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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU alumna receives Presidential Award for mathematics and science teaching

Earlier this month President Barack Obama named 103 mathematics and science teachers across the United States as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of whom was New Mexico State University alumna Dana Dawson.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to the best pre-college-level science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level.

"This award represents the terrific students, supportive parents and involved administration I have," Dawson said, "I had a district that allowed me to take risks and working in New Mexico provided me with opportunities for professional development. It took a lot of people to make this happen."

Dawson was nominated for the award in the spring of 2009. She was then required to fill out a lengthy application that included evidence of her teaching and a video. As a winner, Dawson will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at her discretion. She will also receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and science agency leaders.

Dawson graduated from NMSU in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in education and secondary math. She is currently a math coach for the Moriarty-Edgewood School District where she helps to prepare math teachers for the classroom. She also is a math specialist with NMSU's Mathematically Connected Communities (MC2) an organization that strives to improve student achievement by building a statewide learning community of mathematics educators, mathematicians and public school leaders.