CWU News

CWU Math Professor Receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Stuart Boersma, Central Washington University professor of mathematics, has been honored with the award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Pacific Northwest section of the Mathematical Association of America (PNW-MAA). Boersma will receive the award at the upcoming regional meeting April 12-13 at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

"I'm deeply honored that my colleagues and students took the time to support the original nomination which led to this award," said Boersma.

The criteria for the award requires that the candidate:
• Be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful in their teaching
• Have documented teaching effectiveness
• Have influenced others through in their teaching outside their institution
• Foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students.

Boersma received his bachelor of science in mathematics degree from the University of Puget Sound in 1988 and his PhD in mathematics from Oregon State University in 1994.  He taught at Alfred University in western New York for six years before coming to CWU in 2000. In addition to the MAA teaching award, Boersma received the 2006 MAA Trevor Evans Award for “A Mathematician's Look at Foucault’s Pendulum.” The Trevor Evans Award goes to exceptional articles that are accessible to undergraduates and published in Math Horizons.

Boersma has led several workshops on "Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News" for college instructors as well as middle and secondary school teachers. He has served as chair and past chair of SIGMAA-QL (the Special Interest Group of the Mathematical Association of America on Quantitative Literacy) and is a co-author of "Case Studies for Quantitative Reasoning: A Casebook of Media Articles," with Bernie Madison, Caren Diefenderfer, and Shannon Dingman.

The PNW-MAA ( is a regional section of the national Mathematical Association of America (, one of the two largest professional organizations of mathematicians. Established in 1915, the MAA currently has 20,000 members. The Pacific Northwest section is the largest geographically as it includes 10 states, provinces, and territories—Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, parts of Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut (Canada’s northernmost territory).

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,