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Annmarie Houck Celebrates Selection as Karen Doyle Walton Endowed Chair

by Janelle Hill Jul 15, 2019

Annmarie Houck (above, center) has a lot to celebrate this summer. The chair of the mathematics/computer science department marked her 25th year of service at DeSales University this past academic year and was named the first Karen Doyle Walton Endowed Chair of Mathematics.

The title, bestowed by the president based upon the recommendation of the provost, recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching or scholarship in mathematics or mathematics education. 

“I absolutely love teaching here. I often tell my sons to find a career that they love. I have been lucky enough to find that here at DeSales University.”

 Annmarie Houck, Chair of the Mathematics/Computer Science Department

Houck graduated from Allentown College in 1990 with a degree in mathematics. She always knew that she wanted to teach, but initially thought it would be at the high school level. 

Just after finishing her graduate work, a mathematics teaching position opened at her alma mater. Thanks to many individuals, including Dr. Karen Walton (pictured above, right), former provost and vice president for academic affairs, Houck landed the position and has been a fixture here ever since.

“Karen Walton was instrumental in helping me to get and keep this position over the years. It was initially a one-year appointment, but things have worked out pretty well. I truly think it was meant to be. I am forever grateful to Dr. Walton and the administrative team here at DeSales for the opportunity and the support I’ve received along the way.”

The endowed chair recognizes Dr. Walton, professor emerita of mathematics, and her more than 30 years of service to Allentown College/DeSales University. 

As the endowed chair, Houck will plan and host an annual event to promote excellence in mathematics education. To help cover costs, the Annmarie Reimer Houck ’90 Endowment for Excellence in Undergraduate Mathematics Education was created. 

“I hope to utilize our strongest asset, the students and alumni of our mathematics program, in planning and implementing these events to promote and enhance mathematics education.”

In April, more than 100 family, friends, and alumni joined Houck to celebrate her accomplishments. The host of the event, Brother Dan Wisniewski, OSFS (pictured above, left), provost, noted that Houck embodies the gentleness and humility of our university patron, Saint Francis de Sales. 

In his formal appointment of her, Brother Dan said: “Ann, the way you intertwine intelligence, skillful pedagogy, and approachability as a mathematics professor is what makes you ‘master teacher.’”