Brahier Inspires, Shares Expertise With Future Math Teachers

daniel-brahier
Dr. Daniel Brahier

Aspiring teachers who have Dr. Daniel Brahier as an adviser are indeed fortunate because, in him, they are getting not only a dedicated, personally caring adviser but one who is a nationally recognized expert on mathematics education in both its pedagogy and as a teaching profession.

Brahier, a Distinguished Professor of Teaching Excellence, was honored at the Faculty Excellence Awards on April 9 with a 2018 Academic Advising and Mentoring Excellence Award.

The award recognizes an individual faculty or staff member or group of individuals who contribute to the educational development of undergraduate students through effective academic advising and mentoring. It includes an award of up to $1,000.

A professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, Brahier has been director of the Science and Math Education in ACTION program since 2011, where he also serves as adviser for all sophomores, juniors and seniors who are majoring in adolescent young adult (AYA) integrated math education and middle childhood education. Many freshmen also meet with him for guidance and assistance with scheduling issues. ACTION recruits outstanding Ohio students who want to become science or mathematics teachers and provides them four-year scholarships and an intensive curriculum rich in subject content and pedagogy.

Wendy Standinger, ACTION program manager, said, “With 115 current scholars in the program, Dan makes it a priority to stay connected with students through one-on-one required meetings for the first two years, group sessions specifically geared toward juniors and seniors, and many other events and meetings held each year that enable him to interact with students frequently throughout their undergraduate career.

“I have lost count over the years of the number of students who arrive in our office in a panic when it appears they will be unable to get the classes they need for the upcoming semester. Dan quickly goes to bat for the students — which often involves multiple emails and conversations to coordinate a solution — but he does not rest until each situation is satisfactorily resolved.”

ACTION scholar Catherine Hildebrand, an AYA math major, wrote, “Dr. B not only has knowledge about the BGSU requirements, he is also incredibly knowledgeable about the math teaching profession. His career advice is very beneficial. Dr. B’s field knowledge gives him credibility that is hard to beat in terms of advising.”

Brahier is also a mentor for other faculty, noted Dr. Debra Gallagher, who has worked with him for 25 years.

“Many years ago he mentored me when I started to provide professional development in mathematics to teachers and now, all these years later, I still look to him for advice and he is always willing to take the time to work with me and share his wisdom with me.

“Dr. Brahier always does what is in the best interest of the students, even though it often takes more time and effort on his part. Dr. Brahier is the real deal and he has changed the lives of many because of his ability to serve as advisor/mentor.”

Dr. Dawn Shinew, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, said that Dr. Brahier is an internationally recognized scholar who could go to any institution, but chose to stay at BGSU because he sees the potential in University students to make a difference in the world, and because of that, BGSU students see that potential in themselves.