When the multi-talented Dr. Jennifer Bruce (she holds degrees in both mathematics and music) moved to Tennessee with her husband in 1999, she knew she wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college much like her undergrad alma mater, Drew University. Maryville College was an instant attraction.
“I did my research on Maryville College and was attracted by the College’s commitment to excellent teaching, and the unique aspects of the curriculum (like Senior Study). I was thrilled when a position in the math department became available the following year. I’ve been happily teaching at MC ever since!” commented Bruce.
The small, liberal arts setting has had many advantages for Bruce, with the overall highlight being the relationships she is able to foster with students. According to Bruce, “MC is small enough that I get the opportunity to have most of our math majors in more than one course, so I get to know them really well in class, through advising, and through Math Club activities. But I’ve also had some pretty unique opportunities to form relationships with students outside of the classroom.”
A first-year orientation leader for two years and 2003 faculty leader for MC’s annual MOOSE service trip, Bruce has brought creativity and personality to her co-curricular involvements. “Both MOOSE and Orientation have been unforgettable experiences, particularly because of the bonds I formed with the students.”
Although Bruce enjoys teaching all her math classes, Calculus 2, often cited among math majors for being the most difficult of her three Calculus courses, tops the list as her favorite. The difficulty of the course is something Bruce can relate to in both negative and positive respects. “I still remember how horribly I did on my first test on infinite series,” she recalls, “But I recognize how important that course material is, and I really feel as if I can help students more in this class precisely because I struggled with the topic myself – I understand why it’s so confusing.”
And what about that music degree? Bruce spends some of her free time as a member of the Knoxville Choral Society and performs occasionally at area churches. As far as any type of integration of her two degrees in the classroom goes, Bruce laughs, “Despite frequent requests, I usually don’t sing in class!”
The mathematics, computer science and statistics faculty are frequently found teaching courses throughout the core curriculum, including Introductory Statistics, Orientation, the First Year Seminar sequence and Senior Seminar.
For example, statistics, history and a rich cultural heritage form a perfect multi-disciplinary backdrop for Dr. Jeff Bay’s senior seminarfeaturing the game of baseball as its theme. This popular course, which culminates with a trip to a major league game in Cincinnati,was featured in the July 2005, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Maryville College began hosting the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association’s high school mathematics contest in 1957. Mr. Mack Tolar, then Mathematics department chairperson, was instrumental in organizing the statewide contest. Typically over 300 students from Blount, Loudon, and Sevier Counties participate in the contest. Dr. Jen Bruce is the contest chair for Maryville College.
|Dr. Jeff Bay|
Professor of Statistics, Chair, Division of Mathematics & Computer Science
Education: B.A., DePauw University; M.A., University of Missouri; Ph.D., North Carolina State University
Sutton Science 107B
|Dr. Jennifer Bruce|
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Education: B.A., Drew University M.S., Ph.D., Syracuse University.
Sutton Science Center 205B
|Dr. Dan Ross|
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Education: B.S., Martin Luther College; M.S.T., University of Missouri Ph. D., University of Missouri
Sutton Science Center 205a
|Dr. Maria Siopsis|
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Education: B.A., Drew University; Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Sutton Science Center 203
|Mrs. Misty Gillespie|
Administrative Assistant for Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences and Math & Computer Sciences
Sutton Science Center 237