Left to right: Dr. Frederick Hoffman, math professor at FAU, Dr. Ryan Kasha, Dr. Yuandan Lin, math professor at FAU, Dr. Yuan Wang, math professor at FAU
A Message from Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses
Each even numbered year since 1994, the Florida Two-Year College Mathematics Association (FTYCMA) honors one of its members with the Teaching Excellence Award. This year, the award recipient is our very own West Campus Professor of Mathematics Ryan Kasha.
This honor recognizes Ryan’s outstanding teaching ability, as well as his development of and implementation of innovative teaching methods. Namely, Ryan uses concrete, real analogies to help make mathematical concepts real and relateable — which is essential in a discipline that can often seem abstract.
Ryan was presented with this award during the FTYCMA and FL-MAA (Mathematical Association of America, Florida Section) joint conference, which took place at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) earlier this year.
Commenting on this recognition, Ryan said, “This was a great honor receiving this award at my alma mater. I received my bachelor’s degree at FAU, as well as two master’s degrees. I even interacted with my previous math professors — I made them proud of the accomplishments that I have made from being a student to becoming a math professor.”
The award also struck a personal and emotional chord for Ryan.
“My wife, Kristen Kasha, who passed away from head and neck cancer this year, was very proud of me when I received this award in the earlier stages of her cancer treatment,” Ryan shared. “I have had the honor of her being around and being super proud of this prestigious award before she passed away on Monday, June 4, 2018.
To qualify for this award, a member must have at least five years of teaching experience, exhibited outstanding teaching ability and created or adapted innovative teaching methods and materials.
“The quote that I share with my students is, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,'” Ryan said. “I am truly fortunate not to be just employed, but to have something that I love to do for work. Teaching is an honor and fun for me. I always pass this message along to students as I believe that they need to reflect on what they really want to do. If they find themselves in a career that they will love, it will never feel like work. We truly can make a difference and impact when we are enthusiastic and passionate about what we do in life.”