The Teaching Award is bestowed on faculty who are widely recognized as successful teachers, have an influence in their teaching of mathematics beyond their own institutions and foster curiosity and excitement about mathematics in their students. Moreno's nominators and colleagues at John Carroll University, Darrell Horwath and Carl Spitznagel, noted that these requirements were certainly well met.
As an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at John Carroll University, Moreno's special professional interests are in probability, statistics, operations research and mathematics education. On receiving the award Moreno told how fortunate he is in being surrounded by colleagues "whose dedication to students and profession is extraordinary, who have a genuine passion for teaching, and from whom I have stolen ideas, infinitely more that I could even think of giving back in return." He expressed appreciation to John Carroll University where, without a terminal degree, he was given the opportunity to learn and to contribute. He was especially thankful to all of his students over the years whom he has been thrilled to serve, noting every one of them "has made my every day, an absolute joy."
Moreno earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Lehigh University, master's degree in probability and statistics from Michigan State and did further graduate work at the University of Sheffield in England. He began his teaching career at John Carroll University in 1968. In the ensuing years, over 6000 students have had him as their professor. Many have gone on to careers in education themselves. His students invariably describe him as energetic and creative, bringing in numerous interesting examples to assist them in catching his enthusiasm for the subjects of mathematics and statistics. Moreno was always there to help "either over the phone, computer modem, or in person," stopping what he was doing "to explain, but making me work for the answers," stated one of his former students. A mainstay of Moreno's teaching has been Math for Elementary Education. One future teacher noted, "He had a mission to change how math is being taught in schools today and by his example we, his students, can model his techniques and ideas and implement them in our classroom."
Moreno describes his teaching as "wanting to make a difference in how students view learning." Part of that learning takes place in the classroom, and he tries to make the classroom experience an exciting and meaningful one. He co-chaired a university committee that addressed classroom issues, and later helped create the university's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. He has also been a part of the creation of the JCU Center for Mathematics and Science Education, Teaching and Technology for the school community.
The talent and enthusiasm which he brings to his classroom for future teachers, he has been willing and able to share through other professional involvements. These include numerous talks and workshops for in-service teachers and work with colleagues in various groups such as CONCUR and Project UPLIFT of the Ohio MAA, Project Discovery and local, state and national Councils of Mathematics. Particularly during the last decade, he has been very involved with the movement to incorporate probability and statistics into the K-12 curriculum. In this regard, he is the editor of the Statistics Teacher Network, a national resource for teachers of statistics. In 1990, he began the American Statistics Poster Competition that encourages students in grades K-12 to use their creativity in displaying statistical information. There were over 1500 entries this year. His interest in K-12 education is also witnessed by his having been a member of the Kenston Board of Education for 12 years, including a two-year term as chair.
In 1992, Moreno received John Carroll University's Lucrezia Culicchia Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1995, he was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He was the Cleveland Technical Societies Council's 1997 Technical Educator of the year. In 1999, he became only the 40th person to win the ASA's prestigious Founder's Award.
In his words of acceptance for this award, he thanked his wife of 35 years, MaryAnn, who accepted long ago that he would have two homes, at the same time acknowledging that he has spent far too many hours at the University one. The Morenos have two children, Michelle, who is an elementary school teacher and mother of Nathan and Madison, and son Michael who is in accounting. MaryAnn is an administrative assistant in the Cleveland Hts./University Hts. School system. Jerry and MaryAnn live in Bainbridge Township, Geauga County.