Denton named 2024 Noyce recipient

Hannah Denton, a graduate student in educational studies attending the University of Tennessee at Martin, has been awarded a Noyce Stipend.

Denton, a resident of Greenfield, graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

The UTM Noyce Scholars Program is one among many Noyce projects across the country sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program awards stipends to individuals with bachelor’s degrees in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geoscience, mathematics or physics and seeking a career in teaching. 

A $29,000 stipend covers the costs to obtain a Master of Science in initial licensure degree at UT Martin. Scholars must obtain a Tennessee educator license, and they agree to teach for at least two years in a high-need local education agency. 

Dr. Steve Elliott, interim chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the director of the UTM Noyce Scholars Program, said the UTM Noyce Scholars Program should help bolster the number of teachers in math and science subjects in Tennessee schools.

“The goal of the Noyce Scholarship Program nationally is not really to fix the numbers,” he said. “It is really to improve the quality of a few teachers and have highly qualified, very dedicated teachers within math and science.

“It will certainly help offset the vacant positions, but they are not aiming for just sheer numbers. Every program – every proposal that they receive has to have something about how you’re going to enhance or improve the education system and how you’re going to make your Noyce scholars even better than they would have been. We aren’t just sending them through graduate school; we are sending them through additional levels of training.”

Elliott added that the application process for the UTM Noyce Scholarship is easy through the online application form.

“Basically, you turn in a letter saying, ‘I want to apply,’ and your transcripts from college,” he said. “There is a kind of checklist so you understand what the requirements of the program are.”

Applications are then brought to a selection panel which consists of either the dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences or the dean of the College of Education, Health and Behavioral Sciences (they alternate each year); a director of schools from one of three partner school districts, Gibson County Special School District, Lauderdale County Schools or Obion County Schools; a teacher from one of the other partner school districts; Staci Fuqua, the director of the Educator Preparation Program and Accreditation; and Title IX Coordinator Dominique Crockett.

That panel of five people makes the selection for the UTM Noyce Scholars.

The deadline to apply for the 2025 scholarship is April 15.

Previous UTM Noyce Stipend recipients have moved on to teach in schools in West and Middle Tennessee, including 2023 recipient Kaitlyn Marrs teaching at Greenfield High School, 2023 recipient Taylor Overcast teaching at Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, 2023 Abigail Webb teaching in Wayne County Schools, 2022 recipient Grace Looney teaching at Millington Central Middle High School, 2022 recipient Taylor Dennis teaching at North Side High School in Jackson and 2021 recipient Elizabeth Campbell teaching at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro.

The program is named for Dr. Robert Noyce (1927-90), a physicist and entrepreneur who played a major part in the invention of the integrated circuit. He co-founded the Intel Corporation in 1968.

In 1990, Congress established the Robert Noyce National Math and Science Teachers Corps Act, which authorizes up to 5,000 scholarships annually to assist individuals in obtaining a teaching degree. These awards are granted to institutions of higher education who administer the projects after successful proposal submissions through the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.

More information and an application form can be found at the Noyce Scholarship web page at

PHOTO: Shown on the campus of UT Martin are (L-R) Dr. Steve Elliott, director of the UTM Noyce Scholars Program; 2024 Noyce Scholarship recipient Hannah Denton; and Petra McPhearson, UTM senior vice chancellor for finance and administration.

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