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Sutton Wins Career Enhancement Fellowship

Craig Sutton, an assistant professor of mathematics who specializes in differential geometry, has been awarded a prestigious research fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Craig Sutton
Craig Sutton (Photo by Joseph Mehling ´69)

The award, a Career Enhancement Fellowship, offers pre-tenure assistance and mentoring for junior faculty from underrepresented groups, as well as for those committed to promoting cross-racial understanding. The program gives recipients a one year paid sabbatical and includes a monetary stipend as well as a stipend for research, travel, and publication. Past Dartmouth winners of this fellowship have included Darren Ranco, assistant professor of environmental sciences and Native American studies, and Tanalís Padilla, assistant professor of history (both in 2006); Rosa Orellana, assistant professor of mathematics (2003); and Steve Swayne, associate professor of music (2002).

The son of a middle school science teacher, Sutton entered Yale University thinking he would pursue engineering but was drawn to pure math. He became interested in the field of differential geometry after attending a program at the Geometry Center in Minneapolis, Minn., the summer before his senior year. After obtaining a doctorate in math from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Sutton was a visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth in 2001 and a lecturer and National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he twice received the Good Teaching Award from the mathematics department. He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 2005.

Sutton is also interested in finance and will be teaching the department’s first course in mathematical finance. “He will play a key role in the department’s upcoming new mathematical finance minor,” says mathematics department Chair Daniel Rockmore. “Craig is a terrific young mathematician. In him, we were lucky to get someone who not only works in pure mathematics but also gives us expertise in the applied mathematics world.”

Sutton also has been deeply involved in educational outreach. He  taught disadvantaged middle school students at the Horizons Summer Camp in Connecticut, encouraged junior high students to pursue mathematics and science through the King-Chavez-Parks Program at the University of Michigan, and mentored students in mathematics at Ypsilanti West Middle School as a HOPE tutor.

At Dartmouth, Sutton is involved with the College’s E.E. Just Program, which seeks to encourage students who are members of underrepresented minority groups to pursue careers in the sciences. The program, open to all Dartmouth students, is named in honor of the renowned African American cell biologist, Ernest Everett Just, Class of 1907.

Sutton also hopes to help build Dartmouth’s outreach to primary and secondary school students in this region and beyond, where students encounter wide disparities in educational opportunities. “By participating in various educational outreach programs and observing my father’s own efforts in this area, I have been inspired to contemplate the role our nation’s universities could play in closing the existing opportunity gap that exists in our education system—a gap that often cleaves along economic and racial lines,” Sutton says. “Children are inherently curious and it’s incumbent upon us to provide an environment in which that energy, imagination, and sense of wonder can flourish. By finding creative ways to share with underprivileged children the vast resources and inspirational atmosphere institutions such as Dartmouth have nurtured, our universities could set an example of what could be if our nation puts its mind to it. As I continue to settle into the Dartmouth community I look forward to participating in helping Dartmouth ‘be the change we wish to see.’”

For more than 25 years, the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship supported doctoral studies, preparing some 18,000 men and women for leadership in education, government, business, and the arts. In its current programs, working with both individuals and institutions, the Foundation continues to promote excellence and opportunity in education, from K-12 to the Ph.D.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08