Meet our BEST Noyce Scholars
I grew up in Newton, MA, and went to Carleton College in Minnesota. During summers I returned home and worked as a teacher’s assistant in summer school chemistry courses at Newton North. There I realized how much I enjoy helping students understand new ideas. I have always loved math and in college fell in love with computer science as well. After graduating with a double major, I went to work as a software developer at a healthcare company, but after two and a half years realized that where I really want to be is in the classroom sharing my enthusiasm for math. Outside of school, I play ultimate Frisbee, am an avid bicycle rider, and love to play board games.
Margaret Ann Bolick
I am from Natick, MA and didn’t travel far for college. I attended Boston University for undergrad, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. I graduated in May 2017 and started graduate school at BU’s School of Education in July 2017. As an undergrad I realized I wanted to become a secondary school math teacher. I just didn’t realize how soon it would happen! In my spare time, I work in BU’s University Service Center as the First Gen Connect Intern where I help with programming that connects first generation college students to each other and campus resources. I also work as an advisor for the Tufts University Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta.
I grew up in East Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from UConn in May 2017 with a math major and a computer science minor. I have loved math from an early age and the inclination to teach has always been there, although I explored other career paths during college, including becoming an actuary and pursuing a math PhD. Throughout my college career, the majority of my extracurricular activities involved working with kids or some sort of teaching role and included America Reads, Big Brothers Big Sisters, teaching religious education, the Petey Greene program, tutoring at UConn’s Q Center, and facilitating leadership workshops. My passion for supporting growth in others that came out while participating in these activities helped point me back towards the teaching career I’d been set on from late elementary school through early high school. Some other activities I enjoy are running, biking, and exploring the outdoors.
Evangelia (Lina) Giannos
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. I came to the United States after high school to attend Hellenic College in Brookline, MA. I graduated with a BA in Human Development. After graduation, I worked as a paraprofessional at McKinley Middle School in Boston. I continued my graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering at Boston University where I received a Master of Science. I have tutored Mathematics and the Greek language extensively to adults and children of all ages. I enjoy cooking, playing the piano and going on family trips with my husband and our two sons.
I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2016, where I studied Mathematics and Education. During my summers, I worked as a 7th and 8th grade math teacher at Breakthrough Collaborative, a summer program for middle school students in Cambridge, MA. This is experience influenced me to pursue teaching as a career. I also learned that I especially love working with middle school students! I believe that math can help all of us understand the world around us, and this is what I hope to convey to my students. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, ping-pong and spending time with my dog.
I am from Portland, Maine, went to high school at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth, Maine and college at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where I majored in Psychology and Mathematics. In the year between graduation and Boston University I worked as a middle school paraeducator in Burlington, Vermont and in addition coached cross-country running, nordic skiing, and track and field at the middle, high school, and college levels. In the summer, I work as a counselor at an overnight camp counselor in Maine where I have taught golf, swimming, mountain biking, and canoeing. In addition to education I love hiking and running and am looking forward to running in the Boston Marathon next spring!
I grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts and attended their public schools from kindergarten through high school graduation. After high school, I went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where I got my bachelor’s degree in mathematics and religious studies. I tutored in the Mathematics & Statistics Workshop at Bates, which piqued my interest in both teaching and technology. After graduation, I worked at Wolfram Research for two years and was involved with a number of Wolfram’s educational initiatives, including a mentoring program, two summer programs, local outreach events, and the (more recent) Computational Thinking Initiative. I am excited to bring my love of mathematics one step further, and hope that I can communicate this love to all students—especially those who think that mathematics is not “for them.” When I’m not writing about myself, I enjoy taking long (but mostly short) walks, skiing, playing tennis, and curating terrible Spotify playlists.
I am originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, and went out west to Whitman College in Washington State for college. Here, I majored in mathematics and wrote my senior project on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. After graduating in 2013, I worked as a sea kayak guide on Lake Superior in the Apostle Islands before beginning two years of service with AmeriCorps. I did my service with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, where I led volunteers to build and rehab houses. After my service, I began working for a nonprofit called Tree Trust, where I taught at-risk high school students construction skills, and as a team, we worked to build affordable housing in Minneapolis. In late 2016, I moved to New Zealand with the plan of working and traveling around the country. For the six months before coming to BU I milked cows, cleaned a motel, and worked as a bartender as I explored the country. Outside of school, I enjoy working with my hands (my latest project being a set of handmade wooden beer steins), running, eating, and binge-watching Netflix.
