Quotes from Former Graduate Students

Our graduates obtain jobs that require timely, practical knowledge about mathematics and science education along with deep understanding of theoretical issues.  Graduates from our masters programs become teacher leaders who specialize in science or mathematics teaching, often becoming curriculum coordinators or department chairs.  Graduates from our doctoral program become professors, post-doctoral fellows, school district leaders, and research scientists at universities and educational consulting firms.  Our graduates shape conversations about education and lead innovative research in Illinois, the US, and across the globe.

Many of our graduates have received prestigious awards, including the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Promising New Teacher Award, New Science Teacher of the Year Award from the Illinois Science Teacher Association, the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship, Outstanding New Biology Teacher, the National Association of Biology Teachers Award, and the Early Career Publication Award by the Special Interest Group on Research in Mathematics Education from the American Educational Research Association.  These outstanding achievements illustrate our graduates’ commitment to education and the impact of their work.

Corinna Crane ›

“While I have always been good at mathematics as a subject, I used to consider it rather dry and straightforward.  The professors have been among the most passionate, thought-provoking, and captivating teachers I have ever had and opened my eyes to learning and perspectives that I didn’t know existed.”

Director of Research and Analytics
ECRA Group

Anna F. DeJarnette ›

“Through my coursework I gained broad exposure to the variety of research perspectives, conceptual frameworks, and methodological approaches that inform mathematics education research, which I was able to tailor to my particular research interests. I also gained valuable experience in the research cycle, from the initial design of a study to submitting manuscripts for publication. Last, but not least, the faculty that I learned from and worked with helped shape my career, and they are still some of my strongest mentors and professional role models.”

Assistant Professor
University of Cincinnati
College of Education

“I wanted to further my understanding of mathematics as a Special Education Teacher.  I wanted to learn how to frame my curriculum with special education students in mathematics in a more content-oriented focus rather than a skill focus.  I learned a deeper understanding of mathematics.  I also learned other formative ways to assess my students' understanding through discourse analysis.”

High School Mathematics Special Education Teacher
Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School

Andrew Anthony Hunte ›

“I gained excellent mentoring and guidance in developing quality research in mathematics education.  I was afforded opportunities to launch my academic career through research conferences held at the University of Illinois and internationally.  At present, I am using my expertise to engage in research projects that investigate the learning and teaching of mathematics in my home country.”

Assistant Professor
Program Leader, Foundations and Prior Learning
University of Trinidad and Tobago

Martha B. Makowski ›

“I learned more about the role of research in creating change and the tools to position myself with the research community.  I use my education in almost every element of my current position as a mathematics instructor at a research university.”


Assistant Professor
The University of Alabama
Department of Mathematics






John Noe IV ›

“The graduate coursework from the Master’s program instilled in me the importance of evidence-based decision making. Therefore I always ensure that the evidence gathered in my classroom justifies any major teaching move or decision I make.”

Mathematics Teacher
Head Boys Volleyball Coach
Assistant Girls Volleyball Coach
Wheaton North High School

James Planey ›

“The program allowed me to form my concepts of teaching and learning while staying active in the biological sciences. This helped give me greater perspective on the importance and application of the skills I would be teaching my students.”

Technology Coordinator
Urbana High School

Ted Powers ›

“The University of Illinois is my undergraduate Alma Mater and I have had wonderful experiences here.  I have great respect for the professors who have taught me in this program.  I was able to apply many aspects of every course I took directly into my own classroom.  I was able to investigate and interpret the research behind a variety of teaching methods and ideas and experiment with these ideas with my own students.”

Mathematics Teacher at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School
FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team Head Coach
2016-17 Classroom Teacher Award, Those Who Excel Awards, Illinois State Board of Education

Christine Rinkenberger ›

“Being a part of the program was very impactful towards my daily practices as a teacher, looking at things like problem solving in math, Geometry and Algebra best practices, and equity in mathematics and schooling.”


2017 Outstanding Student Medal Master's Honoree
Mathematics Teacher and Instructional Coach Urbana High School

Isaac Stewart ›

“As a graduate student in entomology I quickly realized that my true passion involves sharing the learning experience with people on a large scale. While research certainly is a learning experience, teaching offered me the opportunity to emphasize what I love doing the most in my career. The program allowed me combine my passion for studying/sharing biology with the necessary coursework to become certified to teach in the public setting.”

Instructor of Biology
Black Hawk College
East Campus

Kristen Talbot ›

“I gained knowledge and skills on how to become an effective teacher and also was prompted to re-evaluate my own ideas on teaching and learning.  I had the opportunity to learn how to best teach students and implement that on my student teaching experience.”

Biology with Chemistry and ESL/Bilingual Certification Teacher
Unity High School, Tolono, IL