West Chester University
Department of Mathematics
35th Annual Awards

All 2021 Awardees

The West Chester University Department of Mathematics 35th Annual Awards Ceremony was held at in Penn Oaks on November 14th, 2021. Click here to go to the Shutterfly page that has all of the pictures taken at the ceremony by Professor Lin Tan.

Host: Dr. Peter L. Glidden Chair, Department of Mathematics

Welcome remarks: Dr. Radha Pyati, Dean, College of the Sciences and Mathematics

Viorel Nitica Mathematics Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Jeremy Brazas

Awarded to:

John Aceti

Aceti and Brazas

Applied Statistics Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Randy Rieger

Awarded to:

Tyler Sarge
Yuanxin Chen
Michael T. Tarrant

Lianteng Zhi
Anna L. Dyska
Julia Edwards

ChenDyska EdwardsZhi

James L'heureux Scholarship

Presented by:

Maria Cimino

Awarded to:

Tyler J. Clark
Brett R. Gillott


Class of 1943 Mathematics Scholarship

Presented by:

Awarded to:

Meghan S. Thomas


Dr. and Mrs. Albert E. Filano Mathematics Scholarship

Presented by:

Laura Pyott

Renewed for:

Kaitlyn C. Cannon
Bill Timmann
Evan Parker

Awarded to:

Gwenyth Meder



Class of 1963 Scholarship for Promising Mathematics Education Majors

Presented by:

Dr. Emily Miller

Awarded to:

Hannah McGovern

McGovern and Emily

Grosshans Hirsch Applied Mathematics Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Jimmy McLaughlin

Awarded to:

Julia Zelinsky

Frank E. Milliman Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Kim Johnson

Awarded to:

He Wang


Dr. Michael P. Montemuro Memorial Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Peter L. Glidden

Awarded to:

Nathan Wholey

Mary Pinder Nunan '43 Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Gail Gallitano

Awarded to:

Jennifer K. Byrne

Byrne and Gail

Katherine Smith Math Scholarship

Presented by:

Laura Pyott

Awarded to:

Kristen Casey

Casey and Laura

Mathematics Scholarship

Presented by:

Dr. Clifford Johnston

Awarded to:

Jessica Baker
Ethan M. Whitney
Jillian J. Blessington
Andrew Z. Heneghan
Zach Shin

Faith M. Fleming
Daniel P. O'Callaghan
Kelsey E. Stevens
Braden Jabbour
Matthew Feder

Erin Bierbrauer
Austin R. Schreffler
Nathaniel Jones
Thomas G. Cherry
Samuel Johnson

Group and Cliff

Mark Wiener Endowment Awards

Presented by:

Dr. Barbara Swartz

Awarded to:

Carley A. Castura
Jessica G. Reidy
Sydney A. Fischer
Dorothy Looby

Reidy and BarbaraFischer and Barbara

Mathematics Minor Award

Presented by:

Dr. Premalatha Junius

Awarded to:

Joseph D. Cutrone

Cutrone and Prema

Actuarial Recognition

Presented by:

Dr. Rosemary Sullivan

Awarded to:

Gabriella Schatz

Schatz and Rosemary

History of Mathematics Funds

The Mathematics Scholarship (1974)

The Mathematics Scholarship was created in 1974 by the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Sciences to raise funds for an endowment that would generate enough interest to provide several monetary awards to undergraduate majors of the department for their high academic achievements.

Class of '43 Scholarship (1991)

Two class members of the Class of 1943, Jean Stevenson and Oreste Leto, established this fund in celebration of their 50th Class Reunion. The purpose of this scholarship is to improve the teaching of mathematics on the middle or secondary school level. It was their view that, “Because children in the middle grades are so often ‘turned off' by mathematics, it is hoped that this scholarship may help foster the fun of mathematics and the joy of problem solving.” This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding junior BSEd major.

