COSAM Faculty Focus - COSAM Lecturer Makes a Difference to Non-STEM Majors
Dr. Jennifer Stone was selected as a Dean’s Medalist 22 years ago at Auburn University. Today, she is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and has come full circle participating on the committee to nominate students for the Dean’s Medalist award.
An undergraduate at Auburn in 1992, she then earned her doctorate degree in pure mathematics. After teaching high school mathematics at a local academy for several years, she returned to Auburn as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Over the past six years, she has been able to help a variety of students excel in math courses. One of the things Dr. Stone takes pride in the most is being the coordinator for the business calculus program.
“I really enjoy showing non-STEM majors that they can succeed in business calculus,” Dr. Stone explained. “When non-math majors tell me that they like math, it is such a good feeling to know you have helped a student overcome a difficult course.”
Since Dr. Stone taught high school math, she has a collaborative perspective in her classroom positively showing students that we will get through this together.
“I tell students my expectations and I have patience to help business majors get through a course that can be overwhelming at first,” she added. “I really do like to show these students that they can excel in this course and see the patterns in mathematics that are fun.”
Dr. Stone has always enjoyed teaching. She tutored students in math in high school and throughout college. Everyone in her high school even said she would become a math professor.
She also is part of the Plainsmen’s Prep program that helps students refine their math skills for the most optimal placement for the freshman math courses.
“When I was a graduate teaching assistant, my favorite course was calculus II,” she shared. “Now, I can make a difference through the teaching seminar sharing best practices with those who are in the classroom for the first time as an instructor.”
Before graduate teaching assistants teach their first class, Dr. Stone has an opportunity to share her advice and support.
“I think it is absolutely imperative that we help our graduate teaching assistants grow and develop,” Dr. Stone said. “By helping them be the best teachers possible, we are ultimately helping all of our students get the best education.”
She is also the co-investigator of a grant, Promoting Success in Undergraduate Mathematics through Teaching Training.
Dr. Stone enthusiastically shares her advice with students.
“Do not be scared of math,” she said. “You can and will accomplish anything you want in math if you put the work in.”
She encourages all students to make the connection with their math professor and go to see them during office hours.
“We are here for you,” Dr. Stone said.
When not teaching or helping her students, Dr. Stone is focused on her family. Her son graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn and her daughter is currently at Auburn pursuing a degree in apparel design.
“I love spending time with my family, especially all around this great town,” she shared.