Following Her Passion After Southwestern University
Since graduating from Southwestern, I’ve taken a somewhat roundabout path to my current job as an Educational Research Scientist for a Houston non-profit. The first year after graduation, I worked as a Research Specialist for a company called INC Research. This company conducted medical research on contract for large pharmaceutical companies. It didn’t take long working there before I realized I was not happy working in a traditional business environment, so I applied for graduate school to unite the two great loves of my life: psychology and mathematics. The following August, I moved to Champaign, Illinois to begin work on my PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My work centered on cognitive differences in motivation between boys and girls in mathematics classrooms. While finishing my dissertation, I took a job with Houston ISD as a Research Specialist where I once again learned that I do not like working in a traditional business environment (some lessons you have to learn twice!). So when I was offered a job with an up and coming non-profit that focused on creating online curriculums to improve mathematics education, I jumped at the chance to once again turn my attention to mathematics education research. I have been working with Reasoning Mind for the past six months, and I love it. Something I learned at Southwestern is that it’s not enough to just identify problems, you have to work to fix them and for the first time in the life of my career, I feel like I’m doing that. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with my future. I know that I’m passionate about improving mathematics education in the United States. I may do that by staying with Reasoning Mind and continuing to work as part of the research department, I may start my own non-profit, and I have even considered opening up a charter school.