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Lander University’s Trevor Leach Awarded Moore Award for Excellence in General Education Teaching

Trevor LeachA Lander University professor with a commitment to his students’ success has been recognized with the 2024 Moore Award for Excellence in General Education Teaching.

Dr. Trevor Leach, assistant professor of mathematics, was described by his nominator for the award as having unwavering dedication, innovative approach and a profound impact on student success.

Leach said the award is validation of all the hard work he has put into his students’ success. “While the ultimate measure of successful teaching is student success, recognition from others is a kind gesture,” he said. “It's gratifying to know that people appreciate the work I put into something I love so much.”

Leach has taught 47 sections of general education courses since his appointment at Lander. He teaches primarily Math 121, which he likened to college algebra. He also teaches upper-level math courses.

Leach said he has wanted to teach math as far back as he can remember, initially planning to teach high school math. When he realized that wasn’t for him, he went into teaching at the college level.

Teaching math, he said, allows him to share its beauty with students.

“In my opinion, the beauty of mathematics lies in its purity and the power of abstraction,” Leach wrote.

“Math is an exact science with the ability to prove its statements as irrefutable. That is, a statement in mathematics is either right, or it is wrong, there are no exceptions. From here, we can think of each of these true statements as ‘building blocks’ to construct master pieces. This is part of the reason; many mathematicians argue that mathematics is the fundamental structure of the universe.”

Leach’s emphasis on student success is evident in the words of his nominator and in his own words.

“Dr. Leach's commitment to his students' triumph is palpable, evident in both his student evaluations and peer assessments,” wrote his nominator.

“He cultivates an environment that fosters learning and encourages participation, ensuring that every student feels valued and supported in their mathematical journey.”

Leach said he knows for a fact that any student who wants to be successful can be successful.

“Throughout my life, I’ve had several teachers and mentors have gone the extra mile to ensure my success, and I want to pay that forward to my own students,” he said. 

“Regardless of a student's initial skill level when they enter my class, I am committed to helping them succeed if they are willing to put in the necessary effort.”

Along with serving as course coordinator for Math 121, Leach is a faculty mentor for the Lander SPECTRUM student group, supporting his goal of creating an inclusive environment inside and outside his classroom.

“SPECTRUM provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students to gather for friendship, support, and discussion, aiming to promote acceptance and raise awareness of issues related to the queer community.”

Leach joined Lander’s faculty in 2019 after receiving his Doctor of Philosophy in Applied and Industrial Mathematics from the University of Louisville.