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Terry L. Jenkins - 2011 Outstanding Former Faculty
“Simply put, over the past 20 years Terry Jenkins has been the face of mathematics in Wyoming,” says Professor Bryan Shader, Department of Mathematics. “And his tireless efforts to improve the teaching of mathematics in Wyoming exemplifies UW’s land-grant mission to improve the lives of Wyoming citizens.”
In 1989, Professor Terry Jenkins founded the UW Summer Mathematics Institute, a venue where Wyoming high school math teacher’s network, share experiences, and discuss a current mathematical topic. Of the approximately 250 math educators in the state, 200 have attended at least one Summer Mathematics Institute, and two-thirds of participants come back a second time.
“While Dr. Jenkins is esteemed as a first-rate mathematician, we, the math teachers of the state of Wyoming, realize that he is much more,” says Bernie Schnorenberg, a retired mathematics educator. “He is first and foremost a math educator, a man dedicated to helping others understand the marvels, beauty, and use of the mathematics he loves. He created the institute, continually found sources of funding to keep it going, spent countless hours finding the right subject matter for any given year and developing the best way to teach it, and provided math teachers the best professional development possible.”
Originally from Vermillion, South Dakota, Jenkins received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1957 from the University of South Dakota, a master’s degree in 1959 from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1966. That same year, Jenkins joined the faculty in the UW Department of Mathematics.
A dedicated mathematics educator, Jenkins received numerous teaching awards over the course of his career, including Outstanding Educator of America, the Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom Teaching, UW Summer Faculty Development Award, UW Summer Faculty Fellowship, and the AMOCO Foundation, Inc., Good Teacher Award.
In addition to his UW service, Jenkins has been an active member of the Laramie community. He was on the Laramie School Board from 1977 to 1980 and the City of Laramie Traffic Commission since 2005.
Professor Farhad Jafari, head of the Department of Mathematics notes, “There are many compelling reasons why Professor Jenkins should be selected for this award, not the least of which is the extraordinary praise that he receives from students, peers, and all those who know him. Professor Jenkins’ continuous dedication to the Department of Mathematics, the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Wyoming, and his profession over a long and exemplary career is remarkable.”