Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
I teach Integrated Math II, Math III Honors, and Modern Math at Lemont High School. My goal is to engage students in meaningful discussions regarding math in the classroom and in the real world. I collaborate with teams of teachers to create new integrated curriculum that helps students become life-long, independent learners. I share my passion for mathematics and learning with my students every day!
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I have always loved learning! Math was one of my favorite subjects. As a student, I appreciated that there was a solution to each type of problem, even though there could be different pathways to that solution.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
My family has always encouraged me to work towards my goals. I wouldn't be on the ship exploring the ocean if it wasn't for their support.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I get to watch students grow as mathematicians and people through their high school years. One of my favorite things to discuss with my students is how they process different math problems. We focus on what they wonder about a problem and how their process of solving a problem differs from others.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I've been a softball coach and pitching instructor for the past 12 years. I've coached players ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old. Coaching gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge and love for softball with others. I was able to hone my communication skills to reach all types of players, which has become one of my strengths in the classroom. I also tutored many students in college level courses during my undergraduate studies. Tutoring helped me to develop a passion for pure mathematics, which led me to complete a Masters in Mathematics.
What are your degrees and certifications?
I hold a Masters of Mathematics from Aurora University (2014), a Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics from Lewis University (2009), and a Type 09 Secondary Education Certification.
What are your hobbies?
I love fishing! I fish everything from fresh to salt water and enjoy searching for my next big catch. I log all my fishing adventures on my Instagram @shes_fishin and love trading fish tales. I enjoy all things outside, including softball, bike rides through local trails, and kayaking. I like to workout, but not more than I like to eat pizza. I enjoy an array of crafts including painting, drawing, and creating new things. I love animals, especially dogs!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Set personal and professional short term and long term goals. Share your goals with your students; they will provide continuous encouragement!
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I attended a Nautilus Academy for local STEM teachers. Once I learned the mission of the E/V Nautilus and the Ocean Exploration Trust, I knew I needed to be a part of the team. I applied for the role of Science Communication Fellow and I am ready to explore the ocean.