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Meet Your MESA Officers

Jenna Menke, President


Jenna is a 3rd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. Her research interest includes identifying aspects of undergraduate mathematics education programs that are helping to prepare teachers. Jenna chose to pursue Mathematics Education because math is a really neat subject, in that it’s incredibly important to everyday life and the greater functioning of society, but yet must people feel that they aren’t “math people.” Jenna wants to help change that idea and wants high school students to see themselves as people who can do math and see the purpose of learning math. She hopes to work with future teachers one day, preparing them to help all students learn mathematics. Jenna’s teaching experience includes two years of teaching Algebra II, Geometry, and Precalculus in Cincinnati, Ohio, while she completed her Master’s degree in Mathematics Education. This is Jenna’s first experience at a big university, but she enjoys the sense of community at UGA. She loves how passionate everyone is about all things UGA and knows she can always make a new friend by saying “Go Dawgs!” Jenna’s favorite MESA events are Begles gatherings, where she enjoys fellowship with faculty and peers.

Yufeng Ying, Vice President

Yufeng is a 3rd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. His research interests include student thinking and algebraic reasoning. Yufeng chose to pursue Mathematics Education because he like math and education, as evidenced by his tutoring experience. As an avid badminton player, Yufeng’s favorite things about UGA is the great badminton court. His favorite MESA events are colloquia, where he has the opportunity to learn about other mathematics education researchers’ work.

Anne Waswa, Treasurer

Anne is a 3rd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. Her research interest includes enhancing and maintaining teachers’ and students’ mathematical creativity, supporting pre-service teachers’ development. Anne chose to pursue Mathematics Education to contribute to the growth and improvement of the field through scholarly research, teaching and service, and to support women in mathematics. Anne’s teaching experience includes one year of teaching high school mathematics and chemistry and two years teaching college precalculus, statistics, and a mathematics content course for preservice elementary teachers. Anne’s favorite things about UGA are the supportive community, its scenic beauty, and UGA football and volleyball. Her favorite MESA events are Begles gatherings.

Claire Miller, Secretary

Claire is a 3rd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. Her research interest includes investigating how students understand and learn sampling distributions. Claire chose to pursue Mathematics Education because she wanted to help high school students engage and find confidence in doing meaningful mathematics. Her teaching experience includes 10 years of teaching Foundations of Algebra, Math 1-4, Coordinate Algebra, Analytic Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, and AP Statistics. Claire loves all things UGA, as she is working on her third degree from the university. Particularly, she loves Georgia football, UGA’s beautiful campus, and the many wonderful small businesses in the community. Her favorite MESA events are Begles gatherings, where she enjoys good food and fellowship with faculty and peers.

James Drimalla, Co-Colloquium Chair

James is a 2nd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. His research interests include argumentation and communities of practice. James chose to pursue Mathematics Education because he wanted to serve math teachers (particularly high school math teachers) by thoughtfully reflecting on how to better engage students in reasoning mathematically. His teaching experience includes 4 years of teaching Geometry, Algebra II, Finance and Math, and AP Statistics. James’s favorite things about UGA are the UGA Botanical Gardens, UGA Basketball, and the math education community. His favorite MESA events are Begles gatherings and Colloquia.

Mike Hamilton, Co-Colloquium Chair

Mike is a 3rd year doctoral student in Mathematics Education. His research interests include teachers’ beliefs and authority relations in classrooms. Mike chose to pursue Mathematics Education because he believes that the mathematics classroom is a unique environment where students can learn so much more than mathematics content. His teaching experience includes 6 years of teaching high school mathematics in Nashville, TN. Mike’s favorite thing about UGA is that you are encouraged and challenged, by both the faculty and your peers, to think deeply, reflect on the issues that are important and matter to you, and grow in the skills and activities that will help you reach your professional and academic goals. An added bonus is having one of the nation’s best football teams! His favorite MESA events are Begles gatherings.

Bright Hough, Undergraduate Representative

Bright is a 3rd year undergraduate student and is in his first year in the Mathematics Education undergraduate program. He chose to pursue Mathematics Education because he wants to be able to help other students succeed where he once struggled. His favorite things about UGA include all the green spaces available for morning walks. Bright’s favorite MESA events are all social gatherings and the Principals’ Panel, where he has the opportunity to listen to advice and perspectives of principals from local schools.