Mathematics Alumni in Other Careers Using Math
Paul Jarvis, '09
I'm currently a 4th year medical student at UVM. After clinical exposure from the 3rd year, I'm planning on applying to a neurology residency after graduating, although I am currently unsure of which program or if I want to subspecialize further. I am also currently starting a research project with one of the neurologists, examining if a change in patients' EEG's (a lab test run when someone is suspected of having seizures) immediately following administration of an anti-seizure medication can predict if that specific medication will prevent further seizures in that patient.
While my mathematics education has not directly prepared/benefited me regarding my current position in my career, considering its high focus on biology and physiology, it has helped me with further understanding all of the mathematical/physical models of human physiology so that I can work through any numbers provided in lab tests or direct modeling such as of blood flow, etc. It has also helped me better understand the statistics and mathematical models used in the majority of research articles that we use when finding the new data about best treatments for the patients, so I feel that I can better understand the validity of the data presented in those articles better than some of my peers. Additionally, it will prepare me to better be able to work through such statistics in any of my own future research projects, including the one I am working on. Having the background in both biology and mathematics and SMC also causes a higher perk of interest when I see new developments in numerical models of different aspects of medicine, allowing me to focus on what the models are actually representing, rather than getting caught up in the "mess of numbers" as some of my classmates put it.
I'm currently the pricing analyst at Tundra Restaurant Supply in Boulder, CO. Basically I set every price in our 60,000 item (and growing) catalog, as well as direct and implement pricing strategy. It's a huge amount of work, and one that requires a independent mind to create key value-add projects, strong attention to detail, as well as the ability to juggle multiple projects - all of which are similar to getting a degree in math, just a lot more time in a cubicle! My math coursework from St. Mike's taught me both analytic and statistical skills that I use every day, but more than that, it instilled in me an appreciation of digging into a topic. Having a strong quantitative background has been invaluable. Even with no work experience, a math degree shows a potential employer that you have a strong ability to understand and digest complex ideas. Going to St. Mike's also ensured I had a healthy work/life balance, and I try to spend as much time in the backcountry climbing and playing as I can.
Lisa Wotkowicz '02
Currently I am employed as a Paralegal at a small law firm. I work on everything from real estate closings to research and brief writing for civil rights litigation. I am enrolled in the evening division of the New England School of Law and have just completed my first year of classes.
My mathematics education has helped me in an uncharacteristic way. Although I don't work with numbers or proofs, I have found that the methods for compiling and analyzing data that I learned at Saint Michael's have helped me every day at work and at school. I use these skills when reading and outlining cases for class and also when organizing and developing conclusions for writing legal briefs. I have found that knowing how to read and efficiently process large amounts of data, regardless of the subject matter, is an invaluable tool.
Adrienne Riel '00
I work with Greenleaf Forestry and Wood Products in Colorado and am subsequently pursuing graduate studies in forestry, more specifically in silviculture, the applied ecology and management of forests and woodlands. A background in mathematics has become valuable to this field, and I have been strongly encouraged by professors of forestry to apply to their graduate programs, even without the prior coursework in the natural sciences typically required. The data management and analysis skills I developed in math and computer science courses at Saint Michael's will be useful in this field as they have been in many other ways.
I completed the process of earning a Vermont teaching license through the Teacher Apprenticeship Program based in Essex Junction. Middle- and secondary-level math teachers are in high demand here and everywhere, and my education in higher math has enabled me to keep open the door of this possibility and be a strong candidate for positions. I have found this has only been accentuated by Saint Michael's reputation as an institution of rigorous academics and high ethics. In my student teaching at Middlebury Union Middle School, I assisted in coaching our MathCounts team to the state and national rounds of competition. My knowledge of high-level math and problem-solving strategies served me in working with these students as they tackled very challenging problems in all branches of mathematics.
Most important to me, though, are the understandings of mathematical truths and the reasoning skills I acquired and developed. They have universal applications and have impacted me personally as well as professionally. I'm very grateful for the quality of the education I received in the math department at Saint Michael's.
Rob Troy '97
I recently got out of the Active Duty Air Force and joined the Air Force Reserves, where I am an F-16 Pilot. When I'm not serving in the Air Force, I fly for Continental Airlines.
My math education, I think, was one of the main reasons I was selected for Pilot Training. In a competitive field of applicants, someone with an analytic background has a leg up in a very technical field.
Lt. Colonel Michele Johnson '95
Currently, I am serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. My husband Dan (Class of 1995), and I, along with our three boys, are living in San Antonio, Texas, where I am assigned as a Squadron Commander at Basic Military Training. In this position, I am responsible for training over 5,000 new Airmen for our Air Force annually.
Since graduating from SMC, I have earned a MS in Information Resource Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, and a MA in Counseling & Leadership from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The math program at SMC prepared me well for my graduate programs, as well as enhanced my analytical skills. While my current position does not include mathematics on a daily basis, the ability to solve problems and approach challenges from a strategic level has been invaluable throughout my military career.
Sister Lorraine Aucoin '91, pm
I certainly loved my time at Saint Michael's as a math major and wouldn't change it for anything. Currently I am the Vocation Director for my religious community, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Prior to this role I taught math for six years at the junior high level. Our Sisters do have an elementary school in Hudson, NH; we also own and operate Rivier College in Nashua, NH. After Saint Mike's I attended Boston College (not right away, but from 2003-2005) where I obtained my Master's Degree in Theology with a concentration in Ethics. I am now serving my second year as a member of the Board of Trustees for Saint Mike's and I am so happy to be giving back to the school that gave me so much!
Lisa Martin Eriksson '90, OD
I am an Optometrist at New England Vision Correction in South Burlington VT. I went to the New England College of Optometry in Boston, MA.
The Saint Michael's mathematics program was excellent preparation for my graduate program in optometry, as were my pre med classes. The mathematics provided a base for the optical portion of my profession.