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GMC 2023: Keynote and Featured Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Venya Gunjal

Wednesday, October 18, 7:00 PM- Talmadge Auditorium

Venya Gunjal is the state president of 4-H. 

You can read more about her here:

Kevin Dykema

Thursday, October 19, 8:30 AM- Talmadge Auditorium

Kevin Dykema is President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), an international mathematics education organization with more than 30,000 members. He has taught 8th grade mathematics for over 25 years and is currently at Mattawan Middle School in southwest Michigan.

Dykema was actively involved with the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) before his serving a three-year term on the NCTM Board of Directors from 2016 to 2019. He served as a regional director for MCTM and later as the organization’s conference chair for six years. He also co-founded an annual conference focused on students with disabilities in mathematics, which he has co-chaired since 2015. For his service he received MCTM’s Regional Directors Award in 2007 for outstanding contributions and leadership in mathematics education as well as the organization’s Service Award in 2014.

Dykema is a frequent speaker before mathematics education audiences and has co-authored Productive Math Struggle, published by Corwin. He has also written several articles for Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12. Dykema loves working with others to help improve mathematics education for each and every student.

Kevin Dykema received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin University with a major in mathematics and he earned a secondary mathematics certification. He earned a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from Western Michigan University, where he has also taught courses for preservice teachers. He received an Alumni Achievement Award from Western Michigan University in 2019.

Francis Su 

Friday, October 20, 8:30 AM- Talmadge Auditorium

Francis Su is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and a former president of the Mathematical Association of America. In 2013, he received the Haimo Award, a nationwide teaching prize for college math faculty, and in 2018 he won the Halmos-Ford writing award. His research is in geometric combinatorics and applications to the social sciences. His work has been featured in Quanta Magazine, Wired, and the New York Times. His book Mathematics for Human Flourishing (2020), winner of the 2021 Euler Book Prize, offers an inclusive vision of what math is, who it's for, and why anyone should learn it.

Featured Speakers

Ron Lancaster

Ron Lancaster is an Associate Professor (Teaching Stream) at the University of Toronto where he teaches mathematics courses for pre-service middle and high school teachers. He has over 20 years of experience teaching grades 7-12 mathematics.

Ron’s professional activities in North America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and India include consultations for public, independent and international schools that include the Heritage School (Delhi, India); Jakarta Intercultural School (Jakarta, Indonesia); Taipei American School (Taipei, Taiwan); Ghana International School (Accra, Ghana); the American Community School (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) and the American School of Dubai (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).

Ron has been a presenter at hundreds of conferences, including 57 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual and Regional Conferences; 36 consecutive Ontario Association for Mathematics Education Annual Conferences; 8 East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools Conferences and 3 National Conferences on Graphing Calculators in Malaysia. Ron has facilitated almost 100 week-long courses for mathematics teachers at 30 consecutive Phillips Exeter Academy Mathematics and Technology Conferences; Mathematical Sciences Institutes in New Orleans; STEM Educators’ Camps at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics and the Peddie School Mathematics & Technology Conferences for Middle School Teachers.

Ron will be leading breakout sessions on Thursday at 2:30pm in Bankers and Friday at 9:45 am in Callaway.

David McMillon

David McMillon is an assistant professor of economics at Emory University where he teaches a newly designed course, "The Economics of Systemic Racism." He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. He holds Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Applied Mathematics and in Industrial and Operations Engineering, and a Bachelor’s in Mathematical Sciences. The goal of his work can be summarized as using systems thinking to combat systemic discrimination. He draws on his training to explore how features of complex systems can be exploited to amplify the effects of racial equity-focused interventions, for the same reasons they amplify inequities in the status quo. This includes work on the academic achievement, the school to prison pipeline, reparations and wealth inequality, and formal models of systemic discrimination. David is also affiliated with the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, the Stone Center for Research on Wealth Inequality and Mobility, and the Samuel Dubois Cook Center for Racial Equity.

David will be leading a breakout session on Thursday at 3:45pm in Callaway.

Daren Starnes

Daren Starnes earned his M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He has taught AP Statistics since the course launched in 1996-97. The following year, Daren and a science colleague won a GTE GIFT Grant to integrate AP Statistics and AP Environmental Science. Daren has been a reader, table leader, and question leader for the AP Statistics exam since 1998. He became a College Board consultant that same year, and has since led over 100 summer institutes and numerous one- and two-day workshops for AP Statistics teachers. He is a frequent speaker on statistics education at regional, national, and international conferences. Daren contributed to the resources on AP Classroom and in the Course and Exam Description (CED) as a member of the AP Statistics Instructional Design Team. He served for 6 years on the ASA/NCTM Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability, and was head judge for the ASA’s Student Project Competition. Daren is lead author of two popular high school statistics texts--The Practice of Statistics and Statistics and Probability with Applications—and coauthor (with Roxy Peck) of Making Sense of Statistical Studies, a capstone module in statistical thinking for high school students. Daren and his wife Judy enjoy traveling, and especially spending time with their three sons and six grand kids.

Daren will be leading breakout sessions on Thursday at 2:30pm and 3:45pm in Krannert.

Richard Woods, Georgia's School Superintendent

Richard Woods was elected as Georgia's State School Superintendent in November of 2014, and reelected in 2018. Woods has over 30 years of Pre-K through 12th-grade experience in public education. He was a high school teacher for 14 years, serving as department chair and teacher mentor. For eight years, Woods served in administrative roles including assistant principal, principal, curriculum director, testing coordinator, Pre-K director, and alternative school direct​or.

During his time as State School Superintendent, Woods has remained laser-focused on the classroom and the wellbeing of Georgia's students. Under his leadership, the state has seen its largest-ever reduction of high-stakes testing requirements, an all-time high graduation rate, a 97% graduation rate for Career Pathway completers, and steady increases in SAT and ACT scores.

Georgia has expanded STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, introduced STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) school certification, and introduced new student opportunities in the areas of personal finance, fine arts, and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education. The Georgia Department of Education has hired its first-ever employees dedicated to supporting the fine arts and military students, and established an Office of Whole Child Supports, an Office of School Safety and Climate, and an Office of Rural Education and Innovation.

Superintendent Woods has been honored with the National Art Education Association's Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award, the Patriotic Employer Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (a Department of Defense office), and the Honorary American FFA Degree by the National FFA Organization.

He and his wife, Lisha, a retired 30-year educator, are longtime residents of Tifton, Georgia.​

The Superintendent will be leading a breakout session Thursday at 11:00am in the Clover Room (in the dining hall).

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