Seven GVSU mathematics faculty honored for their service

Early Campus

Most Grand Valley students spend four (or five or six J) years of their life at the university before moving on to other schooling and careers.  Faculty, however, often stay much longer and, as a result, see many changes to GVSU over the course of their careers.

Near the end of the fall, 2013 semester, seven mathematics and mathematics education faculty received service awards for reaching milestones in their time at GVSU.  The recipients are:

•Dr. Ted Sundstrom (40 years)

•Dr. Cathy Gardner (30 years)

•Dr. Char Beckmann (25 years)

•Dr. Karen Novotny (25 years)

•Dr. Paul Fishback (20 years)

•Dr. Filiz Dogru (10 years)

•Dr. Paul Yu (10 years)

During their time at Grand Valley, these faculty members have seen the campus and the student population transform in a variety of ways. For example, the student population was 8900 students in 1988 and is approximately 24,000 in 2014!

One of the big changes that Dr. Ted Sundstrom has seen in his 40 years at Grand Valley is the way math is taught. He states, “When I started at GVSU in 1973, everyone basically taught using a lecture method and some of us were considered innovative because we used more interactive lectures.”  Now, instruction at Grand Valley encompasses much more than just lecture, utilizing a variety of technology, cooperative learning, peer assisted instruction, and other methodologies.

Mackinac Hall

Dr. Paul Yu, who celebrates 10 years at Grand Valley, feels privileged to work with future teachers and see them go on to teach in local school districts.  He states, “It’s hard to believe that the 10 years at GVSU represents half of my teaching career.  I think one of the biggest thrills has been seeing one former student (Caitlyn Sternik, class of 2013) that I have known since she was in middle school, come to GVSU, major in mathematics, and then get a job at the elementary school that my kids attend!  I can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring!”

Dr. Filiz Dogru, who has also worked at Grand Valley for a decade, particularly enjoys Grand Valley’s focus on students and its small class sizes.  She also notes, “The biggest change I've seen at GVSU is the growth in diversity over the last ten years among the students and the faculty. I also appreciate GVSU 's determination to improve more in that area.”  

Dr. Char Beckmann, who has completed 25 years at Grand Valley, sums things up very nicely when she says, “I’ve been honored to be part of the lives of many wonderful students in all those years!”

Congratulations to all of our service milestone recipients!

Page last modified April 8, 2014