Zachary Kenny, a member of the class of 2013 and a mathematics major in the Teacher Education Program at the College of the Holy Cross, has been awarded the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship. Supported by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to the College, the scholarship, which provides Kenny $19,000 for his third year at Holy Cross, encourages talented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to become middle- and secondary-school teachers in these disciplines.
As a part of receiving this honor, Kenny will need to spend at least two years in a high needs school or school district after graduation. “I feel that teaching in urban areas, which is where I have done a significant amount of my tutoring, is where I can feel the best about what I am doing,” he shares. “There is something special about helping students understand material that does not automatically come to them, and there is, unfortunately, more of that type of student in the urban school system.”
“Zach has been a significant contributor to our Noyce tutoring program since his first year at Holy Cross. As a scholarship recipient, he will be participating in an important national effort to bring highly qualified math and science teachers to the schools that need them most,” states Danuta Bukatko, professor of psychology and education at Holy Cross.
Working as a tutor in the Worcester Public School system is where Kenny discovered his true calling of becoming a teacher. “I have wanted to become a teacher for a while, but it was not always my first career option,” explains Kenny. “After doing the Noyce tutoring, I realized that this is what I need to do.”
On campus Kenny is a deejay for the campus radio station, WCHC, and a three-year member of the Good Time Marching Band, where he serves as the uniform manager. “Being in the band will definitely give me a creative edge when thinking about how to approach problems and then give that advice to my students,” explains Kenny.
As an active member of the Holy Cross extracurricular community, he says, “My favorite thing about Holy Cross is probably the endless possibilities of things to do here on campus and in the city.”
Candidates for the Noyce scholarship must be a rising third or fourth year student who is also a math or science major, be enrolled in the Teacher Education Program, and maintain a high grade point average. The application process also involves teacher recommendations, the submission of a personal statement, and an interview.
This is the second year the scholarship has been awarded.