2007 Ohio Section Award for
Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics

William J. Higgins
Wittenberg University


The 2007 Ohio Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics has been awarded to Dr. William J. Higgins from Wittenberg University. The award was presented to Bill by the Bill Friel, member of the Teaching Award Committee, on April 13, 2007, at the Spring Section Meeting.

Bill Higgins began his teaching career twenty-five years ago, and has been immersed in the pursuit and promotion of excellence in teaching ever since. From attending a multitude of mini-courses and workshops on teaching to presenting colloquium talks and other presentations on teaching at professional meetings; from directing numerous research projects and Honors Theses to acting out Galois’ death in classes; from being nominated for a teaching award at an institution while there as a visiting professor on Sabbatical Leave to serving in significant leadership roles for the Ohio Section; from consulting with National Project NExT Fellows to being a mentor to young colleagues, Bill has exemplified the care and characteristics suggested by the name of our award.

Bill’s colleagues and students have repeatedly cited his patience and persistence, and his commitment and ability to work with students at both ends of the academic spectrum. One student wrote “I can still picture Dr. Higgins pausing during a lecture and saying to me, with a nice smile, ‘you don’t look convinced,’ and then repeating a point that was not well understood.”

More than one student also noted the “Tons of Time” our Award Winner spends outside of the classroom helping students master their mathematics. It is not clear, however, if that included the time that Bill spent being, as one student put it, “a crucial member of the Math Intramural Volleyball Team.”