Matney recognized for excellence in math teaching

matney award
Each year, the Ohio Council of Teachers and Mathematics recognizes outstanding teachers, professors, emerging leaders and friends of mathematics. At this year’s OCTM 68th annual conference held last month, Dr. Gabriel Matney, a professor in Bowling Green State University’s School of Teaching and Learning, was the single mathematics professor in Ohio to receive the Kenneth Cummins Award of Excellence in Mathematics Teaching.

The award for exemplary mathematics teaching is given by the OCTM to a college-level teacher of mathematics and/or mathematics education in the state of Ohio. To be considered for the award, the teacher must have been nominated by a member of OCTM. It is named after the late Dr. Kenneth Cummins, a mathematics faculty member at Kent State University who was well known in the mathematics community for his outstanding teaching. He was widely known for conducting summer and academic year institutes for high school mathematics teachers in which he reached a large number of teachers throughout the state.

Like Cummins, Matney has been intensely involved in teacher professional development around Ohio. With his BGSU colleague Dr. Jonathan Bostic, he has used Ohio Department of Education grants to help Ohio math teachers deepen their own mathematics knowledge and their classroom skills to promote student learning and help them meet the Common Core state standards. Matney also spearheaded a 2013 memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s Kamphaeng Phet Rajabhat University to exchange information between students and faculty on mathematical research projects, educational best practices and culture. This has resulted in visits by students and faculty between the two countries, greatly broadening BGSU students’ perspectives on teaching and learning as well as their global understanding.

Matney has been a BGSU faculty member since 2011, with areas of expertise including K-12 mathematics education, authenticity and fluency, in addition to teacher professional development.

He said he is humbled to receive the Kenneth Cummins award.

“We have many amazing college professors in Ohio, and to be honored among them is truly edifying," he said. "It was particularly special for me that my department chair, colleagues, 15 of my current BGSU students, and six BGSU alumni drove to Akron to sit with me at the awards banquet. My students offer me daily inspiration.”

He added that he is proud of College of Education and Human Development students who are world-class and make him “the happiest of mentors.”