College of Education undergraduate student Ashley Lawson has won the 2017 North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Outstanding Mathematics Education Student Award. The award recognizes outstanding students who are active in the NCCTM student organizations at various institutions across the state.
Lawson will graduate in December 2018 with a double major in mathematics and mathematics education, and she is currently serving her second year as the president of the NC State chapter of NCCTM. Lawson, who is also a Park Scholar, began her career at NC State planning to major in mechanical engineering because of her talents in math and science. When she realized she had a passion for helping others, she decided to switch her major to mathematics education.
“I see my purpose as helping others reach their potential and dreams, and I believe that education is the best route to do this,” Lawson said. “I chose math education because I have always loved math, but I know that so many students get scared away from it. I want to make math fun because it is crucial for so many things in life.”
Cyndi Edgington, a teaching assistant professor in the College of Education and Lawson’s academic advisor, says that she and her colleagues nominated Lawson for the award because of the leadership she has demonstrated within the NC State community and beyond.
“Ashley has contributed to the College as a member of Passport to Success, served on committees such as the TIP scholarship committee, and she is a Park Scholar,” Edgington said. “Ashley is also developing and piloting a community resource that connects elementary schools with business leaders to help students have a vision for ways various careers can contribute to a community.”
Though Edgington and other College of Education faculty members knew Lawson was a great candidate for the award, Lawson said winning the award came as a total surprise.
“I was honored just to be nominated by the College,” said Lawson. “But it is exciting to see that others believe in me and believe that the work I’ve done thus far is good. I just work hard and try my best because I know my students are depending on me. It is such an honor to have NCCTM recognize that.”
After graduating in December 2018, Lawson plans to move to a rural North Carolina area to begin her teaching career.
“It is always a challenge to get top math teachers to come to rural areas,” Lawson said. “These students really need someone who cares and is willing to speak up for them, and I want to be that person. I want to encourage these students and be a part of the process of helping rural areas thrive.”
Lawson will be honored for her achievements at a ceremony during the NCCTM state conference in Greensboro on Nov. 2.