Diane Rubin Service Award

The Rubin Award was established in 2004 by the Governing Council of Mu Alpha Theta to be presented annually. The award was named in honor of Diane Rubin who worked tirelessly at the National Office of Mu Alpha Theta for twenty years, before her retirement in December 2003.

The award will be presented to the Mu Alpha Theta chapter which has a history of outstanding mathematics service to its community for at least two years. This service must promote interest in mathematics and benefit a group other than its own chapter. A $5,000 cash prize and a plaque will be presented to the winning chapter. The award will be presented at the national convention, but a representative of the chapter need not be present to win.

No school may receive the award more than once in a five-year period.

Many chapters provide math enrichment activities to others. Thank you to all that tell us about these projects by applying for the Rubin Award. While only one school is our official winner, in reality, everyone wins when our chapters provide such great opportunities for others to enjoy and excel in math!

Click HERE to apply.

All application materials must be submitted online no later than March 1, 2023.

Jump to recipient by year:

2021 Rubin Award Winner

School: Franklinton High School
School Location: Franklinton, NC

The Franklinton High School chapter is a highly active chapter that is focused on encouraging an interest in and enjoyment of mathematics. For the past seven years, they've hosted an annual "Pi Day" on campus that encourages interest in mathematics. Each elected officer of the chapter, as part of their job, offers a lecture in the “Math Club Student Lecture Series” that is centered on an interesting math topic not typically taught in the classroom and is equivalent to the Chalk Talks held at the Mu Alpha Theta National Convention. These lectures are open to all students and teachers at their school and has helped build a bridge across departments. Even after COVID-19 shut down their school building in 2020, this chapter continued to meet virtually and hosted weekly guest speakers from a wide variety of mathematics backgrounds and careers.

To benefit their broader Franklinton, NC community, this chapter has partnered with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-CH to offer “STEMville Family Science Nights” to all of elementary and middle schools in their district since 2014. This night brings together school and community partners to spread the work of STEM and encourage students to reach out and find their path. This chapter also holds an annual competition for fifth grade students and has plans to do so virtually this year as well. Students from the county’s elementary schools come to the Franklinton High School campus each year to compete in Team and Individual competitions. This chapter has been doing these long enough now that former competitors are joining the school’s Math Club and continuing their interest in mathematics.

2020 Rubin Award Winner

School: Saint Andrew's School
School Location: Boca Raton, FL

Since its inception eight years ago, Saint Andrew’s Mu Alpha Theta (SAMAO) has grown exponentially from 15 members to over 80. This makes it the largest club, in the school, representing 15% of the upper school students! In addition to inspiring a love of math among its members, SAMAO strongly believes in giving back to the local community. To ensure this, chapter members are required to complete a total of 10 hours of community service each year through various programs such as working with kids at a local children’s development center (such as Florence Fuller or the YMCA) or peer tutoring JK - 12 students at our school. These tutoring projects help both the student and the tutor better learn the material and improve their communication skills as well as build relationships with the students being tutored.

2019 Rubin Award Winner

School: Williamston High School 
School Location: Williamston, MI

The 2019 Diane Rubin Award-winning Mu Alpha Theta chapter at Williamston High School has had a very busy few years! Since its inception in 2013, sponsor Joe Rasmus has helped the chapter create impactful programs that help chapter members give back to their community.

  • Since 2014, chapter members have been volunteering twice a week to tutor elementary school students in mathematics. This past year, a total of 28 tutors were paired with students and a strategy was tailored to each student following discussions with the student's teacher.
  • Chapter members present challenging math problems and provide encouragement and guidance to students at a local after-school elementary math club.
  • Members help craft a monthly math challenge that is open to all middle school students in the chapter’s “Middle School Problem of the Month”. Chapter members review all responses and select the best response for a prize.
  • For the past five years, the chapter has organized and run a middle school math competition for seventh- and eighth-grade students. More than 100 students participated in 2018’s contest.
  • In 2018, the chapter hosted its fourth annual Math-a-Thon fundraiser to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students rotated through various stations with activities ranging from physical challenges, making slime, crafting, scavenger hunts, and, of course, math. This year, the chapter raised a total of $1280!
  • The chapter has helped foster an understanding and enjoyment of mathematics by sponsoring booths at the school's Family Math Night hosted by the local PTSA. Chapter members helped explain concepts and played math-related games.
  • The chapter celebrates Pi Day every March 14th. This popular event provides all Williamston students and staff with a free slice of pie and helps bring everyone together to learn about pi with various fun math activities.

