DR. TERRY L. JENKINS MATHEMATICS SCHOLARSHIP
Terry Jenkins was a University of Wyoming distinguished emeritus professor of mathematics. Terry’s wife Sharon and their family felt it fitting to establish a mathematics scholarship in his name in the UW College of Arts and Sciences. The Terry L. Jenkins Mathematics Scholarship is to be given to a math major who is interesting in pursuing teaching mathematics as a career.
Terry grew up in South Dakota. As a senior at the University of South Dakota, he was asked to teach a beginning math class—this positive experience led him to decide that teaching would be his profession. Terry got his master’s from the University of Iowa and, while working full time, his doctorate from the University of Nebraska. In the fall of 1966, he joined the faculty at UW where he worked for 33 years before retiring in 1998.
While at UW, he went on four sabbaticals, twice teaching in Holland, once in South Africa, and once in Australia. He also lectured in Indonesia. These experiences gave him, as well as his family, a wider view of education and the world.
Teaching mathematics was Terry’s passion and he taught all levels—from freshmen to graduate students. He was an empathetic teacher who would spend as much time as necessary to help a student as long as that person was willing to work. He won numerous teaching awards throughout his career, including the Ellbogen Award for Meritorious Classroom Teaching, the UW Summer Faculty Development Award, the AMOCO Foundation Good Teacher Award, and the Outstanding Former Faculty Award.
Each summer, he would direct various mathematics institutes. In 1989, he founded the Mathematics Summer Institute for Wyoming junior high and high school teachers—a program that lasted until 2009. Each year, Terry developed and taught a different subject for the institute. He felt that it was necessary for math teachers to sharpen their own skills to become better teachers. He also saw the need for teachers to network with others around the state. Each session consisted of classwork in the morning and homework in the afternoons. He expected them to work together, to help each other, and to be prepared the next day to answer questions regarding the assignment. Each two-week session started with a social evening the first Tuesday at Terry and Sharon’s home and ended with a trip to some business in Cheyenne or Fort Collins on a bus with a math question to solve along the way.
Terry was loved by his students for having a remarkable ability to make a difficult science understandable and fun, and he even has a math theorem named after him—the Jenkins Radical. Terry will be remembered for his keen sense of humor and his enthusiasm for teaching math and for establishing a solid desire for travel in all six of his children.