February 28, 2018

Kennesaw State student honored by Georgia Board of Regents

Math major Ida Lee Spence wins 2018 Academic Recognition Award

Ida Lee Spence, a first-generation Kennesaw State University senior, has been named a recipient of the Georgia Board of Regents 2018 Academic Recognition Award.

The Board bestowed the honor on one student from each of its colleges and universities for classroom academic achievements. Spence of Dallas, Ga., is a math major with a 3.97 grade point average.

Spence’s honors and accomplishments include: the Zell Miller scholarship, Hubert W. Tino Endowed scholarship in Science and Mathematics, and the School of Music scholarship.

An active member of the Kennesaw Women in Mathematics student organization, Spence has served as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader since 2015. In both 2015 and 2016, she won the Outstanding SI Leader Award, and in 2017 she won the Service Award for mentoring new SI leaders.

Spence served as undergraduate research assistant to Dhruba Adhikari, an associate professor of mathematics. She is currently taking advanced partial differential equations as a directed study (first-year graduate level) course with him.

“Lee is truly a brilliant person whom many faculty in the Mathematics Department believe is one of the top students that any of us have ever taught,” Adhikari said. “She has been performing so well that I have been making available her solutions to problems in exercises to all students in the class. Her solutions are clear and complete.”

Spence has participated in summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs at North Carolina State University, Sam Houston State University and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Admission into these REU programs is highly competitive.

During Spence’s REU experience at North Carolina State University, she worked on the project “Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Modeling for a Persistent Chlorinated Water Contaminant: 1,2,3-Trichloropropane” under the supervision of Marina Evans of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Spence was one of three co-authors on the paper that was written as a result of this project.

Spence also participates in various ensembles in the School of Music, including Flute Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

∼ Robert S. Godlewski; Photo by Sara Blunk

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