2013 Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Angela Grant was selected to receive the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Memphis. The award recognizes teaching excellence at the undergraduate level and overall commitment to undergraduate education.
Grant, an instructor in mathematical sciences, and Jackson, an associate professor in the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management, accepted their $7,500 awards at a May luncheon. Grant, who joined the U of M in 1999, was the first woman to earn a PhD in mathematics from the University of Arkansas. Although it can be difficult to gain student recognition in a demanding discipline, Grant’s classroom reputation is based on her personal concern for each student and her ability to help them work through difficult concepts. Her instructional innovations include using individual white boards, student pairing and immediate feedback for homework. In 2008, Grant implemented a summer calculus boot camp for incoming freshmen that has become a part of a larger $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. A colleague in the Department of Mathematics notes, “She cares about her students as individuals. She cares about their learning. She cares about being an effective teacher.”
Students praise her as unfailingly enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fair. “Dr. Grant is very good at explaining problems step-by-step and working lots of examples,” one student said. “She offered plenty of ways to get practice and develop skills to solve problems.” Another student added, “Her course helped me develop an overall picture of mathematics. The problem studies and presentations helped me develop the ability to solve a wide spectrum of problems.”