“It’s like winning the lottery without even buying a ticket” Ryan Curtis wins prestigious scholarship
November 21, 2022 – Ryan Curtis was one of two recipients of the 2022 AMATYC Wanda Garner Presidential Scholarship in the country. The award is given by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges and is reserved for students who excel in math, math education, statistics, or STEM. A member of AMATYC must designate the recipient. In this case, Professor Steve Grosteffon, an SF math professor, was the nominator.
When asked why Professor Grosteffon felt Ryan Curtis was a good recipient for this scholarship, he replied: “He was one of the top students in my online Calc 1 course, he did everything I expected, I give them a statement in the program to be a deep learner and it just seemed like he had, you know, a good will to learn things in depth instead of just taking the course… ”
“I didn’t know until the teacher called me the other day…” Ryan remarked when asked how he reacted when he heard the news.
“I was pretty excited; Yeah, it’s not every day that something you didn’t even know was going to happen turns out right for you. It’s like winning the lottery without even buying a ticket.
Ryan is a sophomore earning an AA in engineering and aspires to transfer to UF’s mechanical engineering program. “I grew up around dirt bikes, so I had a fascination with machines from an early age. I think that, and an interest in physics, is what really got me into mechanical engineering.
He noted that he derives his motivation and drive from the support of his family and friends.
“My parents sacrificed a lot of time and effort to help me get to where I am today. It would be doing a disservice to everyone who supported me and myself if I didn’t give everything in every class.
Professor Grosteffon also contributed to Ryan’s success.
“I learned a lot in his class and if anything was confusing he always had time during office hours to help the students. I think I did well in his class because he provided many opportunities for students to hone their skills not only in math, but also in time management and study.
Ryan’s advice to other students who want to succeed in math is: “Math has never been my strongest subject, although I’ve always enjoyed it. The best advice I can give to others is to take advantage of every opportunity offered by your teacher. Professor Grosteffon had practice tests, quizzes you could take at any time, and optional homework. Using these opportunities to really make sure I understood the subject and got a grade for that understanding really helped me come exam time.