With 1000 members in attendance, Agnes Azzolino and 7 others received the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges Award For Teaching Excellence at the November 1997 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof. Elaine Klett, retired, of the Brookdale Community College mathematics department nominated Prof. Azzolino and said, "I greatly admire the energy that Aggie brings to her professional life. To be a great teacher one must be constantly learning and that is what Aggie loves to do - learn and teach. She remains a vital, enthusiastic and caring individual. She truly epitomizes all that is great in our profession."
Michael Drulis, a former student of Ms. Azzolino at Middlesex County College, said, "Professor Azzolino has touched my life in ways which she will never know. Her numerous perspectives and love of the field comes through everyday in her class. Her example is one that is phenomenal in innovation, teaching, and supporting students. My life's dreams have grown to a larger height because of her influence."
Dr. Harold Gladstone, retired, of the MCC mathematics and chemistry departments commented, "Professor Azzolino always brings an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm into the classroom as well as much empathy for her students. She also brings calculators, overheads, handouts, writing activities, and manipulatives to teach and motivate her students. She was the first professor in the department to introduce the use of graphing calculators in precalculus and calculus courses. She has done this with TI-81s, TI-82s, HP-48s and Sharp graphing calculators. Following her lead we now use graphing calculators in almost all of our math courses. She was most helpful in getting many of us started in using this new technology and helping us see where this all fits in teaching our courses."
AMATYC members who are full-time teachers were nominated based on classroom expertise, professional involvement, service to the college, professional development and renewal activities and then judged by a national committee. Professor Azzolino was the Mid-Atlantic Region Awardee. This region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Agnes was President of Mathematical Concepts, inc., a consulting firm and publishing house. She is the author of Math Games for Adult and Child a book of language-based math games for 2 through 7-year-olds, Math Spoken Here! an arithmetic and algebra dictionary, and Exploring Functions Through the Use of Manipulatives and Term Tiles & Tokens. She lives in Keyport, NJ and is the mother of Michael Vinik.
Agnes' earliest association with NJEA came as a 5-year-old attending the convention with her parents, brothers, and sisters. She became FTA president and a Student NJEA member while attending Westwood Sr. HS. While attending Montclair State College, she served as president of the Student NJEA chapter and became a state officer. She became the first undergraduate to serve on the NJEA's Teacher Education and Professional Standards Committee. As a high school teacher in Old Tappan, Randolph, and Piscataway, she was a member. Her parents Michael and Dorothy Azzolino were active members of Bergen County REA.
Susan McLoughlin, then MATYCNJ President, presented the Outstanding Service Award to Agnes Azzolino, saying, "Our first recipiant is always willing to step up to the plate and do what is needed. She has been a presenter at our meetings and she is our unofficial photographer. She has been on the executive board and has opened up her home to executive board meetings. She was President-Elect, President, Past-President twice, from '85-'88 and again from '94-'97. It is with great pleasure, that I present the Outstanding Service Award to Aggie Azzolino."
Each year the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey (AMTNJ) presents the prestigious Max Sobel Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership in Mathematics Education. On October 26th, 2017, Makoto Yoshida, President of AMTNJ, presented to Middlesec County College Professor Agnes Azzolino the 2017 Max Sobel Award. AMTNJ is a community of people interested in the learning and teaching of mathematics. It was founded in 1914 and has presented the Max Sobel Award for 27 years. Professor Azzolino received the award in recognition of her publications, her service in leadership capacities in professional organizations, and her years of teaching.
In high school Professor Azzolino was FTA president. In college she was Student NJEA president and a state officer. While still in college, she served as a member of the NJEA Teacher Education and Professional Standards Standing Committee. She's presented a few times at the Teacher's Convention and authored 1 article for the NJEA Review, "WRITING It's not just for English classes anymore."
Though she started out as a high school teacher, she ended up as a county college teacher. While teaching at that level she was introduced to the Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges of New Jersey (MATYCNJ), the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and its state affiliate MAA-NJ. Though filling leadership positions in these professional organizations began in her high school years, it has continued through to the present time.
For NCTM she was a member of the Educational Materials Committee and was its "How To" Series 'chair. She was a reviewer on the NCTM Mathematics Teacher, Arithmetic Teacher, and Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. She was the chair of the NCTM Task Force on Mathematical Literacy for Adults and a member of its Working Conference on Adult Literacy as well as a presenter at many of its meetings. She once wrote the center-fold for the Mathematics Teacher entitled "Pythagoras on Pyramids" and wrote "Writing as a Tool for Teaching Mathematic: The Silent Revolution," for the NCTM 1990 Yearbook.
