Below is an email I sent to someone on the Robert Noyce scholarships for teachers NSF page:
Dear Ms. Prival,
I am a senior Mathematics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and I recently found out about the Robert Noyce teaching fellowships. I found your email from the NSF page, and thought it would be helpful to gain your advice on the matter. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my life means, and how I should spend it. I’m being primed for a career in Mathematics–that much is certain. However, I wonder how I can best affect the world with my abilities. I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what path I take towards a career in Mathematics, I want to always be able to call myself an educator first and foremost. I’ve worked at my university’s math resource center for two and a half years, as well as provided my services as a TA in two consecutive semesters of calculus. I love teaching, and I feel that I can contribute most to this world through it. I love two things about my academic life: learning more about the world I live in, and sharing those discoveries I make as best I can with those around me. In the past few months, it has become painfully obvious that, although I am a capable student and thoughtful person, I could have benefited from a different and better curriculum in high school and before. I have grand–and perhaps naive–ambitions about how I can help shape the future of education. I cannot help but conclude that the future generations of physicists, biologists, engineers, and thinking people in the most general sense need people like me to devote our lives to stewarding the noble and vital profession of education. This is a cause in which I would find myself lucky and honored to participate. To this end, I would to know more about Robert Noyce scholarship programs. In particular, I’m looking to return to my home state of California. I am not averse to good programs that would take me elsewhere, though. I have also been looking at programs in places like Austin, TX or Washington, DC. I would greatly appreciate any advice or guidance that you have to offer.
Charles Francis Larrieu