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  • Pitt-Greensburg
Accolades & Honors

Kayla Heffernan won a 2024 POGIL Early Achievement Award


Kayla Heffernan, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, was named the postsecondary winner of the 2024 Early Achievement Award from the POGIL Project, whose name refers to a student-centered instructional approach called Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. She will be honored with a plaque and cash reward at the POGIL Project's National Meeting in St. Louis in June.

Heffernan teaches all levels of mathematics courses at Pitt-Greensburg, with a special interest in math for education students. Her research interests center on mathematics identity and guided inquiry-based learning. She was introduced to POGIL when Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Horrall asked her to investigate the teaching strategy to help students better understand and succeed in algebra courses. Since then, she has worked with the project to publish a book, “College Algebra: A Guided Inquiry,” and implements POGIL regularly in her own classes.

“My journey in writing and implementing POGIL activities in my classroom has added so much joy and motivation to my teaching and research. The POGIL community is one that has been tremendously welcoming, encouraging, and supportive, and it is difficult to put into words how much this recognition from the Steering Committee means,” said Heffernan. “I look forward to continuing to work with the project and writing activities that can hopefully help students to better understand and learn to love mathematics.”