I grew up in Orange, NJ. I graduated from Bard College majoring in mathematics. My time at Bard has been primarily focused on educational initiatives providing mentoring and tutoring to high school students that have been historically marginalized and disadvantaged in this country. I enjoyed tutoring kids, finding new ways to make learning math more accessible to them, as well as discovering culturally relevant practices that could engage the students. I also served as a high school tutor for New York State Algebra regents. I also worked with Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) where we helped to inspire underrepresented students to take on empowering learning strategies, mind-sets, and attitudes that deepen their resilience in order to meet their goals in math, science, and/or computing despite the adversity and barriers that come with attending a predominantly white college
When deciding which graduate school to choose, Boston University Noyce Program was the best fit. It’s emphasis on serving students that are high need in urban high schools and also developing a professional community of math educators to support one another as we develop our teaching is what attracted me the most to the program. I know that Noyce will help make me both a better mathematician and also a better educator to inform my teaching.
I grew up in Brighton, MA, went to Boston Latin School (the oldest school in the country! Est.1635) and then earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Technology Innovation from Boston University. While at BU, I did a lot of volunteering with Upward Bound which mentors and tutors Boston and Chelsea Public School students. I loved working with these students and watching them succeed and go to college. It became a contagious feeling and the relationships I developed really made me want to pursue teaching. I also worked for BU TISP developing STEM education for high school students. I aspire to teach in the Boston area in math and STEM and help students access STEM degrees and careers that they never thought were possible. Outside of the classroom I am a middle-distance runner converted to a decathlete for BU’s track and field team.
I grew up in upstate New York and attended college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. During my junior year, I decided to apply for the Peace Corps. I received an invitation to teach science in Uganda, where I served for three years, also teaching math, English, life skills, and computer skills. I played a lot of soccer there, too. I moved back to the United States in 2011 and joined an AmeriCorps program in East Boston that provided nutrition and physical education both in school and after school. I then taught 8th grade math at UP Academy in South Boston for three years before becoming a Noyce Scholar in 2016. I now teach 7th grade math at New Mission Collegiate Academy in Hyde Park, MA.
Prior to becoming a teacher in the Revere school district I earned my BS in Mathematics from St. Michael’s college, and then attended Boston University to earn my MAT in secondary mathematics. While at BU the BEST program strengthened my desire to work in a high need school while providing me with the tools to engage many different types of learners. I see education as a means of providing oneself with opportunities and I wanted to help students whose needs were not being met by their current schools. I aspire to help all my students see the value of their education and encourage them to become tireless seekers of knowledge inside and outside the classroom.
I grew up in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, a little over an hour from Boston. I graduated from the University of New Hampshire (Durham) in 2015 with my B.S. in Mathematics Secondary Education. As an undergrad I worked for the UNH Upward Bound program, a TRIO organization that advises low income/first generation high school students in preparing for and applying to college. After graduation, I joined City Year New Hampshire, an AmeriCorps program that places young adults in Title 1 schools to provide Tier 1 and Tier 2 support in Math, ELA, Attendance, and Behavior. I spent one year serving in a 5th grade classroom in an elementary school in Manchester, NH. My reason for wanting to become a teacher stemms from my desire to work with students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This passion led me to apply to Boston University for graduate school and eventually the Noyce (BEST) Scholars program in 2016. I plan to graduate in December 2017 with my Masters and start my career in teaching mathematics at either the middle or high school levels.
I was born and raised in Virginia, though I spent 3 years living in Hawaii when my father was stationed at an army base on Oahu while I was in elementary school. I went to James Madison University (go Dukes!) to do my BS in Mathematics. I then came to BU to do my MAT in Mathematics. I have known I wanted to teach since I was 6 years old, although I wasn’t always sure I wanted to teach math. I actually started out as an English major in undergrad, before switching to elementary education, and then physics, before finally deciding on mathematics, and never looking back! Outside of school, I like to spend my time reading and visiting the many museums around Boston.
I grew up in San Diego, California. I went to school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where I majored in Mathematics. After I graduated I moved back to San Diego and started working at a Web Marketing Company. After working there for a few months I realized that I did not enjoy sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day. I remember feeling fulfilled when I was a peer tutor in college, so I decided that I would apply to grad school for education, and now here I am at Boston University.
