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03/26/2013

Trent Kull is Named Winthrop's Newest Thompson Scholar

Quick Facts

 Kull will spend the next year revamping two critical math courses that will improve student learning, faculty effectiveness, and efficiency.
 He wants to rework introductory courses—Applied College Algebra and Applied Calculus classes—so that they are more interactive, are based on individual student needs, and better fit each student’s learning styles and abilities, particularly for underserved students who may need to catch up with the topic.
 Kull joined the Winthrop faculty in fall 2006.

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Trent Kull
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University’s newly appointed Thompson Scholar Trent Kull will spend the next year revamping two critical math courses that will improve student learning, faculty effectiveness, and efficiency.

The appointment was announced on March 26, 2013, by Debra Boyd, vice president for academic affairs.

The Thompson Scholar proposal by Kull is a thoughtful reflection on how to revamp the courses that will serve the larger university community in similar ways, said Beth Costner, chair of the Department of Mathematics.

Kull wants to rework introductory courses—Applied College Algebra and Applied Calculus classes—so that they are more interactive, are based on individual student needs, and better fit each student’s learning styles and abilities, particularly for underserved students who may need to catch up with the topic. Kull cited a study performed by the National Center for Academic Transformation’s Course Redesign Program in which 30 higher education institutions redesigned courses on similar lines and found significant increases in student achievement.

In his proposal, Kull said that redesigning entire courses, rather than single sections, allows for a collective effort among faculty, staff, and students, which can lead to improved standardization of the materials presented and assessed and can promote flexibility in the specific use of faculty time.

Kull, who joined the Winthrop faculty in fall 2006, has taught a wide variety of regular and honors courses at Winthrop, including calculus, real analysis, and differential equations. He serves as a university advisor for teacher candidates in mathematics, assisting those who desire to teach at the secondary level.

He has published articles in the areas of partial and ordinary differential equations and undergraduate mathematics education; given related presentations at national and regional meetings; and has led several curriculum improvement projects in the department.

Kull has an M.S. degree and Ph.D., both in applied mathematics, from Colorado State University. He also has an M.A. in education from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and a B.S. in applied mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

This is the eighth year for the Thompson Scholar Award, created by Winthrop Board of Trustees member Bob Thompson and his wife, Norma, of Rock Hill. The fund provides for reassigned time for two classes per year for a faculty member "to work on projects that strengthen the academic, intellectual, and co-curricular life of the university."

The Robert and Norma Thompson Endowment was established during the university’s first capital campaign. Other Thompson Scholars are: Phil Moody, photography; Pedro Muñoz, Spanish; Carol Marchel, education; John Bird, English; David Bradbard and Barbara Fuller, business; Padmini Patwardhan, mass communication, and David Stokes, design.

For more information, contact Academic Affairs at 803/323-2220.

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