The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) Program is now accepting applications for the 2016 cohort, which will meet in Park City, UT June 11-16, 2016. The STaR program is open to faculty members who are in their first or second year of a tenure-track appointment at a US institution at the time of application. The program provides an opportunity for early career faculty members to develop a network of peers and to interact with more experienced colleagues around issues of service, teaching, and research. Please encourage eligible mathematics education faculty members to learn more at http://amte.net/star/fellows and to apply at http://amte.net/star/apply by December 1, 2015. Decisions will be announced by January 31, 2016.
The STaR program is funded through the generous support of various professional organizations (including AMTE, AMTE state affiliates, and NCTM), private foundations such as the Brookhill Institute, and private individuals. This funding is used to provide STaR fellows with lodging and some meals. Their institutions are responsible for providing funding for transportation to and from Park City, some meals, and expenses associated with attending a follow-up meeting prior to AMTE in 2017. Institutional expenses are estimated at $1500.
The STaR program has supported six cohorts of 207 early career mathematics educators since 2010. These STaR Fellows and the 2015 institute Co-directors (Jeffrey Wanko and Denise Spangler) are happy to answer questions from prospective applicants. Feedback from the 2015 Fellows demonstrates what one can expect from the program:
The biggest benefit to being at STaR was having the opportunity to network with other mathematics educators. I learned much by being at STaR—having and keeping an active research agenda, how to balance my work life and personal life, and being a productive mathematics educator—but the best part of STaR was being able to form friendships with others in the field.
The most valuable part of STaR for me was the chance to talk with other mathematics educators in similar situations. I came from a small PhD program, and like many mathematics educators, I work at a school where I am the only person in my specialty. At STaR, I not only found other people I can potentially collaborate with, I found out that there were other STaR Fellows in driving distance. I now have a much better sense of what I need to do to achieve my career goals.
Most importantly, I realized that I wasn't alone as a new faculty member. Other young mathematics educators all across the country were struggling with the same issues as me, which was tremendously validating and empowering. The STaR Institute is the best thing that ever happened to me as a mathematics educator, and it was worth every penny!
Being at the STaR institute was inspirational for me. I feel that it provided me with a broader and more holistic view of Mathematics Education than before. I not only met like-minded people from different institutions across the country but also was able to interact with people who provided a different perspective to my own outlook. Just finishing my first year as an assistant professor, I was in survival mode. But the STaR institute helped me look at the bigger picture and make changes professionally and personally.
Participating in STaR gave me opportunities to connect with others who are asking the same kinds of questions I am and it gave us the space and time to explore those questions together. We had the opportunity to step back from the day-to-day demands of our positions and think about what it will take to have truly rewarding and influential careers. I was challenged to think more deeply about my teaching and scholarship and I was encouraged put my work “out there.” Most importantly, I feel like I am now a part of a network of mathematics education professionals, many of whom I would now call friends, who will continue to challenge and encourage me in the years to come.
The future of the STaR Program is dependent on donations to ensure the future of this vibrant program. Of significance is the fact that over half of the STaR Fellows have contributed to the AMTE STaR fund. In particular, the 2015 cohort pledged $1500 to sponsor a Fellow in 2016. If you wish to make a donation, you can do so via the AMTE web site.