LOWELL, Mass. – Regina Panasuk, a professor of mathematics education at UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education, has been named University Professor through August 2014. The three-year appointment is the highest distinction bestowed on a UMass Lowell faculty member for exceptional teaching achievement and service to the university.
Panasuk will receive a $10,000 stipend with the appointment, will be released from teaching one class each semester and will deliver a University Professor lecture slated for the spring 2012 semester. A native of Russia who now lives in Billerica, Panasuk has taught at UMass Lowell for 18 years. She has been named the Graduate School of Education’s outstanding teacher three times — twice by her colleagues and once by the Graduate Student Organization. A prolific grant writer, she has secured for the university close to $1.1 million in funding.
In 2008, she received the UMass President’s Public Service Award for outstanding service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for her dedication to improving mathematics education in the Lowell public schools. Since 1993, she has won several major grants to fund teacher training in mathematics education and research in partnership with the Lowell, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lynn, Malden, Methuen and Worcester school districts. A true scholar, Panasuk has dozens of original research publications, research instruments and significant contributions to the field of mathematics education.
Panasuk is “an inspiration to her colleagues and a model of excellent teaching, valuable research and grant writing and service to both the university and the region,” wrote faculty chairman Prof. Jay Simmons in his letter nominating Panasuk for the honor.
In support of Panasuk’s nomination, Prof. Anita Greenwood, the Graduate School of Education’s interim dean, called her “an exceptional professor who works harder than could be reasonably expected of any individual because she loves her career and is dedicated to improving the quality of mathematics education for all.”
Panasuk holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, a master’s degree in mathematics and mathematics education and a doctorate degree in mathematics education from the Leningrad Institute of Adult Education of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences. Among many other honors, she was named Distinguished Teacher of the Russian Federation, the highest national teaching award given by the Ministry of Education.
Panasuk credits her love of mathematics to her father, her teachers and her cultural upbringing.
“I like helping those who are learning mathematics. My passion is helping teachers learn how to teach math, how to make people become fascinated with math and how to enjoy the process of learning,” she said.
With her appointment, Panasuk joins fellow university professors Prof. Robert Giles, chairman of the Physics and Applied Physics Department, and Prof. Ken Geiser, of the Department of Work Environment, an environmental policy expert.
Beyond her work at UMass Lowell, Panasuk enjoys “uninterrupted thinking” while walking four to six miles a day. She also paints, studies art and enjoys classical music, ballet and opera.
UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering, education, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, liberal arts, management, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu