Attenborough selected as Wisconsin Teaching Fellow

June 8, 2017
Holly Attenborough

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – Dr. Holly Attenborough, assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, has been chosen as the 2017-18 Wisconsin Teaching Fellow for the university.

Originally from Middletown, Ohio, Attenborough received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Miami University (Ohio). She then went on to receive her Ph.D. in mathematics from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Attenborough was still finishing her dissertation when she joined UW-Platteville in 2013.

Inspired by her participation in the Mathematical Association of America’s Wisconsin Section of Section NExT, New Experiences in Teaching, Attenborough applied as a Fellow in 2016.

“I’m very passionate about mathematic education, but I’m also excited to really understand how to do scholarship of teaching and learning research,” Attenborough said. “I figured that the two would work well together.”

The Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program is a UW System-wide professional development program that offers UW faculty and teaching academic staff a unique opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional teachers from across the UW System and from various disciplines.

The objective of the program is to connect exemplary early-career and late-career teachers into a mentor program. They will work together and lead efforts to further their individual research. In addition to collaborating with other professors, fellows are guided through the process of completing a scholarship of teaching and learning project with input from fellow participants and program co-directors.

“It’s great that I have the opportunity to work with others in the UW system to enable, enhance, encourage and support SoTL research,” Attenborough said.

Although Attenborough will learn more about her project through summer conferences and workshops, her intention is to focus on her mathematical explorations course, a course designed to enrich students’ general education by presenting the spirit and some insights of mathematics.

“Regardless of what area of mathematics is presented, the student learning objectives that math classes are supposed to satisfy – the critical thinking, the mathematical logic, the reasoning – can still be approached,” Attenborough said. “And while I believe students gain these skills in my class, this project will help me quantify those results.”

While Attenborough, who has taught linear algebra, calculus and numerous additional mathematics courses, has learned plenty in a classroom setting, she believes that being a part of the Wisconsin Teaching Fellow program will benefit both her and her students.

“My Ph.D. is in mathematics, but I’ve never done education research,” Attenborough said. “I’m excited to learn those skills and use them in other courses. The more data I have, the better I can serve my students.”

In addition to serving as a Wisconsin Teaching Fellow and teaching at UW-Platteville, Attenborough also serves as the co-director of Section NExT-WI, the Wisconsin section of the national New Experiences in Teaching program, Project NExT, sponsored by the MAA. The mission of the project is to support new and recent Ph.D.s in their roles as mathematics faculty members. In particular, the project fosters and enhances high-quality teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics.


Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu

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