My AMATYC Story

The AMATYC Community

As a long-time member of AMATYC, I am honored to have access to a wealth of resources and opportunities to help me stay current with the latest trends and best practices in math education. I manage this by networking with the greatest community of practice I've known! That of like-minded math educators who share my commitment to promoting excellence in the classroom! The AMATYC community is by far my favorite network of peers, colleagues, and friends - a second home, if you will.

Just a few math teachers out on town in Milwaukee!

Getting Involved

I've had the honor to attend every AMATYC conference since I started teaching full-time at Los Angeles Pierce Community College twelve years ago. Right away, I wanted to get involved with the organization and contribute. I volunteered to be a delegate from the West region. I also joined the Innovative Teaching & Learning Committee (currently ITL ANet), fascinated by how much I learned about the latest and greatest technology use in the math classroom along with other innovative ideas around active learning and engaging students through hands-on learning experiences. I was immediately motivated to present at an AMATYC Conference through the ITLC group! I've presented at numerous AMATYC conferences (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019) before joining the board. As the years passed, I noticed that my favorite event at the conference was IGNITE! I was incredibly honored to become IGNITE facilitator in 2021 when Fred Feldon retired and passed the torch to me. Working with the great ITL ANet and the amazing Jennifer Ackerman has been so fun! Since coming back from COVID, we've had two awesome IGNITE events in 2021 and 2022 - I hope to carry on!

IGNITE 2022

All in

It didn't take long for me to feel welcomed at AMATYC. The sharing of ideas and wonderful inspiring conversations with peers in the hallways between presentations, at breakfast/lunch, or over a beer after fun conference days naturally resulted in me wanting to get even more involved! I decided to go "all in" and was honored to be elected West VP in 2020. I have served in that role since, getting re-elected in 2022! I consider myself incredibly blessed to be in this position. Having had the opportunity to interact with math educators from the West has been incredibly rewarding - I've met amazing AMATYC members across all the states I represent on the board. I've had the chance to interact with some amazing affiliates - CMC^3, CMC^3-South, UMATYC, NevMATYC, and piMATYC continue to amaze me and the math educators in these organizations share my teaching philosophy! (In short, my teaching philosophy for math centers on fostering a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, promoting active learning, and cultivating problem-solving skills. By creating a supportive and challenging learning environment, I aim to empower students to embrace math with confidence, curiosity, and an enduring passion for learning! Read more here - My Teaching Philosophy.) 

As an active board member, I've gotten to know the ins and outs of the organization in detail! I've had the pleasure of serving on numerous committees and task forces. (For example, I chair the Membership Committee, consisting of all regional VPs and AMATYC ED, where important conversations about improving membership numbers take place!) I've also served as the parliamentarian for the board since 2022.  During this time, I've gotten to know many other like-minded AMATYC members who care about student success greatly. Most importantly, while serving on the AMATYC board, I've learned that there's no issue the organization cannot tackle collectively! There is no problem our community of practice can't solve!

Credit: amatyc.org

The 2022-2023 AMATYC Board: Standing (L to R): Dennis Ebersole, Mid-Atlantic VP; Dale Johanson, Central VP; George Hurlburt, President-Elect; Alvina Atkinson, Southeast VP; Brandon Bartley, Midwest VP

Running for President-Elect

So, why am I running for president-elect of AMATYC? (See bottom of this page for my formal statement of goals that appear on the election ballot.) I love this organization! I love the profession of teaching mathematics in the first two years of college! I am very passionate about creating independent learners, and during these times of change, I think it is absolutely vital that this community must continue to exist, thrive, and continue defending and redefining the professional of a math instructor! As you can see from my ballot, I'm extremely dedicated to math education, having served on numerous organizations and boards in the past. I want to work with this wonderful group of peers to uphold and continue improving our standards. I think that it is very important for the next president-elect to have a vision for the organization's future. While I've shared one in my formal statement, I'd like to provide some more inside below.

§ AMATYC has so much to offer as an organization - we need to make our resources accessible to all members! We have so many resources that are not easily accessible or even well known to all of our membership!

§ AMATYC needs a lift to ensure it stays modern and innovative! The organization's online presence through its website, overall marketing strategy, and social media presence could be greatly improved! The current board and current president-elect feel very strongly about this and I completely agree. I would continue working with our membership and future boards to improve our online presence. 

§ AMATYC will always be defined by the annual conference where our community comes together to network and connect! We need to explore ways to keep this tradition while also making the organization a part of our professional lives as needed the rest of the year! Would you be interested in an AMATYC LinkedIn professional development opportunity? A course, a digital badge? Especially, if it was something you could use to satisfy professional development requirements at your institution? Another way is we could better "package" what we already offer in terms of professional development and what we could also develop in the future!

§ AMATYC should seek more ways to gather input from its members! The AMATYC board does good job-sharing information with membership! But how do we capitalize better on our many members' creativity and vision? As president-elect, I hope to implement ways to make communication be even more of a two-way street!

IGNITE 2021

Formal Statement of Goals

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Zoom, it was the age of the new normal, it was the epoch of believing in online teaching, it was the epoch of incredulity towards synchronous and asynchronous instruction, it was the season of flips, it was the season of AMATYC math video tips, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. 

The spirit of change has been driving the math ed bus for several years now. Change is taking place in our world on what seems to be a daily basis. That’s driven by many factors: the global pandemic we are coming out of, the learning loss it created, the laws and policies affecting placement and enrollment in various states, the always-evolving world of technology, or simply the change in approach towards learning and education of Gen Z students. It seems that every day we enter a brand-new world. 

In these times, it is important to keep the math ed bus rolling and continue to embrace change. It is time to reflect on the AMATYC mission and truly unite as a community of practitioners who focus on improving math education. Of course, AMATYC’s annual conference is our “main event” – it’s where our community gathers every year; it’s where we get our inspiration; it’s where we share our practice; it’s where we see our friends; it’s where we feel at home. 

Could AMATYC play a bigger role in our professional lives, especially for those interested? Is this involvement needed for us to preserve the profession of math instructor in the first two years of college? I believe so, and if elected, my main goal would be to work with the board and our community in optimizing ways of doing so. The organization already offers so many great opportunities and resources – it is time to make them more visible for all. An example: could AMATYC improve its online presence through better social media and presence on the web? Could an AMATYC LinkedIn digital badge or professional course based on the many excellent professional development resources we already offer our members give our community more opportunities to interact with each other and the organization? I believe so! 

It has been an incredible pleasure to serve AMATYC in the past four years as the West Regional Vice President. My time on the board started with a simple orientation meeting in Milwaukee at the 2019 conference where the 2020-2021 future board met to say “hello.” I was excited to be a part of such a supportive group of educators who wanted to do their best to keep the organization going strong. Little did we know that the next time we see each other in person would be at the 2021 Phoenix conference. The experience of being on the board for the past four years of change has taught me plenty about our organization and our community. Should I be elected to this position, I promise to dedicate myself fully to the organization, and work hard with our wonderful community to continue making AMATYC a leading voice for math instruction in the first two years of college.