do, in the upcoming year, to extend, deepen, or change their ambassador work.

Ambassadors of mathematics education exhibit active involvement in improving mathematics teaching and learning (pre-K-16+), publications and/or presentations that reach out to a broad community such as K-12 teachers, policymakers, etc., and/or service to mathematics education at MSU (e.g., mentoring) or nationally (e.g. organizing conferences).

Chris Dubbs PhotoChris Dubbs will be starting his fourth year in the mathematics education doctoral program this fall. He completed a master’s degree in industrial mathematics at MSU, during which time he taught undergraduate mathematics courses, and in particular, mathematics content courses for preservice elementary teachers, which fueled his desire for a Ph.D. in mathematics education. While in the doctoral program, Chris has also taught elementary methods courses and served as a mentor for doctoral students new to teaching math content courses for preservice elementary teachers. He has served as a student member of the Comprehensive Examinations Committee and Course and Curriculum Committee in the doctoral program. He is also a reviewer for the Journal of Teacher Education.

Chris noted, “My dissertation work is set-up to be a useful resource for the field of mathematics education research itself.” He continued, “To show the development of the mathematics education field across time, my dissertation undertakes scientific landscape cartography whereby I map the field by placing points in a plane representing research articles and line segments between points whenever one article cites another. These maps give visual insight into the field of mathematics education research and the ways in which ideas are connected and develop across time.” Chris plans to use the Zweng fellowship to create a website for his digital-interactive citation maps with the field, plus have physical prints of key maps created for exhibition at mathematics education conferences. Chris said, “The Zweng fellowship will enable me to share this work with the field, now and into the future.”

Sunghwan Byun PhotoSunghwan Byun is beginning his third year in the program this fall. Before joining PRIME, Sunghwan taught high school in Phoenix, AZ for seven years. Sunghwan noted, “While working on expanding the access to the Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus program for the students in urban communities, I learned the importance and critical need of collaboration among educators and community members to broaden and sustain the positive impact on student learning. My experience as the teacher-leader working with nine AP Calculus teachers in the community convinced me that an inclusive community of practitioners with shared values and commitments is necessary to move toward equitable learning in mathematics education.”

While at MSU, Sunghwan has served as a committee member of the Mathematics Learning Research Group (MLRG), is collaborating with AP Calculus teachers at local high schools, and established an after-school AP Calculus tutoring program to support diverse learners at East Lansing High School. He has personally tutored a group once a week for the past two years. He has also served as an Advanced Placement (AP) reader for the AP Calculus exam.

Sunghwan noted, “The fellowship fund would allow me to broaden my ambassador work, continuing the additional instructional support for diverse learners at local community schools. The funds would also help me deepen my collaboration with the local K-12 teachers and pursue publications for practitioner-oriented journals with the practicing teachers as co-authors.” He continued, “I believe my continuing ambassador work with practicing teachers would open new ways to bridge between the theory and practice in mathematics education with the purpose of supporting the increased diversity in K-12 classrooms.”

Congratulations to Chris Dubbs and Sunghwan Byun on receiving this prestigious award!