As you can see, the Williamston chapter of Mu Alpha Theta has gone above and beyond the call of duty to volunteer their time and passion for mathematics to their community. We are pleased to congratulate them as the recipients of the 2019 Diane Rubin Service Award. Keep up the great work, Williamston!

Check out this video of just some of the great work going on at Williamston High School's chapter of Mu Alpha Theta!

2018 Rubin Award Winner

School: Brewster High School 
School Location: Brewster, NY

Brewster High School hosted their 9th annual Math-a-Thon to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this year. The students at Brewster spend months planning for the event each year. The event is well respected in their community. The Math-a-Thon is open to 3rd graders from the district for the entire day. When the 3rd grade students sign up for the Math-a-Thon they enlist sponsors and gain donation for St. Jude's. Each year Brewster High School raises nearly $4,000 for St. Jude. 

Along with hosting the annual Math-a-Thon Brewster High School's Mu Alpha Theta "adopts" a local family from the community during the holiday season. The chapter has been successful in providing families with everything on their wish list; including bicycles and computers! 

The Mu Alpha Theta members at Brewster also collect new pajamas and children's books for The Pajama Program each year. This program delivers warm sleepwear and nurturing books to children in need. The program sends the donations to a local women's shelter. 

2017 Rubin Award Winner

School: New Mexico Junior College
School Location: Hobbs, NM

New Mexico Junior College has celebrated Pi Day for the past 10 years. In 2015 they partnered with Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, who helped fund the event. The event was free and open to the community. NMJC had many donors including several pizza places, a car dealership and even an auto shop. They set up 19 math and science booths and attendees were given bingo cards upon arrival for a chance to win door prizes. This event brought in around 400 people!

Then in 2016 they held a two session celebration. The morning session have five classes of 5th graders, and the evening session was open to the community. They partnered again the Community Drug Coalition of Lea County and the DWI education program. NMJC delivered out 6,000 flyers to schools acoss the county and to many local businesses. NMJC's Mu Alpha Theta members stood in parking lots on weekend just to hand out more flyers and talk about the upcoming event. The moring sesson had 5th graders take a pre-test and then a post-test after they went over the topics covered by the event. The median post-test score was 73%! The evening session began and people started showing up to participate. 1357 people to be exact. There were also 81 volunteers. Each Pi Day has, and will continue to feature a multi colored, lanimated paper chain of the digits of pi, the chain was at 6000 in 2016. 

Considering the great turnout that the previous two years had, NMJC knew that they would need a bigger venue. The main floor at the Lea County Event Center (167000 sq ft) was graciously donated for the cause. At the 2017 NMJC Pi Day event there was an astonishing 2,000+ attendees, 100 booths, free “pie” & free pizza.

More photos can be viewed by visiting their Facebook page. 

2016 Rubin Award Winner

School: St. Thomas Aquinas High School
School Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2015 Rubin Award Winner

School: John A. Ferguson Senior High School
School Location: Miami, FL

John A. Ferguson provides free tutoring to all students. They also prepare the lowest 25% of students for their end-of-course math assessments at a nearby middle school. They are also involved with online tutoring through Study Buddy.

In 2015 they participated in a school-wide Halloween event where children in the community were invited for a night of fun. The Mu Alpha Theta students provided pre-made masks and art supplies for the children to decorate.

The chapter holds an annual math competition: The Middlementary Math Bonanza for fourth through eighth grade. All elementary and middle schools from the surrounding region are eligible to participate. They have individual and team round contests based on current math courses.

They hosted the seventh annual Ferguson February Regional FAMAT competition for high school students.  They served over 1100 students, sponsors, and parents. They created exams, collected food to sell, and created posters that provided instructions to the crowds among many other tasks.

They started the first annual Peanut Butter and Jelly Club Wars this past year. The different clubs and organizations at John A. Ferguson all gather to compete. The goal is to see who will make the most peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in fifteen minutes. All of the sandwiches made are then sent to the Camillus House for the homeless.

2014 Rubin Award Winner

School: William P. Clements High School
School Location: Sugar Land, TX

The Mu Alpha Theta chapter at William P. Clements High School in Sugarland Texas was selected to be the recipient of the Rubin Award for 2014. They have promoted mathematics through its members’ passion for the subject, hosting competitions and local volunteering.

The Clements High School has hosted contests for all ages, from elementary to high school. They use a variety of formats, from established TMSCA/UIL guidelines to their own unique style depending on the contest and the competitors. They hold a competition every year that they are able, so that the students are provided an opportunity to develop and expression their passion for mathematics.

