Our recent graduates
Jeremy Payne graduated from Upper Iowa University in 2012 with two degrees – Conservation Management and Information Technology. He is currently working as an implementation/desktop support analyst for RuffaloCODY in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My favorite class at Upper Iowa was an I.T. class over Cyber Security. My senior project, 'Virtual Pheasant', was a blast. It was a mixture of my two majors, I used real tracking data from wild ring-necked pheasants, which was collected by students for their senior projects, to create a virtual world that closely mimicked the birds’ actual habitats. I got the opportunity to show off my work at a Pheasants Forever banquet, the Iowa Academy of Science, and a student symposium in Wisconsin.
I initially became interested in the mathematics education major at Upper Iowa University because I found that high school educators can make a difference in life. I wanted to share my love of mathematics with others and attempt to get students excited about the subject. The professors in the UIU mathematics department offered me guidance, support and knowledge that allowed me to accomplish my goals and contribute to society. They took time out of their schedule to help us understand the content. They offered support beyond required lecture time, and had a greater sense that all students held value in the classroom.
I never took a course that I did not like at UIU. My favorite chemistry courses would probably be Quantitative Analysis and Physical Chemistry II. I also really liked Advanced Organic Chemistry. My favorite math courses would be Differential Equations and History of Math. I am extremely thankful for the advice that all of the professors at UIU gave me, especially Dr. Olson and Dr. Nigel George, associate professor of mathematics and physics.
Our current students
As a non-traditional student, Upper Iowa University supported me every step of the way as I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in mathematics. I knew math classes would be difficult. The faculty guided me and showed me that, with hard work, I could indeed reach my goal of becoming a 7 – 12 math teacher. The faculty in the education department prepared me for classroom practices such as management skills, ethics, identifying student needs and differences. The mathematics department faculty prepared me for teaching by modeling best practices including differentiating lesson presentation, assessing my progress regularly, and providing support by being available to clarify concepts.
Being given the opportunity to work in the student support center, aka tutor center, gave me additional practice understanding students' difficulties with mathematical concepts. At the tutor center, I actually began my teaching career while, at the same time, receiving additional support and assistance as I worked through the classes needed to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and, ultimately, a teaching certificate in both Iowa and Wisconsin.