School of Education Ph.D. student awarded NSF STEM Fellowship
Photo by Soumita Basu April 12, 2018
CADRE Fellow Jenifer Hummer will broaden instructional math research
Jenifer Hummer, a doctoral student in the University of Delaware School of Education, has been awarded one of 10 highly competitive Community for Advancing Discovery in Research in Education (CADRE) Fellowships, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The CADRE Fellows program provides capacity-building and networking opportunities for researchers who are in the early stages of their STEM education careers.
Recipients of the one-year fellowship include graduate students and research associates who work on STEM-related projects funded by NSF’s Discovery in Research in Education program. Their projects include the development of a wide range of STEM education resources, materials and technologies.
Hummer’s research interests include engaging more students in mathematics and STEM through the teaching of mathematical modeling in secondary schools, as well as improving teacher learning and professional development through lesson study.
A third-year doctoral student specializing in mathematics education, Hummer serves as a graduate research assistant for the NSF CAREER Grant, Proof in Secondary Classrooms: Decomposing a Central Mathematical Practice (PISC), under Michelle Cirillo, associate professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
This five-year project is developing an intervention to support the teaching and learning of mathematical proof in the context of high school geometry. The intervention scaffolds an introduction to proof focused on the teaching of sub-goals.
For example, if instructors introduce proof by first teaching students particular sub-goals of proof — like how to draw a conclusion from a given statement and a definition — then students may be more successful with constructing proofs on their own.
“Jenifer came to UD with a wealth of experience and knowledge acquired through her teaching and administration background in the New York City school system,” Cirillo said. “She has been a dedicated and valued member of the PISC research team since the project began in 2015. Through this new opportunity, Jenifer is being provided with additional mentoring and experiences that will further prepare her to be a successful mathematics teacher, educator and researcher.”
In the coming year, the new CADRE Fellows will explore potential career options, how to develop and submit proposals and how to write for publication and dissemination. Their experience will culminate in a mock proposal review and discussion with NSF program directors.
“The CADRE Fellows program offers a unique opportunity for early career researchers to network with NSF-funded STEM education awardees from across the country,” said the Education Development Center’s Catherine McCulloch, who coordinates the CADRE program. “It’s an honor to oversee a program that, in part, is focused on broadening participation within the research community.”
Hummer is excited for the journey ahead.
“Working with Michelle on her CAREER grant for the past three years has been an invaluable experience as it has supported my growth as a grad student and future researcher,” Hummer said. “It is an honor to be selected as a CADRE fellow and to gain further professional development that has provided me with guidance in my future job search and connected me with other talented graduate students as well as senior scholars in STEM education.”