- Dr. Julie Cwikla, an assistant professor of mathematics education
at The University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast, has recently
been awarded $489,367 in research grant money from the National
Science Foundation. This is the largest grant of its kind for the
fiscal year 2003 in the state.
The grant money
will be used for her research study titled, "CAREER: Investigating
mathematics teacher preparation across five institutions of higher
type of national award is a tremendous honor," said Cwikla,
of Ocean Springs. "It is important to me that the majority
of the funds will support the development of local Mississippi professionals
on the Gulf Coast who have invested their lives in teaching, learning
and helping people advance themselves and their community through
Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science
Foundation's most prestigious award for outstanding faculty early
in their independent professional careers.
award is the first step in highly successful research career,"
said Dr. Shelby Thames, president of Southern Miss. "I am proud
to have Dr. Cwikla as part of the Southern Miss faculty and appreciate
the collaborative effort she has built with area institutions of
higher learning. The results of this research will strengthen all
of our programs in mathematics and support public education infrastructure
of the future."
will result in two educational products.
The first will
be the improvement and alignment of mathematics teacher preparation
courses across five institutions of higher learning, which are Southern
Miss, Jones Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community
College, Pearl River Community College and Southwest Community College.
will be an empirical description of the collaborative professional
development process for mathematics faculty at the university and
community college levels. The faculty will jointly clarify how best
to prepare future teachers through course goals, content and methods.
This ongoing process will use student data and feedback, as well
as existing empirical studies about pre-service teachers' mathematics
learning to formulate curricular improvements.
simple, but clearly articulating the goals and projecting the needs
of future teachers is not an easy task," said Cwikla. "This
has not been done on a national
level for mathematics
and we hope to provide a model of how teacher educators can best
support future mathematics teachers."
been with Southern Miss since June 2001. She holds a doctorate of
philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in mathematics education from the University
of Delaware, a master of science degree in applied mathematics from
New York University and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics
and chemistry from Fairfield University, in Fairfield, Conn.