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Math education student receives prestigious scholarship

May 3, 2013
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Lindsey Alger
EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire mathematics education major recently received a prestigious and competitive Wisconsin mathematics scholarship.

Senior Lindsey Alger, Thorp, was selected for the 2013 Ethel Neijahr Scholarship from the Wisconsin Mathematics Education Foundation and the Wisconsin Mathematics Council.

The $2,000 scholarship recognizes high-achieving students enrolled in teacher education programs in the state of Wisconsin.

"Since education is my future career, I am dedicated to learning methods and practices that will help me become a highly effective mathematics teacher," Alger said. "I have the passion to be an excellent educator. I continually seek out situations that I could incorporate in my future teaching. I am always reflecting on how to improve my teaching skills and abilities."

Nicole Owen, university services associate of the mathematics department, said Alger is a dedicated and driven student.

"She consistently goes above and beyond," Owen said. "She works diligently to maintain her grades while maintaining a rigorous schedule. Lindsey is the current treasurer of the UW-Eau Claire Math Club and Kappa Mu Epsilon, and she works at three different jobs."

Dr. Chris Hlas has worked with Alger in several different math courses. He said she is successful because of her willingness to make connections across disciplines.

"Lindsey is a conscientious student who continually seeks opportunities to become a better teacher," Hlas said. "Frequently she asks questions trying to connect ideas between mathematics, education and special education."

Owen said that Alger not only has an impact in the classroom, but in the mathematics department as well.

"A faculty member in our department once said, 'Lindsey is working in the department even when she is not working,'" Owen said. "This statement is so true. She really is an amazing asset to have in our department and we all have the utmost respect and adoration for her as a person and for her work ethic and determination."

Alger said that while students tend to deviate from mathematics education due to their prior experience with math, she enjoys the subject.

"Finding patterns, playing with numbers and creating formulas to generalize those patterns has been an enjoyable experience for me," she said.

Alger plans to graduate in December and to apply for teaching jobs at the middle- and high-school levels.

"As a future educator, my goal is to create positive interactions with mathematics for my students," she said. "I wish to foster positive experiences of mathematics for students by emphasizing the relevancy it has to their lives."

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