Linda GojakIndiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences will host Linda Gojak, past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, as the Serafini Distinguished Lecturer at IUP on October 12 to 14.

Gojak will present a free lecture on October 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Jane E. Leonard Hall, “Everything You Do in Mathematics Should Make Sense.”

On October 14, Gojak will be the keynote speaker for a one-day mathematics education conference designed to provide outstanding mathematics learning opportunities for elementary, middle, and second-classroom teachers and undergraduates studying to be teachers. Her presentation is titled “I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now When I Was Younger.”

The conference will focus on the practices of teaching, putting principles into action, and best practices for incorporating research-based instruction into the curriculum.

Preregistration has closed for the conference, but there are some limited spots open; persons should contact IUP mathematics faculty member Valerie Long at The cost for the conference is $30 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack; ACT 48 credits also are available.

No registration is required for the Oct. 12 lecture.

Gojack will also meet with IUP students, including students in the IUP graduate mathematics program, as well as IUP faculty on Oct. 13.

The Serafini Distinguished Lecture Program is funded by Terry and Janet Serafini. Terry Serafini was born and raised in western Pennsylvania and is a 1961 graduate of IUP, having earned his bachelor of science degree in mathematics education.

While at IUP, he served as Student Government president and was active in many university organizations. After serving as an officer in the US Army, Serafini began his business career in 1964 as a computer systems marketing representative for the IBM Corporation. Six years later, he became a partner and co-owner of Computerpeople, Inc. 

Founded in 1920, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, headquartered in Reston, VA, is the largest organization of mathematics educators K–14 with more than 60,000 members. It publishes journals, books, and other resources for teachers.

Starting in 1991 with the publication of Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics, it has been influential in the determination of professional standards of teaching and practice for K-14 teachers nationwide. This seminal document was replaced by Principles and Standards for School Mathematics in 2000. In 2014 NCTM published Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All, while Gojak was the NCTM president.

“Linda Gojak is highly accomplished in her field, and the NCTM is one of the most respected organizations in our discipline,” Francisco Alarcon, IUP professor of mathematics, said.

“It is truly an honor for IUP to have her on our campus, and we want to thank Terry Serafini for his generosity, which provides professional enhancement opportunities for our students like Ms. Gojak’s appearance,” he said.

“Many of our students do not have the chance to attend professional conferences, especially as undergraduates, and we are very proud to be able to offer this conference right here at IUP and make it accessible to our students and to area educators—many who are our graduates,” he said.

“Mr. Serafini has also provided great support in the form of scholarships, and we are very grateful,” Alarcon said.

Gojak’s appearance at IUP is cosponsored with the IUP Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences by the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Pennsylvania Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and Laurel Highlands Mathematics Alliance.

Gojak has served in many roles with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics over the years, including as president from 2012 to 2014, as a member of NCTM’s Board of Directors from 1996 to 1999, and on various NCTM committees.

She has also served as president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She has held leadership positions in the Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics, the Triangle Coalition, the Mathematical Sciences Education Board, and the Ohio Mathematics Education Leadership Council. She currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors of Mathkind, a nonprofit organization that works with teachers to build strong mathematics programs in third-world countries.

Gojak has 28 years of classroom teaching experience teaching mathematics in grades four through eight. She also served as the director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, Teaching, and Technology at John Carroll University, where she planned and provided professional development opportunities for teachers of mathematics (K–12).

Her publications include What’s Your Math Problem?, The Common Core Companion (Grades K–2 and 3–5), Visible Learning for Mathematics, and Mathematize It! She is currently working on a mathematics program, Reveal Math, for McGraw Hill Education.

Gojak has a number of honors and recognitions, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching—one of the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. She was also awarded the Christofferson-Fawcett Award for Leadership in Mathematics Education from the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Miami University, and a master’s degree in education, with a K–8 mathematics endorsement, from Kent State University.

IUP’s master’s degree in mathematics education program routinely receives accolades from national publications, including U.S. News & World Report; it is one of only three programs at Pennsylvania public universities in the top-ranked publications for 2023.