A St. Cloud State University professor has received recognition from the largest academic community of mathematicians and mathematics students in the nation and Canada.
Dr. Melissa Hanzsek-Brill, Professor of Mathematics & Mathematics Education and STEM Education Coordinator, recently received the North Central Section’s 2023 Award for Distinguished College Teaching of Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America. Dr. Hanzsek-Brill was recognized during the annual spring conference held in March in Winona.
Dr. Hanzsek-Brill is the second SCSU faculty member to receive the Distinguished Teaching honor, joining Danrun Huang who earned the honor in 2009. To be considered for this award, individuals must be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful in their teaching, have had an influence in their teaching beyond their own institution, and foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.
“Receiving this award from my mathematics colleagues in the region, for something that brings so much joy to my life, was a huge honor.” Dr. Hanzsek-Brill said. “My students are who really deserve the recognition as they are the ones who push me to grow and improve.”
Dr. Hanzsek-Brill has been a faculty member at SCSU since 1997, teaching courses in Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Statistics, and Professional Education during that time. In addition to teaching at SCSU, Dr. Hanzsek-Brill has collaborated in mathematics and pedagogy projects with Minnesota State, St. Cloud Area School District, Nahan Printing, Local Education and Activities Foundation, United Way Partner for Student Success, and Grede Foundries. She is currently a principal investigator for two National Science Foundation grants focused on STEM majors and Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics education majors.
“I want my students to leave my class wanting to learn and know more, to know what it means to become life-long learners, to understand what they must do to continue to evolve, and to be confident about themselves,” Dr. Hanzsek-Brill said. “I want students to know that, in my classroom and beyond, I care about them and that they are a member of a community of life-long learners.”
“This award recognized the work I do with that goal in mind in my own classrooms, in the community and across institutions of higher education.”
The North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America serves Minnesota, North Dakota, portions of South Dakota and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Learn more about the association and how you can get involved.