Mark Wiener Memorial Scholarship (1992)

Mark Wiener was a Professor of Mathematics, Mathematics Education, and Computer Education at West Chester University. He was the sponsor of the Anderson Math Club and was President of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics of Philadelphia and Vicinity (ATMOPAV). This scholarship was established in his memory to recognize prospective PreK-8 teachers who excel in mathematics.

Michael P. Montemuro Memorial Scholarship (1998)

Dr. Michael P. Montemuro, who served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Professor of Mathematics, was a University faculty member for 34 years. He was very active in the faculty union and served as president of APSCUF for 18 years. Dr. Montemuro received the Distinguished APSCUF Service Award, the West Chester University Presidential Service Award, and was coach of the University ski team. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding first-year student.

Dr. and Mrs. Albert E. Filano Mathematics Scholarship (2000)

Dr. Albert E. Filano was a long-serving faculty member and administrator, serving the University for more than 35 years as Professor of Mathematics, Department Chair, Division Director, Academic Vice President, Interim President, and advisor to the Newman Center. The scholarship fund was established as part of the naming of Filano Hall dedicated on August 19, 2000, the couple's 50th wedding anniversary. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding first-year student and is renewable.

Benjamin E. Faber Endowed Scholarship (2002)

This scholarship was created by George and Karin Faber, parents of Benjamin, after his death in an automobile accident on October 30, 2001, when a deer struck his car. Ben was a 1996 graduate of Unionville High School. He received an associate degree with honors from Delaware County Community College and was a senior at West Chester University pursuing degrees in both mathematics and physics. Ben was also a member of Phi Theta Kappa national honor fraternity. Ben earned the rank of Eagle Scout while a member of Troop 22.

Applied Statistics Endowment (2008)

The Applied Statistics Graduate Degree Program was created in Fall 2003, and this fund was created to provide an award to graduate students in the program who have shown exceptional academic achievement in their studies.

Frank E. Milliman Endowed Scholarship (2008)

For 48 years Professor Frank Milliman taught, mentored, and advised thousands of West Chester University students. Among his former students, one can easily find university professors, professional mathematicians, actuaries, and literally hundreds of current secondary school mathematics teachers who constantly tell us how they strive to teach mathematics, to assess student achievement (with high standards), and to be available for students the way Professor Milliman was for them. Professor Milliman's name will always be synonymous with the Department of Mathematics. This scholarship is awarded to a student with an outstanding record of academic achievement and a strong potential for research.

Mary Pinder Nunan '43 Endowed Scholarship (2015)

When Mary Pinder was a junior at West Chester State Teachers College, she won a mathematics award for excellence. This event, in the spring of 1942, had a great impact on Mary and she always knew that one day she would create her own scholarship for West Chester mathematics majors. In the spring of her senior year, her dean asked her if she would be willing to substitute teach mathematics at Pierre S. du Pont High School in Delaware. Mary accepted the position and took the bus from outside (Old) Main Hall to Delaware every day to teach. In May, Mary attended her West Chester graduation and returned to du Pont Monday, as its school year did not end until mid-June. She graduated with the highest honors and three majors: mathematics, English, and social studies. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding senior BSEd major.

Actuarial Science Award Fund (2016)

Established by the Department of Mathematics, the purpose of this fund is twofold: (1) to reimburse, either partially or fully, those West Chester students who have passed one of the actuarial examinations offered by the Society of Actuaries, Casualty Actuarial Society, or other certifying organization; and (2) to recognize excellence in actuarial science.

Class of 1963 Scholarship for Promising Mathematics Education Majors (2016)

Jim Rubillo credits Albert E. Filano and Frank E. Milliman for recognizing and supporting students who demonstrated promise in mathematics education. After graduating in 1963, Jim embarked on a 47-year career in public education. He remained active within several mathematics professional associations at the state and national levels and provided teacher professional development programs in 50 states and across Canada. Most recently, Jim served as the Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) for eight years. Jim received the Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, and the NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education. Jim also received the University's Distinguished Alumni Award and an honorary Doctor of Science degree. This scholarship is awarded to a senior BSEd major who demonstrates leadership and excellence in mathematics education courses.

