Keene State College junior, Maria Aiello, is the first KSC student to ever win the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics (NHTM) college mathematics scholarship.

“I actually didn’t know that I was the first winner from Keene State until a couple days ago, so that was kind of cool,” said Aiello. “What I’ve been doing with math education here is because I want to become a math teacher.”

Aiello wants to teach either first through third graders or eighth grade. She said she’s not quite sure yet because she would love to teach algebra, but also wants to work with younger kids.

Aiello’s advisor Dr. Beverly Ferrucci was the person who recommended that she apply for the scholarship.

Photo contributed by William Wrobel

Photo contributed by William Wrobel

Along with being her advisor, Aiello and Ferrucci work together in the Math Center, and, therefore, have gotten to know each other well throughout the past two years.

Ferrucci said Aiello is “creative and dynamic.”

“She will make an excellent teacher. She’s very caring and those are the qualities you need,” Ferrucci said.

She is actively involved on campus, working as an office assistant and a peer course assistant for Ferrucci. She is a note taker for the Office of Disability Services and she is also a tutor at Aspire for chemistry.

Maria already tutors students in the Math Center, both on math assignments and for the Praxis, a test education majors must take to become teachers in the state of New Hampshire.

Aiello said her work as a tutor and in her own academics made her a good candidate for the scholarship. She is also a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the math honor society.

Aiello is an elementary education and mathematics major with a psychology minor.

This year, Aiello and her friend Kiera Bell got a research grant to purchase two different types of algebra math gear. With these resources, they were able to test two groups of students to see which learning tool worked better. Aiello said she is still in the process of analyzing the data in hopes they will find what way is more helpful to students in getting them to learn difficult topics in algebra.

During the summer she is a camp counselor and an orientation leader at KSC.

During the academic year she is the President of Owl Nation, a general member of Circle K and focusing on the Beautiful Lengths fundraiser every year and plays several intramural sports at KSC.

Aiello said that one thing that makes her unique is how involved she likes to be on campus, not just academically but socially too.

Director of Transitions and Parent Programs Casey Justice said she knows Aiello well through her involvement with Owl Nation and the Orientation program. She had nothing but great things to say about Aiello.

Justice said, “Maria is a go-getter. She’s a confident, young woman who is getting a full experience out of KSC. She has such a sweetheart and is one of the kindest people I know. She is really just a genuine person, very humble and definitely someone who other students look up to as a leader.”

Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at asalerno@kscequinox.com