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In Memory of Elaine Alton (1925 - 2006)
Always willing to dedicate her time outside of the classroom and considered a guiding influence to many students and instructors at IUPUI, Dr. Elaine Alton was an excellent teacher. She came to IUPUI as an Assistant Professor in 1964, teaching and serving the Department for many years until retiring as a Professor in 1990.
Throughout her career, she was active in a number of professional organizations including the Indiana Regional Mathematics Consortium (IRMC), the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC), and the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM), as well as serving as a member of the North Central Accreditation Team. She assisted ICTM with the writing of state-wide high school math contests and made frequent presentations to high school and middle school mathematics teachers at ICTM conferences. She was often invited to be a part of the National Council of Teachers programs throughout the United States, providing workshops on various topics related to the teaching of mathematics. These were "hands-on" workshops, offering ideas and ways for teachers to bring mathematics into the classroom.
Elaine inspired many students throughout the years, including Lucreda Hutton, as Lucreda taught as a part-time instructor and worked to finish her degree. Lucreda eventually became a tenure track faculty member at IUPUI and the pair of them often worked as a team. Elaine and Lucreda were "unofficial liaisons" with the School of Education, often supervising high school student math teachers and teaching elementary education students required mathematics courses.
Elaine also worked for several years with Judy Gersting and Joe Kuczkowski on math education topics-jointly authoring several articles intended to improve elementary and secondary classroom experiences for teachers. She was often sought after to lend her expertise to help elementary school teachers improve their teaching of mathematics. In 1984, she received the Golden A. Flake Award for Excellence in Academic Counseling.
Dr. Elaine Alton was born and raised in upstate New York and was the first member of her family to attend college. She received an A.B. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Albany in 1946, and went on to earn an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from St. Lawrence University in 1951, an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1958, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Michigan State University in 1965. After earning her A.B. degree, she briefly taught high school in New York, and then became an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Ferris State College in Michigan before coming to Indianapolis in 1964.
Dr. Alton died of natural causes on August 11, 2006 at the age of 80. She had one sister and one brother. Her sister died many years ago and left two young adult sons. Elaine was always there for her several nieces and nephews-both emotionally and financially. After retiring, she moved to Big Rapids, Michigan to be near her two nephews. She was very close to her brother, Charles, and his wife, Ellen. She enjoyed spending holidays with her family, often traveling to Antwerp, New York, to spend the holidays with Charles and Ellen, as well as extended family members. Elaine's enthusiasm and dedication will long be remembered by those fortunate enough to have known her, especially the many students whose lives she touched.