Star Student for July 2019: Nicole Schneider


Nicole Schneider is a junior Math Teaching major at Wartburg and is our summertime star student!

Nicole, who also goes by Nicki, decided on teaching because she loves helping people reach that 'aha' moment. She believes that most students decide that they do not like mathematics because they do not understand what is being taught, which can be linked to how the content is being taught. Nicki is very interested in developing new and innovative ways to explore content in the classroom to engage and reach all students, regardless of how they perceive themselves in relation to mathematics. She has helped some of her friends with their own math courses by using this mindset, and many of them changed the way they viewed the subject!

Nicole is currently working with her mom, a high school math teacher herself, to write a textbook for all levels of geometry (regular, advanced, honors). This textbook will make it easier for students that switch part way through to stay on track regardless. It also offers tasks with multiple entrance levels so students that have different levels of understanding can all access problems and work together.

Nicki was leaning towards a smaller school for college, and ultimately chose Wartburg because she liked its campus and the people she met there. She competes in Track and Field for Wartburg in the pole vault, high jump, triple jump, and javelin throw. Recently, she broke the Wartburg pole vault record (twice!), and holds the new school record at 11 feet 2.25 inches, a personal best. She says she loves competing and wants to coach basketball or track someday.

ICTM is honored to spotlight the wonderful things Nicole is doing in her journey to becoming a math teacher and we wish her all the best!

If you know someone that ICTM should spotlight, please email the Student Director, Jaclyn Miller, at

STAR STUDENT FOR APRIL 2019: Elise Askelsen

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I am currently a junior at Central College. On campus, I am a member of our women's soccer team, a leader in our FCA program, and do my best to participate in various activities across campus. I am also involved in the Central Teacher Academy which is a program that allows you to work and teach in a mentoring teacher's classroom in the Pella School District. My mentor teacher teaches freshmen math at Pella High School, so I get to spend some time with these students each week. I chose Central because of this opportunity and other opportunities that I felt would prepare me for my future in teaching. Also, the people at Central are just the best! Another opportunity I have taken advantage while at Central is the Budapest Semesters in Math Education. I studied abroad with this program last spring. BSME focuses on teaching math using the Hungarian, or discovery-based learning, approach. As a part of the program, I was able to take classes such as Concept Building Through Games and Manipulatives, the Posa Method, Problem Solving, and others. In addition, I got practicum experience observing and teaching in a variety of Hungarian classroom settings. I was also able to live in Budapest and travel to several European countries. I am applying for different Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs this summer with the hope of gaining research experience and for the opportunity to communicate upper level mathematics. Eventually, I would like get my master’s degree so that I can teach upper level math courses and feel that research would benefit me in this endeavor. My reasons for studying math and teaching go hand in hand. I've always known that I wanted to teach. I love the interaction with the students and the opportunity to be able to touch their lives and encourage their excitement for learning. I always thought I would be an elementary teacher, however, during my senior year of high school I took calculus and loved it. My teacher encouraged me to pursue math after high school. The further I have gotten in my math classes at Central, the more I love it, and the more passionate I become about it. I love being able to see math apply to the real world and do crazy things! I want to share this passion and excitement with students and try to spark a love for math in high school students which I feel is missing in the majority of them.

ICTM is always looking for star education students related to mathematics! We are incredibly impressed with Elise and her work in Budapest! Her passion for mathematics and continued curiosity is evident in the research opportunities she is applying for! We are honored to have her for our first student of the month, and wish her all the best in the future.

If you know a star collegiate teaching major (in something related to mathematics) please nominate them to be a star of the month! You can email our student director to nominate, or ask any questions!