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STAR STUDENT FOR APRIL: Elise Askelsen

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 millejct@uni.edu to nominate, or ask any questions!