Grosshans Hirsch Applied Mathematics Endowment (2016)

Dr. Michael Hirsch graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Computer Science. He later attained a Masters in Applied Mathematics from the University of Delaware and a Doctor of Philosophy in Operations Research from the University of Florida. Dr. Hirsch credits Dr. Frank Grosshans, an accomplished West Chester University faculty member and mathematician, for introducing him to the government defense field, where he has spent over 20 years developing solutions for both defense and commercial problems. Today, Michael is the owner and President of ISEA TEK (Industrial & Systems Engineering Analysis Technologies). This scholarship recognizes a mathematics major who demonstrates potential and excellence in several core mathematics courses.

Katherine Smith Math Endowment (2016)

Katherine Smith graduated from West Chester University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education. Katherine's father, Richard, and mother, Patricia who is a 1977 West Chester University alumna, established this scholarship in honor of their daughter. This scholarship recognizes a student majoring in mathematics who demonstrates high academic achievement in the view of mathematics faculty.

M.S. Applied Statistics Fund (2016)

Established following the generous contribution of alumna April Taylor 1911, this fund offers support for programming, speakers, or events that enhance the experience of students and alumni of the Applied Statistics Graduate Program.

James L'heureux Scholarship (2017)

Dr. James L'heureux joined the faculty of West Chester State College in 1969. In 1974, Professors L'heureux, Branton, Morgan, and Verno raised $112 from selling books, which marked the beginning of the Mathematics Scholarship Fund. Under the leadership of Dr. L'heureux, this fund grew to over $100,000 by his retirement in 2000 and today it has a balance of well over $750,000. In addition to the Mathematics Scholarship Fund, Dr. L'heureux also encouraged friends of the Department to establish other scholarship funds for our students. The L'heureux Endowment was established by colleagues of Dr. L'heureux in recognition of and gratitude for all he has done for the Department and our students. This scholarship recognizes a student majoring in mathematics who demonstrates high academic achievement with exceptional performance in abstract analysis and real analysis.

Viorel Nitica Scholarship (2021)

Dr. Viorel Nitica was an excellent teacher and prolific scholar with a wide range of research interests including: operator algebras, dynamical systems, geometry of max-plus spaces, topological groups and Lie groups, tilings and combinatorics, and number theory. In 2012 he received West Chester University Trustee's Achievement Award in recognition of his scholarship. This Scholarship is awarded to a student in the Mathematics or Applied & Computational Mathematics Masters Programs with a minimum GPA of 3.5 with preference given to students participating in mathematics research.

In Memoriam

Viorel Nitica

Viorel Nitica died at home on Sunday, June 20, 2021, after a 40-month battle with brain cancer. Viorel Nitica grew up in Romania and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics at the University of Bucharest He earned his doctoral degree in mathematics in 1995 at Penn State University under the guidance of Anatole Katok, a world-renowned mathematician and one of the most influential figures in his field of dynamical systems. The monograph he co-authored with Katok was the first publication of this sort to present the modern advances in the rigidity of higher-rank Abelian group actions, a field to which Viorel himself has made many contributions.

Viorel's research extended to many areas of mathematics, including operator algebras, dynamical systems, geometry of max-plus spaces, topological groups and Lie groups, tilings and combinatorics, and number theory. Four sequences are attributed to him in the "Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences." His interests led to collaborations at many universities in various countries around the world. Viorel also held positions at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University at Bloomington, as well as teaching summer school for advanced students at Penn State University.

Viorel was a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Institute of Mathematics of Romanian Academy. Additionally, he served on editorial committees of mathematical journals. Over the years he won several grants from prestigious institutions such as the National Science Foundation and the Simons Foundation, and awards, such as the 2012 West Chester University Trustee's Achievement Award. He was known for his passion of knowledge and research and being an excellent teacher who cared about the success of his students, many of whom fondly appreciated his mentorship. Viorel was generous collaborator and a valued colleague who will be greatly missed.

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