Mathematical Association of America’s Illinois Section Honors Alewine

Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award

(LEBANON, Ill., April 2, 2019) — The Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA) has presented Dr. J. Alan Alewine of McKendree University with its Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award. He was honored on March 29 at the ISMAA conference at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Given since 1991, it recognizes mathematics teachers who have been extraordinarily successful at the post-secondary level. Recipients are outstanding teachers who foster excitement about mathematics in their own students, and whose influence in teaching has extended well beyond their institution.

Alewine is a professor of mathematics who has been a full-time member of the McKendree faculty since 2002. For the past four years, he has also served as the associate dean for curriculum. He has won McKendree University’s three major teaching awards: the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (2008), the William Norman Grandy Award (2009), and the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award (2014).

“It is highly unusual for a faculty member to win all three of these prestigious awards,” said Dr. Christine Bahr, provost and dean. “Dr. Alewine is beloved by students and respected as an academic leader by his faculty and staff colleagues. He is an instructional leader and a true role model for our faculty.”

He creates a relaxed yet stimulating learning environment to combat students’ fears about mathematics, Bahr noted. “He invites every new student in his classes to meet with him in his office at the beginning of the semester so that he can learn their names and ensure that they feel comfortable coming to him when they need help. In addition, he connects with his students by infusing into his courses popular music, social media, puzzles, games and examples of mathematics in everyday life. In short, he helps students appreciate the joy of mathematics.”

Alewine shares his teaching expertise with faculty colleagues by inviting them to observe his classes through the university’s Teaching Circles program, and giving presentations about instructional methods at its Teaching for Excellence workshops.

As a Section Award recipient, he will be nominated for the Mathematical Association of America’s national award in January 2020.


Dr. Alan Alewine

Dr. Alan Alewine