"The work was much more difficult than what I studied in my time as an undergraduate, and the material stretched my mind and challenged me in ways I hadn’t been before. I learned valuable lessons in hard work and persistence."
Program: M.S. in Applied Mathematics
Graduation Year: 2017
Current Job Title: Graduate Teaching Assistant and Adjunct Instructor
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Current City: Auburn, AL
Life at CBU
Why did you choose this graduate degree program?
I chose this degree program primarily because I wanted to stay in the Riverside area after I graduated from CBU with my bachelor’s, but at the same time wanted to continue my education in mathematics. I knew and trusted the professors and wanted to continue working on research with Dr. Ricardo Cordero-Soto.
What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
The best part about being in this program was the people I learned from and alongside. I am forever grateful for the friends I have made at CBU, but in particular for my peers in this program. The cohort mentality encouraged by our professors made us work as a team and enhanced our learning experience. The smaller class sizes allowed for more meaningful discussions of the concepts and theorems. I have always believed the mathematics department has some of the best faculty on campus (though I may be biased)! I would not be where I am today without the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Lisa Hernández and Dr. Ricardo Cordero-Soto, in many aspects—as a mathematician, as a professing Christ-follower, and as a teacher myself.
What did you think about your professors?
The professors are the best part of the program. I would consider both Dr. Hernández and Dr. Cordero as close mentors and friends, but I also am extremely grateful for the kindness shown to me by all my math professors at CBU. Dr. Pankowski has helped me to feel more confident in presenting my work, and Dr. Carothers is probably the sweetest soul you will ever meet. The huge advantage that students have studying under this faculty is that they not only take the time to teach and help you learn, but they also care about you as an individual. These professors invest their time, efforts, and hearts into their students. They are encouraging, motivating, and challenging all rolled together. I am beyond thankful for the academic and spiritual investments they have made in my life.
How did you grow (spiritually, socially, educationally) while in this program at CBU?
I grew tremendously as a mathematician, a professional educator, and a follower of Jesus. The work was much more difficult than what I studied in my time as an undergraduate, and the material stretched my mind and challenged me in ways I hadn’t been before. I learned valuable lessons in hard work and persistence through my classes and through my research endeavors. The more I learn about mathematics, the more convinced I am in the God who created all these things and holds the axioms, theorems, and laws in place. Nothing has been quite so humbling for me, as the created. Mathematics causes me to look to the Creator who is infinitely wise and good.
Life after CBU
What have you done since graduating?
I started out last fall pursuing a PhD in Mathematics Education at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. I received a research assistantship and taught adjunct at a local community college. I quickly found that I missed the content and rigor of a math program and was able to switch degrees and be admitted to the mathematics program at AU. I am currently in my first semester of the program, on a full teaching assistantship. In the summer I will teach at the community college again.
How has your time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after grad school?
I definitely feel like the applied mathematics program has prepared me well for continuing my graduate education and ultimately for a career in academia. I feel like I know the right questions to ask and I have lifelong mentors in my professors, who have kept up with me since graduation and provided support and advice as I’ve made a couple big moves. While most people on the outside looking in probably think that all CBU students are Christians, this is simply not true. I made some of my best friends in my classes during my times at CBU, and these friendships grew into evangelistic opportunities and ultimately precious discipleship relationships. I learned how to love others well, and how to be bold in sharing the gospel with my nonbelieving friends.
Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life
Yes, definitely. I gained experience in presenting my work and learned a lot of my teaching techniques from things my professors did. I employ a lot of that in my current teaching responsibilities.
How are you making a difference in the world?
I believe I am living my purpose by seeking to be obedient to God’s word—making disciples for God’s glory. I am pursuing a degree and ultimately a career within STEM academia so that I have a voice among mathematicians for the glory of God. I hope I am now, and one day as a full-time faculty, be able to impact my students for Christ’s namesake the way my professors have influenced me.
Would you recommend CBU to others?
Of course. I think the experience of learning at CBU is unique in that you don’t sacrifice quality education for quality people. CBU offers excellent academic education in an environment where people truly care about you as a person and as a student.