Graduate Student Post: Kevin Lawrence

  • Nov 4, 2015

Kevin Lawrence began his studies in the Program in Mathematics Education in Fall, 2011. Kevin’s research interests include “how digital tools are being used by teachers and students in the classroom, particularly at the middle school and high school levels” and “how new hardware (laptops, Chromebooks, iPads) is being used in mathematics classrooms to transform teaching and students’ learning experiences.”  

Kevin’s love of math developed at a young age, when he was honored with the Outstanding Math Student Award from Sunshine Preschool. After preschool, Kevin thrived in Kindergarten where he received an Ewok Village upon his graduation (which he still has). Fast forward a few years. Kevin graduated from Plainwell High School, and then attended Western Michigan University to study mathematics and physics. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Kevin attended Ball State University to receive a master’s degree in mathematics education.

With his degrees in hand, Kevin went on to teach math and physics at the high school level in Indiana for six years. Eventually, Kevin made the difficult decision to leave his teaching job and continue his pursuit of higher education in the mathematics education field. To do this, Kevin chose to attend Michigan State University’s Program in Mathematics Education.

Kevin Lawrence at MuseumNow, as a member of the PRIME program, Kevin has continued to deepen the  interest in mathematics that he developed in preschool. Kevin has also displayed his relentless work ethic by participating in multiple mathematics education groups. Kevin has served on both the Recruitment and Admissions Committee, and the Course and Curriculum Committee. As a member of the Recruitment and Admissions Committee, Kevin met with prospective students to give tours of campus, and discuss the PRIME program. As a member of the Course and Curriculum Committee, he worked on making course opportunities more beneficial for students.

Although he is no longer a member of these two committees, for the last four years, Kevin has been continuously working with the Connected Mathematics Project where he helped with the revision process for CMP3. Kevin is also in his first year of teaching MTH 201: Elementary Math for Teachers I. Kevin says that “working with pre-service elementary teachers in MTH 201 has been a good experience for me, especially allowing me to think about how it connects to the middle school content from working on CMP and how it relates to teaching algebra from my former days of teaching.”

Between his studies, teaching, and working with CMP, it may seem that Kevin has no free time for himself. When asked about what he likes to do with his free time, Kevin responds by saying that he is “not sure what free time is in grad school.” When he does find a few moments to spare and blow off steam, Kevin likes to “buck the system by playing team trivia with the rest of the #PrimeSteeleheads on a weekly basis.” Kevin is also an avid golfer who even coached high school golfers at one point. Kevin’s love of golf was fueled by his time spent working at a golf course in west Michigan. Throughout high school, college, and even during the summers he had off while teaching, Kevin would return to the same golf course to work a total of 12 seasons. One year, Kevin even volunteered his time at the golf course in exchange for free golf balls.

Kevin Lawrence with his dogIf you spend some time getting to know Kevin, it is no secret that he is a passionate fan of sports. He enjoys attending sporting events whenever possible, and is an MSU football season ticket holder. In addition, Kevin attempts to attend as many MSU basketball and hockey games as he can. But, no matter how much Kevin loves the Spartans, the Green Bay Packers will forever be his favorite team. Believe it or not, Kevin is an “unapologetic fan and owner of the Green Bay Packers,” owning approximately 2.5 millionths of the franchise!

When asked about his future, Kevin hopes to obtain a “professorship at a higher education institution, [have] a mathematics coordinator position within a school district, or work for a technology company.”

Kevin is also planning on getting a dog in the near future.

 

Written by John J. Thomas, III