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Mathematics professor Pengelley recipient of NMSU's prestigious Westhafer Award

In over 25 years of teaching, having received national and international scholarly recognition and over $1.4 million in multi-year grants for research support from the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education, David Pengelley can add the Westhafer Award from New Mexico State University to his list of achievements.



New Mexico State University professor of mathematics David Pengelley will receive the Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching, one of the university's highest honors.

Pengelley will be recognized at 3:30 p.m., Monday May 4, at the Conroy Honors Center in the Commons Area as the recipient of the prestigious Westhafer Award for Excellence in Teaching. A reception is scheduled for 3 p.m. prior to the ceremony.

The Westhafer Award is presented in memory of Robert L. Westhafer, professor in the mathematics department from 1946 to 1957. The annual award carries a $3,000 gift. It is one of NMSU's highest faculty honors and each year alternates between excellence in teaching and for research and creative activity.

Pengelley will be recognized for placing the NMSU Mathematical Sciences programs at the forefront of teaching innovation nationally and internationally through projects such as a national calculus teaching reform movement and the enhancement of student learning via primary historical sources (first-hand documents or publications of original discovery) in mathematics. His research and teaching methods include student projects and advance student reading, writing and preparing mathematical work before class time, allowing for a non-lecture style classroom. Many of his teaching innovations and publications have been created collaboratively with his colleagues.

"It feels great to me, and it's nice to get local recognition from New Mexico State University," Pengelley said. Pengelley received two honors in the past year marking his teaching achievements in mathematics on a national and global level. In January he was the first New Mexican to receive a national teaching award from the Mathematical Association of America, the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. In addition, this past summer he was invited to present the keynote address in Mexico City at the worldwide quadrennial conference on History and Pedagogy of Mathematics. The conference hosted participants from all continents and 28 countries.

"Dr. Pengelley's creativity encompasses several highly innovative teaching programs pioneering new ways to engage students, that have in turn led him to add research in history of mathematics to his ongoing mathematical research in algebraic topology," said Patrick Morandi, mathematics department head.

Pengelley earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, including a year at Oxford University. After an M.I.T. Moore Instructorship he began research and teaching at NMSU.