story by Claire Miller
College of Education & Human Development Professor Christine Thomas is the 2019 recipient of the Benjamin Banneker Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Benjamin Banneker Association, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mathematics education advocacy, awarded Thomas this honor for her decades of leadership and advocacy of behalf of all children in mathematics.
“As a teacher, I knew that all of my students could learn mathematics and I had to always seek the best ways to make the learning accessible. So, I continued to learn how best to teach and in doing so, joined organizations like the Benjamin Banneker Association,” she said. “The Benjamin Banneker Association has been a key organization for my continued professional growth – particularly in influencing my ability to have a significant impact on student achievement over the years. When I received the letter from the association’s president, Brea Ratliff, I was completely surprised, appreciative and honored.”
Thomas, a faculty member in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, focuses her research on developing, enhancing and retaining effective teachers of mathematics in urban high-need schools. She previously served as president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators from 2015-2017 and is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, where she served on the board of directors (2008-2011) and as a member of the editorial panel of the council’s journal, Mathematics Teacher (2007-2011). From 2007 to 2009, she served as co-chair of the steering committee of the North American chapter of the International Group of the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Thomas’s work has been supported and recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which encourages talented STEM students and professionals to pursue teaching careers in elementary and secondary schools. NSF also chose her to serve as a mentor to newly-funded principal investigators for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholars program. She also coordinates the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship at Georgia State University, which prepares individuals with STEM backgrounds for teaching positions in high-need Georgia secondary schools.
Thomas formally received the honor during an awards ceremony on April 4, 2019 in San Diego, Calif.
For more information about the Benjamin Banneker Association, visit http://bbamath.org.