NIC Member Spotlight
Paul began teaching Statway in the spring of 2013, and has taught six courses since. Paul’s strength as an instructor includes his ability to empathize with his students and put their well-being at the forefront of his classroom. He even invites his Statway students to a barbeque at his home at the end of each term to celebrate their struggles and successes in Statway!
Yet, Paul’s compassion for his students does not end in his own classroom. As a member of the Pathways Staying Strong team for over two years, he has contributed meaningfully to the development of critical supports to help address students’ mindsets and use of effective learning strategies (i.e. Productive Persistence) that can impact his and other Pathways students’ ability to reach their personal, professional, and academic goals. Paul has also applied his experience in the classroom with faculty across the network. Since becoming a Pathways Faculty Mentor (FM) in 2014, Paul has worked with numerous mentees, sharing his thoughtful understanding of what works for students and inspiring them to strive to be even better instructors. Paul has been a particularly key player in helping the Carnegie Foundation team think through issues of professional development as the initiative spreads to new colleges and scales within existing ones.
Over his tenure with the Pathways, Paul engaged with nearly every improvement team in the Pathways NIC, participated as a facilitator in numerous training events for new faculty, and has spoken about the work of the Pathways at several conferences. More specifically, his list of contributions include being an active member of the Curriculum and Assessment team since 2013, participating as a faculty collaborator in the Framework for Improving Teaching initiative since 2014, providing leadership and guidance to the Pathways as a Carnegie National Faculty member since 2014, presenting at the 2015 National Summit on adaptive integration, co-planning and co-facilitating the North West Regional Training last spring, and co-planning and co-facilitating three Pathways National Forum Pre-conference workshops for new faculty.
When considering what motivates him to implement that Pathways, Paul says: “I have always noticed a lack of student choice in our education systems. The one-size fits-all design of developmental mathematics, in particular, has created an enormous barrier to student success. In Statway, Carnegie has designed a class that has the appropriate content and pedagogy for the non-STEM student, who would likely have struggled needlessly in the traditional developmental math sequence. Relevant material with mathematics taught in context reveals what these students are capable of. I will forever more be looking for ways to create similar learning opportunities for students in all settings.”
Everyone who encounters Paul has the same thing to say – he is an absolute pleasure to work with, brings genuine joy to the work, and is determined to radically change the experiences of both faculty and students in college mathematics. Here’s to you, Paul!
Our networked community approach to holistically transforming math education is one of the major distinguishing features that sets the Carnegie Math Pathways apart in the math reform field. We truly couldn’t do the work we do without the dedication and involvement of our network members. Starting this month and in each of our forthcoming newsletters, we’ll be highlighting one outstanding network member.This month, we’re excited to honor Paul Verschueren of Seattle Central College in Seattle, Washington.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend other NIC members who are making an impact and deserve to be featured in this spotlight.