The MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education is awarded to two Math For America (MƒA) Master Teachers, one in mathematics and one in science, who have influenced the teaching profession in exceptional ways during their tenure as MƒA Master Teachers.
The teaching profession needs accomplished teachers who are respected, recognized, and situated within communities where they can lead and learn alongside one another. At MƒA, we award fellowships based on these ideals. Our fellowships encourage accomplished mathematics and science teachers to continue teaching while building a deep professional network that supports their continued growth.
For teaching to be truly respected, the voices of great teachers must be at the forefront of conversations about math and science education. Their voices must be included in public discourse about educational policies, reforms, and initiatives that impact the profession of math and science teaching, as well as within their own school communities. Great teachers who use their professional influence to engage, encourage, and support others in their profession are an inspiration, and they warrant recognition.
Listen to Larisa’s award acceptance speech.“As a first-generation American, I had personal experience struggling in school because I wasn’t proficient in English. By working with colleagues at institutions like Bayside High School, Queens College, and MƒA, I have learned that incorporating literacy and language teaching methods in our mathematics classrooms provides better support to all students and alleviates their math anxiety. As teachers, we must share ideas and practices to better build our students’ mathematical identity.”
Larisa Bukalov has taught mathematics in New York City for the past 25 years, most recently at Bayside High School. Bukalov has taught all levels of math from pre-algebra to calculus, coached numerous math teams, and created math research programs. She has mentored student teachers, facilitated professional development workshops, presented at national conferences, and co-authored The Math Teacher’s Toolbox (Jossey-Bass, 2020) and Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2022).
Born in the USSR, Bukalov simultaneously graduated from a specialized math school in Ukraine and a distance learning school at Moscow State University. After emigrating to the United States, she learned English while earning a bachelor’s degree in math and master’s degree in math education from Queens College, CUNY.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bukalov became the Mathematical Association of America’s liaison to Ukraine. She has collaborated with university professors from Kiev State University and the Ukrainian Ministry of Education to help educate Ukrainian teachers on best practices to foster equity in the classroom and has provided academic, social, and emotional support to Ukrainian students.
She is a five-time MƒA Master Teacher and a 2017 recipient of the Queens College Excellence in Mathematics Award for promoting mathematics teaching as a profession.
Bukalov is being awarded for her commitment to developing current and future mathematics teachers through mentoring, modeling, authorship, and the design of professional learning experiences.
“I am truly grateful to be recognized for winning the MƒA Muller Award, acknowledging my leadership and commitment to helping teachers and students in need of academic support,” said Bukalov.