Mathematics Professor Jan Wiranowski was asked late last fall by his son Mark, a Harvard employee with indelible roots at MCC, for assistance in setting up an Advanced Placement Calculus Tutorial at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, the largest high school in the Boston Public School District. Mark is the assistant director of the Harvard – Madison Park GEAR UP Program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally-funded initiative that partners universities with public schools to improve academic achievement and college enrollment among low-income students.
Following frequent e-mail communications between father and son, a final planning session took place during the weekend of February 19-20, 2005, during which the details were ironed out and a box with over 40 original items, including supplements, handouts and testing systems were shared by Prof. Wiranowski with the Boston-based program. Because the Madison Park Calculus Tutorial uses the same textbook as MCC, Prof. Wiranowski’s supplements will be integrated directly into instruction, allowing for rapid program start-up. For the first time this spring, high-achieving Madison Park 12th graders will have the opportunity to study Calculus.
In addition to his role at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Mark Wiranowski (A.B. Princeton, M.P.P. Harvard) is also an informal MCC alumnus. Between 1983 and 1986, while a student in the Penfield School District, Mark was concurrently taking mathematics courses at MCC. In fact, Mark earned 22 math credits at MCC, comprising the entire sequence of courses from the Intermediate Algebra to Calculus III, before he turned fifteen years of age. In the process, he received straight A’s. Also, Mark was officially recognized by the Department of Mathematics at MCC for his excellent performance in the NYSMATYC and AMATYC College-wide math contests.
At MCC, Mark enthusiastically participated in the activities of the MCC Winter Mountaineers’ Club. This experience later inspired him to climb Himalayan peaks in India and in Nepal, and to rock climb in the Rockies, in the White Mountains and in Mexico. Above all, one of the greatest enrichments Mark received at MCC was sensitivity to issues of social justice and equality. MCC’s role in educating a diverse student body helped lay a foundation for Mark’s involvement in programs like GEAR-UP at Harvard.
Jan Z. Wiranowski