STaR Donor Spotlight

STaR Donor Spotlight: Marilyn Strutchens and Gary Martin


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Each year, the AMTE STaR Program supports the development of early-career mathematics education faculty through opportunities to network and learn from leaders in the field. The STaR Program is dependent on contributions from individuals, foundations, and professional organizations for its continued operation. In this “STaR Donor Spotlight,” we highlight the longstanding support from two prominent members of the AMTE and mathematics education communities—Dr. Marilyn Strutchens and Dr. Gary Martin.

For Marilyn Strutchens and Gary Martin—scholars who have contributed so much to the field of mathematics education and mathematics teacher education—their support for the STaR Fellows program is rooted in its support of leadership development and its role in strengthening the mathematics education community.

“People who have gone through the STaR program have been productive scholars in mathematics education and they are active leaders in mathematics education,” said Strutchens, an Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor and Mildred Cheshire Fraley Distinguished Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Auburn University. 

Martin, an Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Auburn University, added, “I've seen so many young colleagues who really benefit from the program as they started in their careers. And now, a few years later, they’re promoted and they're really an important part of the community.”

For Martin, the networking and development opportunities provided by the STaR Program far exceed what he had entering the field as a new faculty member. “I didn't have that kind of support and encouragement. When I was starting, I felt very alone in many ways in terms of knowing how to navigate the academic landscape.”

Instead, the STaR Program supports people in navigating that landscape and growing from there. “It's really accelerating people at the beginning of their career, and I think they're ending up way ahead of where they would have been just moving through on their own,” said Martin. “It’s a real leadership building thing.”

Strutchens and Martin have seen the impact of the STaR Program firsthand—both for their doctoral advisees who later became STaR Fellows and for colleagues on cross-institutional projects such as the MTE-Partnership who were STaR Fellows and are now integral contributors and leaders on collaborative projects.

In addition to these perspectives, as AMTE President from 2011 to 2013, Strutchens had the opportunity to participate in the STaR Summer Institute in Park City, Utah. The experience had her reflecting on her own learning. “It gave me some perspective on what junior faculty might need at their institutions to help them be successful as well. So, I think it's a bidirectional relationship.”

Overall, Strutchens and Martin look to the role of the STaR Fellows Program in developing the “next generation” of scholars who will lead the field in the future. When considering what he would tell other senior scholars who might consider supporting the STaR Program, Martin shared, “you've given so much to the profession over your career to help build the profession—this helps to ensure that your work will live on through coming generations.”

AMTE members and other members of the mathematics education community can support the future of the STaR early-career induction program by making a financial contribution. Note that AMTE is a not-for-profit organization, so your gift may be tax deductible.