“It’s like Winning the Lottery and Not Even Buying a Ticket” Ryan Curtis Wins Prestigious Scholarship

“It’s like Winning the Lottery and Not Even Buying a Ticket” Ryan Curtis Wins Prestigious Scholarship

November 21, 2022 – Ryan Curtis was one of two recipients of the 2022 AMATYC Wanda Garner Presidential Student Scholarship in the country. The award is presented by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges and is reserved for students who excel in the fields of mathematics, mathematics education, statistics or STEM. An AMATYC member must nominate the recipient. In this case, Professor Steve Grosteffon, Professor of Mathematics at SF, was the nominator.

When asked why Professor Grosteffon felt Ryan Curtis was a good recipient for this scholarship, he responded with, “He was one of the top performers in my online Calc 1 class, he did everything that I expected, I give them a statement in the syllabus about being a deep learner and he just seemed like he had, you know, a good drive to learn things deeply as opposed to just getting through the course….”         

Man in black shirt standing next to man in grey
SF student Ryan Curtis, shown here with professor Steve Grosteffon, won the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) 2022 AMATYC Wanda Garner Presidential Student Scholarship.

“I didn’t know anything about it until the Professor called me the other day…” remarked Ryan when asked about how he reacted when he got the news.

“I was pretty excited; yeah, it’s not every day that something you didn’t even know was going to happen happens good for you. It’s like winning the lottery and not even buying a ticket.”

Ryan is a sophomore getting an A.A. in Engineering and has aspirations of transferring to UF’s Mechanical Engineering Program. “I grew up around dirt bikes, so I had a fascination with machines from a young age. I think that, and an interest in physics, is what really got me into mechanical engineering.”

He remarked that he gets his motivation and drive from the support of his family and friends.

“My parents have sacrificed a lot of time and effort to help me get to where I am today. It would be a disservice to everyone who has supported me, as well as to myself If I did not give my all in every class.”

Professor Grosteffon lent a helping hand in Ryan’s success as well.

“I learned a lot in his class and if something was ever confusing, he always had time for office hours to help students out. I think I did well in his class because he provided a lot of opportunities for students to refine their skills not just in math, but time management and studying.”

Ryan’s advice for other students interested in doing well in mathematics is: “Math has never been my strongest subject, even though I always enjoyed it. The best advice I can give to others is to take advantage of every opportunity your teacher provides. Professor Grosteffon had practice tests, quizzes that you could retake anytime, and optional assignments. Utilizing these opportunities to really make sure that I understood the topic and got a grade that matched that understanding really helped when it came time for the exams.”