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 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.
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.
Travis Nuss, Secondary Mathematics Teacher at Prairie Valley Community Schools, Gowrie, Iowa was the recipient of the Friend of Mathematics Award presented by the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics at the ICTM Annual Conference, October 2013. Travis has volunteered his time since 2007 to work with the exhibitors for the ICTM Annual Conference.
Travis recognized his education at Upper Iowa: "Earning my mathematics (and education) degree at Upper Iowa enabled me to pursue a career as a secondary mathematics teacher. Because of the caring and competent professors in the mathematics department at UIU, I became engaged and passionate about math. I am now trying to pass on my passion and knowledge of mathematics on to the next generation of learners."