Melody Jaros grew up living in Iowa and Hong Kong. She became ‘hooked’ on mathematics after joining the mathematical problem solving team at her high school. Throughout high school and college, Melody’s favorite math courses have been discrete mathematics, combinatorics, and problem solving. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and American Sign Language at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Even after graduation, Melody continues to strive to incorporate her talents in sign language and mathematics for its accessibility and form of visual expression. Her interests outside of school include learning languages, baking, crocheting, and rock-climbing.
Chris grew up right here in Massachusetts, just south of Boston in Scituate. When he was younger, he really enjoyed his math classes, enough to study mathematics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he received his BS. However, it was not until his senior year working as a teacher’s assistant for a calculus course did he decide he wanted to go into mathematics education. This led to working as an instructor for two years at a Mathnasium Learning Center on the South Shore right after graduating UMass. After working with K-12 and college students, he is excited to bring his love of learning and mathematics to the high school classroom setting. Chris was also involved in music and theater growing up and studied film at UMass. He hopes to support the arts in the future in school communities.
Elise was born in California and raised in southern New Hampshire. She graduated form Kenyon College in 2014 with a major in studio art and a minor in mathematics. In her time at Kenyon, she worked as a peer tutor at the writing center and graded for math classes. After graduating, she spent a year working at an advertising company, but quickly realized that she wanted to teach. She is excited to begin her career as a high school math teacher! Outside of the classroom, Elise loves reading, oil painting, and playing any and all trivia games.
Alison Tammaro grew up in central MA and went to a Quaker high school which influences her teaching and learning practices to this day. She graduated from Smith College with a math major and education minor in May and went straight into BU classes over the summer. She has aspired to be a teacher for nearly her whole life and has jumped at any experience that involves working with children. She was a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp for many summers and also worked at Smith College Campus School (a K-6 school on Smith Campus). Outside of academic pursuits, Alison loves all kinds of musical theater and overanalyzing musicals. She also enjoys camping with her family and attending nerdy book clubs.
Kevin and Delaney engineer models of cellphone towers.
I grew up in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, about a half hour north of Boston, a born and raised Red Sox fan. My favorite part about New England is the fall season, and I stayed in the region for college, receiving a dual degree from Bryant University in Applied Statistics and Applied Psychology. Although I explored different majors and career paths in college, I always knew deep down that I wanted to be a teacher. Throughout high school and college, I pursued any jobs working with kids that I could including: coaching cheerleading, working at a day care, and nannying. I also tutored underclassmen college students at Bryant and worked as a Resident Assistant with them as well. I’m hoping these diverse experiences helped build some of the skills that will be necessary in the classroom!
Rob Moray grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston, majoring in mathematics. As an undergraduate, Rob became interested in helping others learn after assisting a doctoral candidate on their dissertation research in mathematics education. This passion was enhanced by opportunities to conduct research on technology-based mathematics discourse as well as tutoring students in subjects ranging from basic math skills to Calculus. Rob also volunteered at a local hospital and engaged in research studying a regulatory network believed to be involved in cancer. Following his graduation from UMass Boston in 2014, he began his master’s degree in mathematics education at Boston University. He hopes to channel his love for mathematics and passion for helping others learn into effective pedagogy that will lead to successful students in urban, high-needs school districts.
“When it came time to choose which graduate program I wanted to enroll in, I chose Boston University not only because I recognize its status as a world-class university, but also because I had conducted my own independent research about the program, and was impressed by a strong emphasis developing effective teaching practices not only in general but also specific to the classes I will actually be teaching.”
“What I like about the Noyce program is its emphasis not only on serving those most in need but also on a strong professional support community that I have come to realize is essential for all teachers. Through extra information sessions offered exclusively to Noyce scholars, I have learned about amazing new ways that ongoing research is being infused into classroom learning. I believe that the Noyce program has a lot of potential to take individuals who are passionate about their subject and turn them into individuals who are also passionate about their pedagogy.”
Kevin’s lifelong love of learning and desire to make a difference in his community inspired him to pursue a career in education. Originally hailing from Needham, MA, he is returning to the Boston area after a two-tear stint at an investment bank in San Francisco. During his brief career in finance, Kevin developed financial models for publicly-traded Internet businesses such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Kevin graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics. He has served in a variety of tutoring roles since high school, including as a peer tutor in both the Mathematics and Economics departments at Claremont McKenna. Kevin’s other lifelong passion is running, which he pursued as a four-year member of the Cross-Country and Track & Field teams at CMC. He hopes to inspire both a love of learning and a passion for athletics as a teacher and coach.
