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The Provost’s 2023 Outstanding Teaching Awards: Angela Hanson

By Jenny Wells-Hosley 

A portrait of a professor.
 Angela Hanson

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 25, 2023)  Angela Hanson, Ph.D., a former University of Kentucky teaching assistant and May 2023 graduate from the UK Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of 10 winners of UK’s 2022-23 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

These awards identify and recognize individuals who demonstrate special dedication to student achievement and who are successful in their teaching. Recipients were selected via nomination and reviewed by a selection committee based in the UK Provost’s Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Hanson came to UK in 2018 and completed her master’s degree in mathematics in 2019 before starting her doctorate.

During her time at UK, Hanson conducted research with Dave Jensen, Ph.D., the Wimberly Royster Research Professor of Mathematics. With a focus in algebraic geometry, Hanson uses tropical geometry to study smooth algebraic curves.

As a teaching assistant, Hanson was a primary instructor this spring for the course, “Math Problem Solving for Middle School Teachers.” This class is intended to provide future middle school teachers with the tools to actively engage in the process of mathematical problem-solving.

“The emphasis is not on memorization of techniques, but rather on the critical reasoning, collaboration, consensus building and communication skills necessary to solving problems in a community of learners,” Hanson said.

Hanson has also previously taught calculus courses at UK, including calculus with life science applications, as well as matrix algebra and contemporary mathematics. She also taught a first-year seminar for graduate students.

In addition to her current award, Hanson is also the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Assistant Award and the Department of Mathematics’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. She is also an Emeritus Faculty Endowed Doctoral Fellow, a Graduate Scholars in Mathematics Fellow, and the recipient of the Ed Enochs Graduate Scholarship in Algebra.

This fall, Hanson will start her new job as an assistant teaching professor at Villanova University, where she will teach small classes and help redesign courses to be more inclusive and engaging.

“Receiving this award has been so affirming and encouraging as I begin my career as a college professor,” Hanson said. “It was also an amazing opportunity to learn what other passionate educators are doing across the university. I feel so blessed by the mentorship and support that has helped me grow as an instructor.”

This year’s Outstanding Teaching Awards were given to seven faculty and three graduate teaching assistants. Each winner received an award certificate, a commemorative engraved gift and a cash award in recognition of their teaching excellence. Read more here.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.