University of South Florida (USF) Associate Professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Sears is the first Black faculty member at USF to receive this recognition, which is one of the world’s most prestigious honors for academic research.
AAAS Fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across numerous disciplines, including research, teaching, technology, academia, industry and government. The program was established in 1874 to serve as a lifetime honor to recognize fellows’ extraordinary achievements in communicating and interpreting science to the public.
Dr. Sears was elected as an AAAS fellow for her distinguished contributions to social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at both national and community levels, and for contributions to mathematics education.
Dr. Sears is an associate professor of mathematics education at the USF College of Education. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics. She also teaches courses in both the undergraduate and graduate mathematics education programs at USF.
Actively engaged in scholarly activities, Dr. Sears is the principal investigator for the NSF-IUSE funded collaborative grant, "Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity" and is co-principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Dr. Sears is also a key personnel for the NSF-funded grant "Systemic Transformation of Education through Evidence-Based Reforms." Additionally, she is the co-chair of the Network of STEM Education Centers’ Annual Meeting and the Accelerating Systemic Change Network in STEM Higher Education’s working group for equity and inclusion.
Dr. Sears will be inducted into the AAAS fellows program at a virtual ceremony on Feb. 19.