facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

ISU Lecturer Wins GEM Innovative Educator Award from Idaho State Board of Education, CapEd Credit Union

May 28, 2024

Annik Martin stands near a student

An Idaho State University mathematics lecturer has earned one of the state’s highest general education teaching honors.

Recently, the Idaho State Board of Education’s General Education Committee and CapEd Credit Union announced the winners of their General Education Matriculation (GEM) Innovative Educator Awards. On the list was Annik Martin, senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, who took home the honor for Objective 3: Mathematical Ways of Knowing. 

“I am, of course, honored to be receiving this award,” said Martin. “That being said, many of my colleagues are also working hard at improving the experience for students taking general education math courses, especially our non-STEM student population, and I hope to see some of them getting the same recognition in the future.”

For her efforts, Martin will receive a $500 honorarium and the chance to share one of her teaching practices at the GEM Awards Banquet during the General Education Summit held in Boise later this year. The GEM Innovative Educator Awards are coordinated through the statewide General Education Committee of the State Board of Education and sponsored by CapEd Credit Union. General education courses engage students with durable skills like fortitude, critical thinking, and flexibility while also deepening their foundational knowledge in a range of disciplines. In Idaho, general education courses share a common framework while also encouraging faculty innovation and institution-specific approaches. 

Earlier this year, Martin won Idaho State University’s Excellence in General Education Teaching Award in the same category. Winners from six categories were forwarded to the Idaho State Board of Education for consideration for the GEM Innovative Educator Awards. In his nomination letter, Patrick Rault, professor and chair of the mathematics and statistics department, highlighted Martin’s use of collaborative assignments, her constructive feedback, and her efforts to revamp courses and advising for students. In particular, Rault called special attention to Martin’s work in helping students overcome their math anxiety. 

“Annik is a model educator, not only in the classroom but also in her commitment to student success,” said Rault. “Math anxiety often develops because a student gets the wrong answer to a question and then ‘feels stupid’ in front of their peers, vowing to never speak up in class again. When a student makes a mistake in her class, Annik makes sure the student feels that it is just a silly mistake and one we all make because we are human. Annik is able to keep students engaged in her courses who might otherwise lose interest.”

“I try to make mathematics relevant to the students’ lives, especially for non-majors taking my classes,” Martin explained. “I start by explaining the significance of what we’re doing, practicing the mathematical methods, and then applying those methods to situations students may face. Those situations could be everything from comparing homes for sale on a real estate website, examining real-time stock data, or analyzing numbers in the news. For me, it is crucial that students recognize the practical uses of what they are learning.”

For more information on the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, visit isu.edu/math.

Prospective students can schedule a campus tour at isu.edu/visit.


College of Science and EngineeringUniversity News