Marywood University recently awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship to Jason Holman, Taylor, Pa., junior mathematics/secondary education major. A graduate of Riverside High School, Holman is benefiting from the tuition coverage of the scholarship, as well as the connections that he’s making with faculty and staff on the University’s campus.
Marywood’s Advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Teaching (MAST) Program is a scholarship opportunity for biology and math secondary education majors. MAST scholars earn bachelor’s degrees in biology or math and are eligible for a Pennsylvania secondary teaching certification in biology or mathematics.
Holman learned of the NSF Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship from a science professor, and then the message was reinforced by Dhanapati Adhikari, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics/computer science. Dr. Adhikari explained that students are eligible to apply for the scholarship during their sophomore year, or after passing their sophomore screening for education. After applying, students are invited for an interview and get a status notification by May 1 each year.
Beyond the financial benefits, Holman said, “It [the Noyce Scholarship] puts you out there—doing a lot of tutoring, puts you on the campus map with other people, particularly with faculty and staff members. In the future these connections can serve as recommendations in securing a teaching position.”
Outside of gym classes, math was always Holman’s favorite subject. Having the added benefit of developing a strong relationship with his high school math teacher, who he had during his four years of high school, helped Holman solidify his talents for math and teaching. Enjoying tutoring and seeing the progression of someone learning is what drives Holman in his pursuit of teaching.
Knowing that the Noyce Scholarship will help him get ahead, both financially and in securing employment post-graduation, Holman appreciates the teaching apprenticeship that the scholarship affords, as well as the bonds he has formed with faculty and staff at Marywood University.
The Noyce Scholarship has a service component which requires scholarship recipients to teach in underserved school districts for two years post-graduation, while also providing scholarship recipients with the added benefit of helping to organize the math competition at Marywood, tutoring, and a teaching apprenticeship.
Holman said, “I grew up in the area, and I want to stay here where I can make a difference in building up students to better themselves, which in turn betters the area. I hope to teach in Lackawanna or Wayne County post-graduation.”
The Noyce Scholarship is not limited to tuition and can also be applied to other costs, such as room and board and books. Holman is technically a transfer student, since he transferred to Marywood just days after beginning his studies at another college. He sees the benefits of the Noyce Scholarship for both transfer and traditional undergraduate students, as students can apply during their sophomore year for junior year eligibility.
In addition to his academic work, Holman is also a student-athlete, playing on the University’s men’s basketball team, which brings him full circle to his two favorite subjects—those of a love of math and of basketball.
For more information about the NSF Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship, the MAST Scholars program, or STEM programs at Marywood University, please visit marywood.edu/stem/index.html.