Professor Vinodh Chellamuthu Selected as a Fellow for National Initiative

By Alexis McClain

Dixie State University Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Vinodh Chellamuthu was recently selected to be a Project SLOPE (Scholarly Leaders Originating as Practicing Educators) Research Fellow, an honor only shared among six people in the entire nation.

Project SLOPE is an initiative funded by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) to gather a fellowship of educators in higher education. As members, Dr. Chellamuthu along with the five other participants are encouraged to engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The six fellows will communicate on an online platform, introducing their ideas and collaborating with one another until their summer workshop in Portland. In the fall of 2020, they will all present their SoTL project outcomes at the AMATYC Annual Conference.

“The SoTL projects will help the research fellows examine their teaching practices and their students’ learning, they will then use these assessments to make changes in their teaching,” says Project SLOPE coordinator, Megan Breit-Goodwin. “Outcomes of Project SLOPE will promote innovative teaching and learning in the first two years of college mathematics.”

Prior to selection for the six research fellows, each applicant was asked a series of questions. One in specific asked what questions the applicant hoped to answer with the help of this research program. Dr. Chellamuthu had just the answer.

“I personally think it is not that students cannot do math, it is due to a block students have towards math,” Dr. Chellamuthu says. “They have been brought up their whole life thinking ‘math is hard.’ I want to find a way to show students that math is important in society. In doing so, the perspective of mathematics learning can change.”

Dr. Chellamuthu strongly believes the Project SLOPEResearch Fellow honor will give him the opportunity to meet many other talented educators from around the country as well as enhance his pedagogical skills by drawing from the variety of teaching styles and ideas.

“The SoTL projects will help the research fellows examine their teaching practices and their students’ learning, they will then use these assessments to make changes in their teaching,” says Project SLOPE director, Megan Breit-Goodwin. “Outcomes of Project SLOPE will promote innovative teaching and learning in the first two years of college mathematics.”

With the support of the research program and web interaction of the other fellows, Dr. Chellamuthu’s work will be a great asset toward Dixie State University, as he exemplifies our “active learning. active life.” institutional tagline.