Public Service Awards 2008

Regina Panasuk

Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
UMass Lowell

Throughout her 15 years of service at UMass Lowell, Regina Panasuk, Ph.D., has been dedicated to improving K-12 mathematics education. She has given her time and talent freely to the Lowell public schools, helping to guide curriculum development, conduct teacher professional development, and create diagnostic tests and research instruments. Through her knowledge of the Lowell school districts and the funneling of her own students to teach at the local schools, she has contributed significantly to the partnership between UMass Lowell and the city of Lowell. Her work with the city has resulted in numerous publications in well-known journals as well as three research instruments that are now used by mathematics educators nationwide.

Professor Panasuk has initiated and directed large-scale, externally funded research programs with total funding of over $650,000. Most recently, she secured a $255,000 grant from the state Department of Higher Education titled, "Enhancing Math Collaboration: School-University Initiatives for Professional Development." This grant will support a three-year collaborative effort between the UMass Lowell and the Bartlett School, a Lowell K-8 school identified as underperforming. Based on the belief that teachers achieve better results by working together, the project involves the collaboration of math teachers, administrators, and UMass Lowell doctoral students throughout the school year. Professor Panasuk spends one day a week at the school, sitting in on lessons and helping teachers to plan and problem-solve. She also participates in meetings with the administration, doing analyses of the students' work. Over the past 18 months with this project, over 40 teachers, paraprofessionals, and tutors have been affected by her outreach, along with about 450 students in the school.

Dr. Panasuk's passion and dedication to math education is highlighted by her actions when her mobility was impaired in the summer of 2007: rather than cancel her work with schools, she continued her commitment to service by inviting teachers to her home to work with her.

"I believe everyone can learn and enjoy math," Professor Panasuk said. "I remember how I was helped by experienced teachers. Because I was helped, it is my mission right now to help teachers - novice and experienced - to be successful and enjoy the work they do."

Dr. Panasuk is a professor of curriculum and instruction at the Graduate School of Education at UMass Lowell. She earned her Ph.D. from the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Public Service Awards 2009

Public Service Awards 2008