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COLLEGE STATION --

Jennifer G. Whitfield, an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Texas A&M University, has been selected by The Texas A&M University System as a 2013-2014 member of the Chancellor's Academy of Teacher Educators honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of teacher education across the Texas A&M System.

Whitfield, who earned her master of science in mathematics from Texas A&M in 2000 and currently is working toward her doctorate in mathematics education, joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2001. She has served since 2011 as director of the Texas A&M STEM Teacher Preparation Academy and as program manager for aggieTEACH, a national peer-reviewed teacher recruitment and preparation model that has helped position Texas A&M as the state leader in university-trained mathematics and science teacher production for the past seven years.

"Professor Whitfield's record certainly speaks for itself, in terms of dedication to and impact on the university's teacher preparation program," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the Texas A&M College of Science. "She has made substantial contributions to the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers through her scholarship, teaching and service at the national, state and local levels. In her current activities, she continues to provide experiences that create the high-quality secondary mathematics teachers for whom Texas A&M University is known."

Whitfield will be recognized Friday (Feb. 21) at the Chancellor's Century Council Annual Banquet along with fellow inductees Dr. Jack A. Bradley, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Mary J. Cruz, West Texas A&M University; Dr. Dorleen K. Hooten, Texas A&M University-Central Texas; Dr. James B. Jurica, Texas A&M University-San Antonio; Dr. Beth Riggs, Tarleton State University; Dr. Luz Mary Rincon, Texas A&M University-Texarkana; Dr. Corinne M. Valadez, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; and Dr. Bob Williams, Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Members of the elite educator group receive a $1,000 stipend, a certificate and a commemorative medallion bearing the A&M System seal. Academy members also serve on the selection committee for future inductee classes and are invited to present at the Chancellor's Summit of Teacher Education.

The Academy was established in 2011 to highlight the Texas A&M System's role in producing K-12 teachers for the state of Texas. Nominees must be full-time faculty members from any A&M System university who have made a significant impact on teacher preparation.

Whitfield, a lifetime certified Texas secondary mathematics teacher and former high school mathematics instructor within both the Bryan (1995-1999) and College Station (1999-2001) Independent School Districts, has taught mathematics courses for pre-service elementary and secondary mathematics teachers and led a variety of mathematics professional development workshops for in-service teachers. In addition to guiding aggieTEACH students through the many state and local certification requirements en route to becoming secondary mathematics and science teachers, she has succeeded in attracting substantial funding support for the program from the Greater Texas Foundation and the Texas Instruments Foundation, as well as a $506,300 grant in 2011 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to establish a Mathematics, Science and Technology Teacher Preparation Academy (MSTTPA) at Texas A&M. Whitfield also has been part of efforts to write and implement additional state-level grants to integrate a variety of learning technologies, from web-based homework delivery systems to the use of networked graphing calculators, SMART Boards and iPads in classroom instruction.

"Ms. Whitfield has provided outstanding leadership to the aggieTEACH Program," said Dr. Timothy P. Scott, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Science and a co-director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE). "Her background in K-12 and higher education has given her a unique perspective that has advanced the program in assuring that Texas A&M University not only continues to lead the state in science and mathematics teacher production, but also does so in a way that ensures the teachers we train are of the highest quality -- as educators and as people. She is an excellent teacher, leader and colleague."

Nationally, Whitfield is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics, as well as leader of the East Central Texas Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership. This group, founded through the Association of Public and Land-grant University's Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI), is comprised of mathematics and education faculty from Texas A&M University and Sam Houston State University, along with administrators from local school districts. Under Whitfield's direction, they plan and implement research on specific issues, such as identifying appropriate content preparation and designing effective introductory experiences for secondary mathematics teachers, and ultimately will aggregate this research with that of other partnerships across the nation.

Thus far in her relatively young career, Whitfield already has been recognized with several awards, including the Texas A&M College of Education and Human Development's John E. Trott Jr. Award in Student Recruiting (2012), Who's Who in America (2012), the Texas A&M System's Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence (2009) and both the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics' Outstanding Service (2009) and Outstanding Teaching (2005) Awards. In addition, she was honored last year by the Texas A&M student body as a Fish Camp Namesake.

To learn more about Whitfield and her teaching, research and professional service accomplishments, visit http://www.math.tamu.edu/~jennifer.whitfield/.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Jennifer G. Whitfield, (979) 458-2087 or whitfld@tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Whitfield (far right), enjoying the 2013 Texas A&M STEM Teacher Preparation Academy spring banquet with Academy members (from left) Abbe Branyan (secondary mathematics), Laci Vogel (middle grades mathematics and science), Kelsey Plunk (secondary mathematics) and Tara Murray (secondary mathematics).

  • Whitfield and Caity Armstrong '13 (secondary mathematics), a member of aggieTEACH as well as a student assistant within the College of Science Dean's Office affiliated with the program.

  • Whitfield celebrates with (from left) Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and Chancellor's Century Council co-chairs J. Brad and Nancy Allen at the Feb. 21 Chancellor's Century Council Banquet. (Credit: Igor Kraguljac.)

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