Math instructor named CSUSB’s first Outstanding Lecturer award winner

     

Math instructor Joyce Ahlgren was named Cal State San Bernardino’s first recipient of its Outstanding Lecturer Award.

Joyce Ahlgren, left, is greeted by CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales as he announces that she is the first recipient of the university's Outstanding Lecturer Award.

Joyce Ahlgren, left, is greeted by CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales as he announces that she is the first recipient of the university’s Outstanding Lecturer Award. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

Ahlgren, who joined Cal State San Bernardino in 2001, officially learned of the honor on Tuesday afternoon, June 3, while teaching fundamental concepts of mathematics, a class for future teachers. Her classroom door opened and Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales walked in.

Ahlgren smiled and her students were surprised as the beaming president, accompanied by a group of about 20 faculty members, colleagues, administrators and others entered the classroom.

Morales told the students in the Math 301B class that Ahlgren won CSUSB’s inaugural Outstanding Lecturer Award.

“We have a wonderful tradition here at Cal State San Bernardino where we acknowledge great teaching,” Morales said. “We want to acknowledge great full-time lecturers and Joyce Ahlgren has been selected as the Outstanding Lecturer.”

Ahlgren smiled but began to choke up. “I want to thank my department,” she said. “But the ones I really have to thank are the students.”

Students look on as Joyce Ahlgren is greeted by CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, who presented her with the university's first Outstanding Lecturer Award. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

Students look on as Joyce Ahlgren is greeted by CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, who presented her with the university’s first Outstanding Lecturer Award. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

Ahlgren received high marks from student evaluations and from her colleagues.

Ahlgren “is an extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, attentive, engaging, and caring professor,” wrote psychology professor Amanda Wilcox-Herzog, chair of the 2013-2014 Lecturer Award Selection Committee.

One of Ahlgren’s colleagues wrote, “There is no doubt that professor Ahlgren has exemplary command of the subject matter.”

Another faculty member wrote, “I found professor Ahlgren’s rapport with her students to be remarkable.  She understood how to address multiple learning styles and was very patient.”

Ahlgren’s students were equally effusive in their praise.

A former student who nominated Ahlgren applauded her unique ability to teach with mastery as the goal while maintaining a caring community of learners.

The student wrote, “Joyce Ahlgren goes out of her way to help students and takes her time when teaching to make sure her students understand before going on. I really wish more teachers would teach this way. She is an amazing person and I hope that I can be as great a teacher as her when I start teaching.”

Joyce Ahlgren

Joyce Ahlgren

Along with teaching, Ahlgren was also commended for her contributions to the math department and the university.

Ahlgren leads the Intensive Mathematics Program for Undergraduate Studies and is coordinator of the Early Start Program. Both of these programs are designed to remediate students not considered to be ready for general education math. In these roles, Ahlgren teaches, conducts assessments, organizes instructors and creates curriculum.

Ahlgren also serves as the developmental mathematics coordinator for her department, where she advises and mentors adjunct faculty who teach developmental math courses, and creates exams common across courses.

In addition, she regularly attends conferences and workshops on teaching to hone her skills, advises countless students in the mathematics program, and conducts visitations for adjunct faculty as needed by her department.

Ahlgren joined Cal State San Bernardino in 2001 and became a full-time lecturer in 2003. Since joining the math department, she has taught seven different courses covering a range of learner levels and degree requirements.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in mathematics from Cal State San Bernardino.

For a digital image of Joyce Ahlgren or for more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.