What are your responsibilities at Bishop State?
I am working as the mathematics chairperson. We are working to improve learning mathematics and our students achievement levels...trying to come up with ideas to improve our developmental, or transitional, students. I am also working with various activities of the learning communities here. I am trying to assist and find those students who are interested in math so that I can help them to become math educators. If I can steal them from engineering I will. I want those students who love math to teach math. I am working in a partnership with South Alabama to find students who want to be math educators and getting them out to South Alabama, or whatever college they'd like to go to. One more assignment I have is to improve STEM learning. I am working with a professor in the biology department to try to get community college students to do research.
What do you like best about your job?
Teaching. For the most part, over the last few years, I have been doing my teaching on-line. I stay up on the weekend and I am on-line emailing back and forth with my students. I try to be there when no one else will be. If I can help you when you are ready, then I know you are focussed. This year I took a face-to-face class back. I have always known, since my first teaching job, that standing in front of a classroom of students and getting their faces to light up...that was my joy. When I am up there and talking to them about relevant examples and they go, "Got it!" The adrenalin is awesome. Being an administrator is great, but I am a teacher first, that's what I am.
What is your biggest accomplishment as an educator?
For me, it's to have been able to reach those students who were way down in the trenches of not understanding and bringing them out. I feel like I have been able to reach them and to get them to be able to move from one point to another on the learning scale of mathematics. I moved them off of "I hate math". Giving them all, no matter how minute, some level of success. My achievement comes through my students success.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love to move up in administration so I would be in a position where I could share my vision with the college. I have started working part-time at the University of South Alabama and I have asked for the opportunity to teach the teachers. If I can get the teachers on board with my vision for teaching and learning then they will understand that every child can learn math.
One of my students that teaches at a local catholic school asked if I would come talk to her kids. She basically teaches African-American students and she said, "I want them to see themselves. I can see them in you. I would love for you to talk to them. I think you could reach them." I would love to do something like that.
What are the three most important qualities for women in mathematics?
Number one is confidence. Number two, we have to gauge our abilities. This is what you know, this is where you are. Let's look at what you bring to the table. Next, you've got to persist to achievement. I don't care how many failures you have, stay the course. Every time you stay the course you will move that notch and eventually that obstacle will be removed. If you can be confident in yourself and be steadfast in your abilities then you can achieve great things.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like football. Bring me to a game or put me in front of the TV...we watch every team. Football is football. I also like going to church and singing in the choir. I love traveling and being a part of the choir. It's awesome to be able to deliver a message through song.