Professor John Holte was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Professor Holte was given this prestigious award at the Spring MAA Sectional Meeting held April 20-23, 2012 at Concordia College in St. Paul, MN. The citation reads
The North Central Section is pleased to announce that we have selected John Holte as our section’s 2012 Distinguished College or University Teacher of Mathematics.
For more than 30 years, John has been inspiring students of mathematics at Gustavus Adolphus College. John’s classroom style is famous for its clarity and precision, which we all have appreciated during his many excellent talks at the North Central Section Meetings. The logical development of his presentation style is unmatched, and students describe his lecture notes as “works of art.”
Professor Holte has high expectations, and he backs them up with a genuine willingness to help. With great warmth and enthusiasm, John’s students describe the welcoming environment found in his office hours. He gently guides students to uncover answers for themselves with his characteristic sly sense of humor and great patience. Says one student, “every time I knocked on Professor Holte’s door, I knew he would be on the other side willing to answer my questions, and I use the term “answer” loosely, as John always tried to make my brain sweat.” This same student talked of the personal connection that Professor Holte makes with his students saying, “the first time I raised my hand in his class was the best decision of my life.”
John’s love of mathematics and learning is genuine. He continued throughout his career to be a leader in curriculum reform. He founded the statistics sequence at Gustavus, he was deeply involved as his department grappled with calculus reform, and in recent years he introduced a course in mathematical modeling. John is a highly-respected member of the Gustavus campus. One of his department colleagues comments that “his teaching style and methods have strongly influenced my own teaching, as well as my other colleagues in the Department.”