Math Institute - Meet Our Advisors

Meet Our Mathematics Advisors

Led by National and State Experts

The Mathematics Institute of Wisconsin would not be where we are today without the help of our advisors. From helping us foster best practices to advancing mathematics education, these field leaders demonstrate leading knowledge, collaboration, and innovation. As educators themselves, they understand the unique nature of the student – both youth and adult learners. And they have invested their knowledge in our Professional Development programs.

National Advisors

Dr. Douglas Clements

Dr. Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and Professor at the University of Denver, is widely regarded as a major scholar in the field of early childhood math education.  He has developed mathematics curricula, teaching approaches, teacher training initiatives, and models of “scaling up.”  He served on the U.S. President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the Common Core State Standards committee, and the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards, co-authoring each of their reports. A prolific and widely cited scholar, he has earned external grant support totaling over $20 million, including major grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.,

Skip Fennell

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell is a mathematics educator and has experience as a classroom teacher, a principal, and a supervisor of instruction. He is currently Professor Emeritus at McDaniel College, serves as the Director of the Elementary Mathematics Specialist & Teacher Leaders (ems&tl) Project, and is a Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Dr. Fennell is widely published in professional journals and textbooks related to elementary and middle-grade mathematics education, and has authored chapters in yearbooks and resource books published by NCTM. In addition, he has played key leadership roles in the Research Council for Mathematics Learning, Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Science Foundation, Maryland Mathematics Commission, United States National Commission for Mathematics Instruction, and Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators.

William McCallum

Dr. William G. McCallum

Dr. William G. McCallum is a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. Born in Sydney, Australia in 1956, he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1984, under the supervision of Barry Mazur. After spending two years at the University of California, Berkeley, and one year at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1987. In 1989, he joined the Harvard calculus consortium, and is the lead author of the consortium’s multivariable calculus and college algebra texts. In 1993–94, he spent a year at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, and in 1995–96, he spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study on a Centennial Fellowship from the American Mathematical Society. In 2005, he received the Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation. In 2006, he founded the Institute for Mathematics and Education at the University of Arizona, and is currently its director. In 2009–2010, he was one of the lead writers for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. His professional interests include arithmetical algebraic geometry and mathematics education. He has received grants and written articles, essays, and books in both areas.

Maggie McGatha

Dr. Maggie B. McGatha

Dr. Maggie B. McGatha is a professor of mathematics education in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at the University of Louisville.  Her research interests include the professional development of teachers of mathematics particularly focusing on mathematics coaching. At the graduate level, she teaches courses on coaching and supporting collaborative groups along with advanced mathematics methods courses.  Maggie works with coaches, teacher leaders, and administrators as a Training Associate for Cognitive Coaching℠ and an Agency Trainer for Adaptive Schools. She is the Vice President for the Membership Division (2017-2020) of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE). She received her doctorate from Vanderbilt University (Tennessee), her master’s degree from Austin Peay State University (Tennessee) and her bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University (Kentucky).

Denise Spangler

Dr. Denise A. Spangler

Dr. Denise A. Spangler is the Bebe Aderhold Professor in Early Childhood Education, Professor of Mathematics Education, and Senior Associate Dean in the College of Education at the University of Georgia. Her primary instructional focus is mathematics methods courses for preservice elementary education majors. At the graduate level she teaches courses on teaching, learning, and teacher education. Her primary area of research is the development of preservice elementary school teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching, both in their preservice and induction years. Denise has served as chair of the editorial panel for both the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education and Mathematics Teacher Educator and as a member of the board of directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition, she served for 12 years on her local board of education.

In Memoriam

Richard Askey

Dr. Richard Askey

Special thanks to our friend Dr. Richard Askey who was integral to the development of our Summer Institute courses.

Dr. Richard Askey was Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences with Honorary Doctor of Science from Sastra University in India. He was a Guggenheim Fellow, Member of the National Academy of Sciences, served on multiple advisory committees, and was a reviewer of many works in Mathematics. Dr. Askey’s most recent award was an Honorary Professorship at the East China Normal University in Shaghai. This is a significant recognition of his lifelong commitment to excellence in Mathematics.

Wisconsin Advisors

Diana L. Kasbaum

Diana L. Kasbaum

Diana Kasbaum has been a leader of mathematics education at the local, state, and national levels. Her 40+ years in education include experience as a teacher, district mathematics coordinator, state department mathematics consultant, and state and national association leader. After more than 14 years leading mathematics education in the state, she retired from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in October 2015.

As the mathematics education consultant for the WI Department of Public Instruction, Diana’s work focused on improvement in the teaching and learning of mathematics, including implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and development of large scale mathematics assessments. She spearheaded efforts to build collaboration across local, regional, and state agencies, including professional organizations for teachers, mathematics leaders, and administrators. From 1994-2015, she was a coordinator of the WI Mathematics Leadership Council and on the Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s Board of Directors from 2000-2015, serving as WMC President, 2009-11.

At the national level, Diana has been President, as well as Vice-President for Membership for the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. She has been on the planning and/or advisory boards for the Illustrative Mathematics Project, the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership, the Mathematics Common Core Coalition, and the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences. Diana’s recognitions include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nemec Distinguished Elementary Education Alumni Award, and the Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award.

Hank Kepner

Dr. Henry (Hank) Kepner

Hank is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), the Association of Mathematics Teachers Educators (AMTE), and the Wisconsin Mathematics Council (WMC). Hank taught middle and high school mathematics for over 10 years in Iowa and Milwaukee, and continues to be involved in professional development with teachers in MPS and numerous districts since 1972. Hank was a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation for five years and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UWM.

He was on the NCTM Board during the creation of the 1989 Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics and served as president during the development of the Common State Standards in Mathematics.

Becky Walker

Dr. Becky M. Walker

Dr. Becky M. Walker is Assistant Superintendent of Academics and Innovation for Howard-Suamico School District near Green Bay, Wisconsin. She focuses on learning success for all students and facilitates professional learning through collaboration with teachers, leaders, administrators, students, and communities. She has a passion for ensuring positive, engaging, challenging, motivating, mathematics learning experiences for all students. Becky completed her doctoral degree through Marian University with dissertation research on how student achievement in mathematics is impacted by building mathematical content knowledge and conceptual understanding with elementary teachers. Becky serves on Membership and Affiliate Relations Committee of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), as regional team leader for National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), as co-chair of Wisconsin Mathematics Leadership Council (WiMLC), and as a board member for Wisconsin Mathematics Council (WMC). Prior to her Assistant Superintendent role, Becky was Director of Learning for Cooperative Educational Service Agency 7 (CESA 7) in Green Bay, and Director of Learning for Appleton Area School District, as well as high school principal. She taught middle and high school mathematics, computer science, and Spanish prior to becoming an administrator.

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