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Mathematics & Engineering

George and Barbara Raven Endowed Chair for Mathematics

Steven Forbes Tuckey

Creation of an Endowed Chair

Creation of an endowed chair is a powerful way for supporters to enhance instruction. Endowing a chair represents the highest possible honor; endowed chairs will further the College’s tradition of excellence in public higher education. They enable the College to offer a more diverse curriculum that is not dependent on usual income sources such as tuition, and they provide long-term financial stability.

Endowing a chair provides the faculty member with recognition for achievement in his or her field, and the satisfaction that Jackson College supports quality teaching in that discipline. Students are challenged and guided by exposure to the highest quality academic leadership.

Responsibilities of the Raven Endowed Chair for Mathematics

In addition to the Professor Tuckey's normal duties as faculty at JC, he is granted the lifetime honor of the Endowed Chair position and three hours of release time (roughly equivalent to teaching a 3-credit course) per year.  As a result, he has the following additional responsibilities:

  • Direct funds annually for purchase of instructional equipment within mathematics, engineering, and statistics;
  • Make use of professional development monies in pursuit of continuing studies each year;
  • Develop and maintain promotional information, including web sites, in order to promote activities and initiatives of the MAT department;
  • Construct and direct a colloquium, conference or similar educational opportunity to benefit students of that department;
  • Oversee the annual endowed chair expense budget of $15,500, set aside to support the above activities.

About George & Barbara Raven

George and Barbara Raven helped make dreams come true for many students at Jackson College. As faithful contributors to JC since 1989, their generosity brought about the George and Barbara Raven Student Aid Fund, providing scholarship money to more than 155 young men and women over the years.

Barbara

As natives of Jackson, the plans and successes of students through their scholarship program helped the Ravens remain connected with the College and their hometown. Following graduation from Jackson High School, George in ’33 and Barbara in ’35, George started a career in engineering with a degree from Jackson Junior College (’36) before completing his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1938. They were married in 1942, just after World War II started. George worked with the defense industry during the war, and spent the rest of his career as an electrical engineer with major companies in Michigan, California and Utah. He passed away in March, 2001.

Helping students pursue their education was a cause that is close to Barbara’s heart. Graduating from high school during the years of the Great Depression, the tough financial and personal times left no money for college. An aunt loaned her money to go to school, and she returned to Jackson to work for Goodyear doing payroll with a “comptometer,” an early version of an adding machine. Though she was unable to get a formal college education, Barbara was pleased she and her husband were able to open the door for future generations to go to college. Barbara passed away in 2011.

About Steve Tuckey

Steven Forbes Tuckey is the Raven Endowed Chair for Mathematics at Jackson Community College. He began his role in Fall, 2010, and has worked with multiple projects at the College with the generous support from the Endowment. For more information, see Steve's departmental website.


Endowed Chair Efforts

The Raven Endowment has supported many beneficial programs in the Department of Mathematics and Engineering, as well as across the College and the broader community.

  • In 2010-2012, Endowment support allowed for the development of a developmental statistics curriculum that was new to both the College and the larger statistics education community.  The new course (MAT 033) helps students transition from a basic mathematics foundation into the complexities of statistical concepts, all while supplying a just-in-time model of algebra instruction.  New texts, activities, assessments and other curricular materials were developed under the leadership of Professor Tuckey, and these were shared with dozens of other institutions through several national and state conferences.
  • The role of games in mathematics education is increasing, as developmental and cognitive psychologists are learning more about how the brain learns (and how it learns math, especially).  Professor Tuckey, with support from the Raven Endowment, is working to find ways to incorporate these findings into mathematics courses at JC.  For example
    • Pattern recognition and algorithmic thinking are at the heart of the card game, SET, which is a great way to warm up the brain for rich mathematical exploration.
    • Puzzles and brain teasers are a great way to challenge your mind without the typical fear that often accompanies traditional mathematics problems.
  • Early in 2011, Professor Tuckey took up the responsibility of coordinating the Math Department's Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program, which had been operating on a pilot-level scale for several years, entirely within the confines of developmental-level courses.  Shortly thereafter, with support from the Raven Endowment, the SI Program began to expand to include other subjects and levels of courses.  Steve still works with the program now, and provides content and logistical assistance.
    • One of the best parts of bringing Raven Endowment support to the SI program is that it allows SI leaders (student math coaches who work with peers to guide them and improve study skills) to experience new technology and teaching tools.  One such example was the use of simple, small white boards.  The Lansing-based Markerboard People create a wonderful mathematical tool that has served our SI leaders well in their work with JC students, with thanks to the Raven Endowment.
    • In partnership with the Michigan Tutorial Association (of which Steve is the current President), JC hosted the 1st Annual SI & Tutor Services Conference on campus.  The event took place on 21 April, 2012, and hosted 16 colleges and universities from Michigan and Ohio.  With over 100 attendees, it generated enough interest for another.
    • The 2nd Annual JC SI & Tutor Services Conference took place on Saturday, 13 April, 2013, on central campus, and featured 16 all-day sessions, a keynote address and a panel discussion.  All attendees were also able to view every session, as they were video-recorded and posted to the JC SI Program YouTube Channel.
  • Use of technology in the mathematics classroom is a long-standing question among teachers -- what kinds are acceptable, when, and for what types of activities.  As a preliminary investigation of possible options for students, Raven Endowment support purchased a Google Chromebook in Fall 2012 for use in instructional activities and planning.  Professor Tuckey has presented at conferences with the Chromium-OS notebook, used it as the base of instruction in advanced calculus courses, and has helped other faculty members in pilot programs to study the efficacy of mandating these devices for all students.
  • Starting in the role of  Endowed Chair in Fall, 2010, Steve has engaged with local secondary and elementary schools in events to encourage mathematics and science interest and achievement.  If you are interested in hosting a community event with a math or science focus, or you would like to consider some helpful teacher professional development opportunities in your school, please contact Professor Steve Tuckey for more details.
    • Whether we're solving problems about pumpkins or owls (or anything else), the role of method is a major factor in the planning and execution of strong, developmentally appropriate mathematics teaching.
  • In the fall of 2012, along with the Wilbur Dungy Endowed Chair for the Sciences, Steve worked on creating a Math and Science Conference for the Spring of 2013.  The result, JC's first Math and Science Conference (referred to in advertising as Math and Science Saturday), was held on Saturday, 11 May, and was a great success.  Anchored by two amazing keynote addresses (Colonel Greg Johnson and Colonel Al Worden -- both NASA astronauts), this event highlighted 22 amazing breakout sessions presented by JC faculty, local educators, and researchers from Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University.  Check out the conference wiki for more details!

 

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