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Putnam Named New Director of PRIME

Ralph Putnam, mathematics education faculty member from the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special Education, has been named Director of the Program in Mathematics Education (PRIME), effective January 1, 2019.

Putnam replaces Vince Melfi, mathematics education faculty member from the Department of Statistics and Probability, who has held the position since 2010. Ralph was chosen as Director after a search.

Vince Melfi PhotoVince noted, “I’ve enjoyed the work immensely. A desire to have more time for research and teaching and a strong belief that well-planned changes in leadership are healthy for organizations motivated my decision to step down.”

We offer special thanks to Vince for his many years of service to mathematics education here at MSU, and wish him well as he continues his role as mathematics education faculty member, as well as Associate Chair in the Department of Statistics and Probability.

Ralph Putnam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education (CEPSE).  He received his PhD in Educational Psychology from Stanford University, and joined the CEPSE Department at MSU in 1986. Since then, he has served as Acting Chair of the Department, was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, and a Senior Program Officer at the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation in New Jersey.

Ralph has conducted research through a number of grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, and Carnegie Foundation. He has studied relationships between state-level policies and classroom teaching and learning of mathematics, the role of subject matter in induction programs for mathematics and science teachers, and the role and learning of teachers’ content knowledge and beliefs in numerous settings.

Putnam has written numerous articles, book chapters, co-authored a book, and presented many papers and scholarly work at international, national, and state meetings. He has served on several Editorial Boards, and has received many awards, including the AERA Presidential Citation and AERA Palmer O. Johnson Award for an outstanding research article in an AERA publication. His university service includes chairing and serving as a member of numerous university, college, department and program committees. Ralph has been an active mathematics education faculty member for many years at MSU.  He worked on the revision of the mathematics education doctoral program in the early 2000's, and has been teaching, advising, and serving on committees in the program for many years.

We look forward to Ralph Putnam’s leadership and service in his new role as Director of PRIME and Graduate Director of the Mathematics Education doctoral program. Welcome, Ralph!