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Why Gifts Matter: Fellowship Helps Jerome Amedu to Pursue Research in Support of In-Service Teachers

Jerome Amedu standing by an NC State College of Education sign.

Jerome Amedu has always been interested in mathematics education. In Nigeria, he taught mathematics and physics, before deciding he wanted to earn his doctoral degree and expand his impact by providing support for pre-service and in-service teachers.

At the NC State College of Education, Amedu is earning his Ph.D. in Learning and Teaching in STEM: Mathematics & Statistics Education concentration. His dissertation focuses on teachers’ perceptions of informal learning, whether it’s professional development gained through conversations with other teachers or researching techniques online. 

“It’s very important that we pay attention to teacher education,” Amedu said. “The quality of our students is tied to the quality of our teachers. I believe it is an important area that really needs attention and it can make a difference in society.”

Amedu came to the NC State College of Education in 2019. What stood out to him was how responsive and supportive the faculty and staff were. 

“The support, that was one thing that really attracted me to NC State, right from the very beginning,” Amedu said. 

Amedu has also received financial support in the form of the Norman Anderson and J. Conrad Glass Jr. Fellowship and the Graduate Student Support Plan.

“Without that, I wouldn’t be here in the first place,” Amedu said.

While at NC State, Amedu has been able to pursue a variety of research interests. In addition to his focus on professional development for in-service teachers, Amedu is also interested in supporting math instruction in rural schools, and he said the faculty have worked to provide him with relevant experiences.

“They give you opportunities based on the needs you have and what they feel will be useful for you,” Amedu said.

Amedu said the fellowship has helped him take advantage of these opportunities. 

“Having support makes a huge difference,” he said.

After graduation, Amedu is looking forward to continuing to teach and research at the university level. He is considering postdoctoral opportunities, and he hopes he will be able to increase support for pre-service and in-service teachers through his work.