Math Educator Honored by Dallas Historical Society
Raj Seekri Receives 2008 Award for Excellence in Community Service
Nov. 19, 2008
A dedicated educator is carrying on the tradition of teaching that his father established in India years ago—and Dallas is taking notice. Raj Seekri, a lecturer II at UT Dallas, received the Dallas Historical Society’s (DHS) 2008 Award for Excellence in Community Service.
“The award is recognition of the high caliber of instruction math students receive here at UT Dallas,” said Larry Ammann, UT Dallas professor of statistics and interim head of the department of mathematical sciences.
Seekri, a native of India, attributes his love for teaching to his father.
“My father helped educate the underprivileged students of India,” Seekri said. “He inspired me to teach.”
Paying tribute to his father, Seekri plans to establish the Ram Lal Seekri Endowed Scholarship at UT Dallas in honor of his father. The scholarship will be weighted heavily toward students who transfer to UT Dallas from area community colleges or junior colleges. He is also establishing an endowed scholarship in his father’s name at the Dallas County Community College District.
The DHS awarded Seekri in the Education-Teacher category and presented him with the recognition at a luncheon and quoted praise from Seekri’s students:
“Professor Seekri’s ability to translate the difficult subject of mathematics is surpassed only by his deep and devoted love for his students.”
He received similar praise from colleagues at Richland College, where, in addition to his appointment at UT Dallas, he also serves as professor of mathematics.
“Professor Seekri's gentle, patient, brilliant teaching style and inspiring commitment to student learning success help to build community in his classes and to alleviate much of the anxiety many of his students have about learning mathematics, said Stephen Mittelstet, president of Richland College. “Raj's commitment to student learning keeps alive his father's dedicated teaching legacy, as Raj learned his love of mathematics and of people from his father, a dedicated teacher in India. We are very proud and grateful to have Professor Seekri as a valued member of our Richland College faculty and community of learners, and we are constantly inspired by his sincere dedication to student learning success for all our students.”
At the award ceremony are (left to right) Geosciences Professor Robert Stern, Professor Raj Seekri, Natural Sciences and Mathematics Professor Robert Hilborn. (photo courtesy of Melissa Stern)
From a Student of Raj Seekri
“When he teaches, his students always listen because we all know how much he loves his subject, and how much he loves to share it with us through teaching.”
“I plan to earn a Masters of Arts in Teaching, Science Education from UTD so that I can teach the math and science I love to other young people,” she said. “I hope to be able to instill the same respect and love for stereotypically difficult subjects like math and science in my own students, in the same way Dr. Seekri was able to.”