For AMTNJ she served as its 89th President. She held all offices leading up to that office including Two-Day Co-Chair. She also served as MEMBER AT LARGE, CENTRAL, a few Sign Committee chairmanships, a few AMTNJ College Liaison and Chair of Workshop Support, was a review board member for the AMTNJ Mathematics Teacher, and authored 11 articles and 4 covers for the NJ Math Teacher and again presented dozens of papers. She was a writing team member and the illustrator of AMTNJ's "Problem Solving Activities Made to N-Joy." She's twice been the web master of amtnj.org -- once before and once after her presidency. But, these are not her most important web contributions.
For AMATYC, she was a member of the Editorial Panel of The AMATYC Review, their journal , presented many papers and a mini-course entitled "Writing to Learn Mathematics," wrote two journal articles entitled, "Questionbooks: Using Writing to Learn Mathematics" and "A Journey with Self-Assessment as a Compass."
For MAA, she presented mini-courses at their summer meeting in '91 and '92, entitled "Making Mathematics More Concrete: Manipulatives" and "Writing to Learn Mathematics."
For MAA-NJ, she was VP for Two-Year Colleges from 11/90 to 11/92 and a member of their Speakers Bureau from 9/86 to 9/96.
For MATYCNJ, she twice served as president, presented dozens of papers and was awarded the Outstanding Service Award.
She also found time to present "Graphing with Manipulatives" at ICME-7 (1992), present at ATOMIC, NADE, NJADE, NCSM, and be the co-coordinator of Women And Mathematics NY/NJ Region from 8/91 to 8/94 and a speaker from '89 to '94. She has presented staff development in Hackensack, Lakewood, Jackson, Franklin Township, E. Brunswick, Bayonne, Swedesboro, Plainfield, Newark, Belleville, Roselle Park, Neptune, West New York, Monroe, Ewing, Union CC (Cranford, NJ), Northern Virginia CC (at Manassas, VA) and others places.
The pattern has persisted since her youth. She'd learn something and pass her knowledge on to others. She's taken courses on html and calculator use, attended two NJ Department of Higher Ed. Summer Institutes on ESL and the Content Areas and Calculus, a Center for the Study of Writing in New Jersey Institute, three NSF Institutes on calculators and computer algebra systems, and received training on Hands-On-Equations, the SHARP 9300, HP 28, 38G, 48S, TI81, and attended two Sharp Calculator Institutes, an HP38G Calculator Institute, and completed WordPress Training. She has also been significant influenced by others in math education like Gloria Sanok, Joan Vas, Elaine Klett, and Karyn Rupp and by her parents Mike and Dorothy Azzolino and by her most important student, her son Michael Vinik.
Her most far reaching and best known contribution to mathematics education is NCTM's world-wide best seller "Mathematics and Humor," edited by Azzolino, Silvey, and Hughs in 1978, but, she does not consider this her greatest contribution to mathematics education.
Her Math Games for Adult and Child is an outgrowth of watching her father play "How Many Would You Like" with her son. Her Exploring Functions through the Use of Manipulatives is an outgrowth of Gloria Sanok's work with manipulatives. Her The TI Eighty-Something and Teaching Mathematics: An In-service Manual comes from needing a print resource for her in-service workshops. Her Math Spoken Here! started out as work for an ESL-Math grant. The pattern is learn something; present a paper or papers; write an article or book or web page, oh, and if someone needs a job completed or an office filled, she'd step up to the plate.
The books Exploring Functions through the Use of Manipulatives, Math Games for Adult and Child, Math Spoken Here!, The Hundreds Board, and Term Tiles & Tokens are found free on her website. She is proudest of these and the thousands of web pages and resources posted free on mathnstuff.com.
An excellent, creative and caring teacher, in 1997, she was the recipient of the AMATYC Award for Teaching Excellence, Mid-Atlantic Region Recipient. This national award is presented to at most seven professors in a year and only awarded every other year. Professor Azzolino is proud and honored to have received that award and she is very proud the be honored and recognized by the Max Sobel Award, but, she is proud of the growth of the thousands of students and teachers she has influenced.