“I decided to apply to the Noyce program after coming to the realization that I was not passionate about my career in finance. I have benefitted so much in my life from my education, especially in math, and I wanted to share those opportunities with the youth of Boston, which I have always considered home. The Noyce program offered a way for me to break into the teaching field with superb preparation and minimal upfront financial commitment.”
“For me the Noyce program is a launching pad for a career teaching math in high-needs, urban high schools. I hope to use all the guidance and mentoring that the Noyce program provides in order to become the best teacher that I can possibly be.”
Jillian Cohen is from Topsfield, MA. Her family now lives on Cape Cod so she has a great place to visit on weekends for beach outings, puppy play-dates, and yard sale-ing. She graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2010 with her Bachelors in Management Engineering with a Biomedical Engineering concentration. Right out of college, Jillian fell into an adjunct teaching opportunity at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. She spent two years teaching developmental mathematics to students who either failed math in high school or students who were returning back to school later in life to get their degree. The courses Jillian taught included Basic Mathematics Skills, Beginning Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, and Math Skills for Allied Health Careers, a course for nursing majors. Although she loved teaching, she wanted to make sure she was not missing out on opportunities in corporate America. She worked for a technology company as an engineer for two years. It quickly became apparent that Jillian’s destiny was in a mathematics classroom!
“Even though my job at the technology company was interesting and competitive, I constantly found myself seeking opportunities to teach. I would take the complex engineering and technology concepts and host mini-workshops for the inside sales representatives so that they would be able to better understand the devices that they were trying to sell. I quickly realized that I belong in the classroom!”
“I knew that I wanted to complete my Master’s before I became a full time teacher. I didn’t think it would be fair to my students if I was taking classes, trying to get my own work done, while at the same time focusing on the needs of the students. I want my focus to remain on them. The program at Boston University was a no-brainer. I would be able to complete my Master’s degree and student teaching all in one year. While I knew it would be a great deal of work, the pace was the right move for me. Plus, I had a really good feeling that I would be with an amazing group of people that would make my journey much more memorable and exciting!”
Linda grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. As a biomedical engineer, Linda worked with stroke patients to retrain their visual and cognitive impairments. She has also spent many years mentoring and teaching urban students through the Upward Bound program and currently works with a non-profit to help students and their families prepare for higher education. Throughout her experiences, Linda has found her background in BME to be an essential part of her teaching in making content more engaging and applicable to students’ interests.
“In high school, I had a chemistry teacher who not only was a great teacher but a wonderful mentor. He helped me through countless struggles. He changed what I believed a teacher is and should be. As I teacher, I want to help my students through their academic and personal growth as my high school teacher had done for me.”
“I decided to attend Boston University for my MAT in math education because of their curriculum and their commitment to urban, high-need schools. Unlike other MAT programs, BU provided a curriculum that not only taught various pedagogies but also mathematics content. Providing content courses was important to me because it was where I learned from fellow teachers how students learn and what their common misconceptions are. As a student who has attended BPS from elementary to high school, BU shares my commitment and passion of helping students in urban, high-need schools. I hope to take my experiences and what I have learned to help my community.”
Matthew has wanted to teach since he was in high school himself, back home in Seattle, Washington. During his undergraduate days in Chicago, he worked with students at a local K-12 school in reading, writing, and math; created an after-school Latin class for sixth- and seventh-graders; and enjoyed a stint as the school’s de facto librarian. During the summers, he tutored at Kumon Math and Reading centers in the Seattle area, wrote an expository paper on Boolean algebras, volunteered in a library, and worked as a teacher’s assistant in math and language classes for an Upward Bound program at South Seattle Community College. In 2013 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in classical studies from the University of Chicago, whence he continued his eastward journey to Boston University to work on his master’s degree in teaching.
“I find pleasure in solving math problems, in trying to refine some given information into a powerful, surprising result. In many ways, the process of teaching is quite similar. A teacher needs to discover what confusions or misconceptions a student has and figure out how to guide the student to a deeper understanding without giving too much away. It’s a difficult process, replete ‘aha!’ moments and constant surprises. The problem of how to best help young people understand mathematics is itself a fascinating problem.
The thing about challenging problems is that, before a satisfying solution can be found, many people have to look at it from many different perspectives. As a teacher, I want to bring students from as many different cultural backgrounds as possible into STEM fields, so that there are lots of brains with lots of different perspectives working on lots of problems. I chose Boston University for its commitment to urban education. I know that my professors and peers here share my passion for bringing quality STEM education to a wide variety of students, and am grateful for the education and support I have received so far.”