Agnew, Jeanne, 1917-2000
Dr. Jeanne Agnew was born in Ontario, Canada, on May 3, 1917. She earned a bachelor of arts and a master of arts degree in mathematics at Queen’s University in Canada in 1937 and 1938, respectively, and a Ph.D. from Radcliffe College, the women's affiliate of Harvard University, in 1941. After graduation, she worked on the Canadian Nuclear research effort during World War II while her husband, Dr. Theodore Agnew, served in the United States Navy.
Her teaching career at Oklahoma State University (OSU) began in 1948 when she was hired as a part time instructor. She was appointed Assistant Professor in 1956, Associate Professor in 1962, and Professor in 1969. While working at OSU, Dr. Agnew published two textbooks and later wrote several independent and correspondence study courses. She was an influential teacher of mathematics and directed several masters reports and doctoral theses. Many of her former students became faculty members at regional colleges and universities, and one of her students, William Pogue, worked as an astronaut for NASA in the Skylab program. As a professor, she received many awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award in 1964 and 1978, the Outstanding Educator Award in 1970 and 1975, and honorary doctorate degrees from Queen’s University in 1988 and Lakehead University in 1990. In 2005, Dr. Agnew was posthumously inducted into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame.
While at OSU, Dr. Agnew was involved with several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants. Her most notable work in connection with the NSF grants involved gathering and presenting industry-related mathematical problems for undergraduate students in an effort to make mathematics education more applicable. The problems required students to study the literature, develop and refine a solution, and write a technical report.
After her retirement in 1984, Dr. Agnew remained with the university, working on several committees and supervising independent study courses. She died on May 8, 2000.
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Correspondence, publications, photographs, and printed materials document the teaching career of Jeanne Agnew (1917-2000) at Oklahoma State University, including her publications and work on several National Science Foundation grants.