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The Elizabeth Boardman Kett Endowed Scholarship in Math Education

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About Elizabeth Boardman Kett

kettThis endowment is in honor of Elizabeth’s commitment to Public Education in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Michigan State University holds fond memories for Elizabeth. She has been a life-long Spartan. Both her parents (Chloe E. Rawlinson and William M. Boardman) are graduates of Michigan State University. She also met her husband Terence K. Kett at Michigan State while he was obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She is therefore pleased to establish this endowment fund as an opportunity to thank and give back to Michigan State University while supporting her commitment to Math Education.

Elizabeth graduated from Michigan State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science. A valuable part of her education included participation in a pilot program between Michigan State University and Dwight Rich Junior High School in Lansing. This went beyond the usual student teaching program by involving a team of Michigan State students with a mentor from the partnership school to expand and enrich the experience beyond the class room. This pilot program inspired Elizabeth in later years to become active in local schools and school Boards.

Elizabeth began her Michigan State education as a Mathematics major but was encouraged by her Advisor in the Math Department to change her major on the grounds that “Mathematics” was not a “suitable” career for women. And, Math majors had no access to computer education – it was all in Engineering. Fortunately, times have changed! Following graduation, Elizabeth taught Mathematics at Dwight Rich Junior High School in Lansing and at Boonton High School in New Jersey. She later pursued her interest in Education by serving on the Morris Plains, New Jersey School Board for nine years, including two as President, and training for new school board members with the New Jersey School Boards’ Association. Elizabeth and her husband have two children Dianne Kett who is an Architect and William Kett who is a computer systems specialist.

Elizabeth believes Math Education is critical to a student’s overall education and life after formal schooling ends. For that we need excellent Math teachers. She also wants others to experience the same joy she felt when observing her Math students achieve those exhilarating “Ah-Hah” moments.

In establishing this Scholarship, it is Elizabeth's desire to support students who are committed to pursuing a teaching career in Mathematics in the U.S. upon graduation. For this reason, she wishes in particular to support U.S. citizens enrolled in Michigan State University's College of Education. In the event a U.S. citizen is not considered a viable candidate in any given year, it would be her desire to award the scholarship to a permanent resident of the United States according to U.S. immigration laws.

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