ViAnn Olson, math instructor, receives award


ViAnn Olson is the second from the left.

Rochester Community and Technical College is proud to announce ViAnn Olson, Ed. D., a member of the RCTC math faculty, has been awarded a 2015 Teaching Excellence Award from the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC).

Olson, a 28-year faculty member and 2014 department chair, was presented the award November 21st at the AMATYC convention in New Orleans, LA. The award, given every other year, honors outstanding mathematics educators at two-year schools.  There were four instructors from across the country who were honored this year.

Dr. Brenda Frame, RCTC math division coordinator, wrote in Olson’s nomination letter, “ViAnn is constantly striving to be an effective teacher and mentor while also striving to create excitement in students for learning mathematics.”

Olson, who also won the MinnMATYC statewide Minnesota award in 2014, says she’s “pretty flattered to get it.”  She adds, “I think it’s a great way to end my career.  I think everyone should go out on a high note, and this definitely has me headed into retirement on a high.”

The AMATYC’s mission is to “promote and increase awareness of the role of two-year colleges in mathematics education.”  The group also works to increase mathematical and technological literacy; lead the development of teaching techniques; offer professional development and networking for educators; and communicate the value of two-year mathematics education.  Prior to selecting winners, the group reviews how the applicant incorporates instructional effectiveness and support of students; professional involvement and professional development/renewal activities; interaction with colleagues; and service to departments/division/college.

“The AMATYC award is a very prestigious national award and is a tremendous accomplishment for a faculty member to receive,” said Dr. Greg Mosier, RCTC Vice President of Academic Affairs.  “ViAnn receiving this award is a great honor, not only for her, but also for RCTC. With only four awards given throughout the entire country, receiving this honor recognizes ViAnn for her nearly three decades of dedication to teaching excellence and student success.”

Dr. Olson, a forty-year teaching veteran, taught high school mathematics before joining RCTC.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Moorhead State University, her master’s degree in mathematics education from St. Cloud State University and her doctorate of mathematics education from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.

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