They have played an active role in Commonwealth Elementary school’s MathMasters program. They have sent volunteers to a monthly or bi-monthly meeting and the occasional Saturday practice to teach the elementary school students advanced mathematics. They have also sent volunteers to the Fort Settlement Middle School twice a week for up to three hours. These volunteers have helped out during competition math class and after school during practice.

2013 Rubin Award Winner

School: Buchholz High School
School Location: Gainesville, FL

The Buchholz High School chapter of Mu Alpha Theta has been devoted to spreading the joy of mathematics and to serving those in their community. They have hosted both the January Regional and the March Invitational for FAMAT. They were able to minimize their costs by getting test writers to write for free and by reusing old trophies. The math team also hosted a Math and Science Night at Rawlings Elementary School, in which they ran booths and activities for the children.

They were also able to raise over $7,000 to buy t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts that were distributed among the underprivileged elementary schools in the area.

The chapter also volunteers their time tutoring third and fourth graders at Duval Elementary School. In addtion, they tutor other high school students who need to or want to prepare for the next level of math courses.

They encourage students to attend Mu Alpha Theta competitions by helping send some middle school students to the competitions. They even arrange for charter buses for transportation, when needed.

2012 Rubin Award Winner

School: Grissom High School
School Location: Huntsville, AL

The Mu Alpha Theta chapter at Virgil I. Grissom High School is the 2012 Rubin Award winner. They participate in local and national competitions, as well as performing community service.

The volunteers from the chapter and the math team together orchestrate two math tournaments: The Rocket City Junior Math Mania, held at the U.S Space and Rocket Center, and the Grissom Math Tournament. Math Mania has been in existence for 5 years, while the Grissom Math Tournament has run for 35 years. This year Grissom Mu Alpha Theta partnered with the Huntsville Botanical Gardens and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and provided volunteers at the annual Galaxy of Lights for the holiday season.

The Rocket City Math League, funded by a grant from Mu Alpha Theta, has provided more than 3000 students each year with engaging challenges and fun. The Grissom math team members comprise the directors, level coordinators, test writers, and editors.  They are in charge of distributing the tests, as well. The contest is of such high quality that Rocket City Math League tests featuring Mu Alpha Theta’s name will be on display at the Smithsonian as well as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The chapter developed math camps, such as Grissom Junior Math Explorers and the Grissom Junior Math Academy. These camps serve 1st through 5th grades, and 6th through 8th respectively.  They connect children in the area with high school mentors. Each hour long session provides challenging math lessons and games. Each class has a ratio of five mentors per every fifteen students. Each of these camps has been a success and each child has the opportunity to discover just how fun math can be.

2011 Rubin Award Winner

School: Thomas Jefferson High School
School Location: Auburn, WA

Thomas Jefferson High School holds this year’s honor of being named the Rubin Award winner because of their consistent and outstanding mathematical service. They host four math competitions throughout the year: Mu Alpha Theta State, Fall Classic, the Federal Way Middle School Math Contest, and the Middle School Math Bonanza. These competitions bring together exceptional math students throughout the state and help to generate enthusiasm for mathematics.

The chapter sponsor practices every weekend with anyone who wishes to attend. Other sponsors are welcome to come and conference with the students. They meet with many of the elementary and middle school students and some high school students from surrounding schools on the weekends. The students are provided with fun and entertaining ways of problem solving, while at the same time preparing for various competitions or contests.

The chapter at Thomas Jefferson prides itself on being able to help others with mathematics. They helped the Lakota Middle School in preparations for their competitions twice a week. With their assistance the middle schoolers were able to strengthen their problem solving abilities and now hold a better appreciation for math.

2010 Rubin Award Winner

School: East Anchorage High School
School Location: Anchorage, AK

The 2010 Rubin Award winner is East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska. Starting in the fall of 2005, the East Anchorage chapter provided support for students who had not passed the state required test of basic skills called the HSGQE (High School Graduation Qualifying Exam). They continue to hold this Math Camp each year since.

Math Camp is a math remediation program that would give intense peer tutoring before the next testing date for those juniors and seniors who had not passed previously. The camp is held on alternate Saturday mornings for a total of two hours with snacks provided. It became so popular with the students that the number of tutors had to increase to keep up with demand. Through their outreach the chapter members are more empathetic with those who struggle in math. As a result the tutors are learning better ways to improve their performance while the tutees are reaping the benefits and learning to comprehend mathematics, gain confidence in working with math, and diminishing the levels of frustration.

In Partnership With

Mu Alpha Theta

National High School & Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society

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