At the 2016-2017 Master of Arts in Teaching Recognition Ceremony, Dustin Holtz was awarded a Mary Roosevelt Honor Scholarship in Teaching and Learning for excellence in academics, demonstrated leadership skills, and dedication to improving the lives and educational opportunities of students. Dustin is pursuing his MAT with a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. Below, he shares his thoughts about his educational journey and his chosen career.
I grew up in Orange County, in the City of Orange. As a child I rode horses with my mother and sisters and would spend most of my time at my mother's home daycare. I lived an active lifestyle, playing soccer after school and hiking/mountain biking on the weekends and eventually joining the high school track and field team. In middle school I discovered my aptitude for math, which developed into a passion throughout the subsequent years. I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics at UCSB.
I chose UCI because, having gone through UCSB for my undergrad, I became familiar with the UC academic climate and like very much the blend of academic rigor with social awareness offered at UC schools. As well, having grown up and gone through the public education system in Orange County, I could think of no better place to begin my career as an educator.
I am pursuing education for several reasons. First, I developed a passion for mathematics throughout my time in school, and I would love to share this passion with the following generations. Second, having spent a lot of time at my mother's home daycare, I learned the value of mentorship, for both the students and the mentor. Finally, combining the previous two reasons and knowing that many people struggle with mathematics in school, I hope to be a bridge to understanding that allows them to hold positive attitudes about mathematics as well as pursue any studies they wish where mathematics might have previously been a barrier.
The most notable experience I have engaged with at UCI is the student-teaching portion of my MAT program. It has placed me at Northwood High School with a great mentor teacher and wonderful students – affirming my love for teaching. I get to help individual students as well as begin developing teaching techniques that will help me be a better educator for the rest of my career.
My immediate plans for the future include bringing my knowledge of mathematics and education abroad as a chance to enrich myself culturally as well as offer my expertise to students in other parts of the world. Eventually I would like to return to school to earn a Master’s Degree or even PhD in mathematics and possibly teach at the university level.
Mary Roosevelt and Dustin Holtz