Meet some of the Mathematics TEU Undergraduate Interns
Julian Laferrera - 2018
I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College where I am majoring in mathematics and also in the teacher licensure program for secondary math education. Currently, I am a Peer Fellow in the college’s AccessAbility Office, where I mentor and support other disabled students. In addition, I am always working to improve my fluency in American Sign Language (ASL), as I am interested in a future career in Deaf Education. I am passionate about accessibility and equity in the classroom. As someone who didn’t always see a place for myself in mathematics, I aim to create a space where everyone works to their strengths. I was drawn to math because of a high school math class about problem-solving and recreational mathematics. That class taught me to value curiosity and perseverance, values which I hope to pass on to future generations of math students. At TEU, I learned how to develop my values and previous experiences into meaningful lessons with the support of our mentors and the other TEU fellows. I look forward to using my TEU experiences to create a classroom space where accessibility and equity are prioritized and student approach mathematics with curiosity.
Aqil “Tarzan” MacMood - 2018
Tarzan is a junior educational studies and mathematics special major at Swarthmore College. He previously worked for Swarthmore’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics as a calculus tutor and grader and Let’s Get Ready as a SAT mathematics tutor. During his free time, Tarzan loves to play guitar, watch sports, or take strolls outdoors. He was drawn to the TEU program for the opportunity to discuss math education with aspiring and current math educators, write curriculum, and teach. All of those expectations were met. With the new connections he has made within the teaching community, Tarzan is excited to continue conversations about math learning and pedagogy and write curriculum with others.
Alexander Galarraga - 2018
Hey, I'm Alex. I'm a second year mathematics major at Swarthmore College. Math has been my passion since middle school, when I realized it was far and above the best subject taught in school. I try to share my passion for math with others through teaching. To this end, I've worked as a TA for the math department, tutored middle school students, and I've annoyed my friends to no end by incessantly spewing math. As someone who had many lackluster teachers in middle and high school, I loved the TEU program because it showed me how good math pedagogy can be implemented. I hope to use what I learned during the TEU program in my tutoring and TAing. When I'm not doing math or teaching, I'm planning Fireside Gatherings as part of the Hearthstone Club.
Maria Salameh - 2018
Maria is a rising junior at Brown University studying geological sciences. She is also interested in becoming an elementary or middle school science teacher in Rhode Island. Maria loves to design hands-on lesson plans that are fun and engaging and finds so much value in being a supportive mentor to students. She has felt that the TEU program has not only taught her many skills about lesson plan design, teamwork collaboration, and in-classroom teaching skills; but she learned how meaningful and important teachers are for the sake of child development and an overall more supported and happier future generation.
Megan Siedman - 2018
Megan is a member of the Williams College class of 2020 studying Sociology and Math among other things. During the school year, she works at several local schools and is a member of Students for Education Reform. While she has undergone other summer teaching experiences before, she has found that none of them have compared to the TEU program. The program’s dedication to high quality, innovative math education is one that she intends to spread to both “math people” and “non-math people” alike at her home institution. She aspires to earn a PhD in Education and lead a lifelong career devoted to equity in education.
Hannah Bokma - 2018
Hi! My name is Hannah Bokma and I am a junior mathematics major working towards a secondary education certification at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. At Bucknell, not only am I a student but I am also a Residential Adviser and tutor. I love to be in nature, especially doing activities like kayaking and fishing. Starting at a young age, I have always loved mathematics, and I quickly began to love teaching others. By the end of high school, I was set on becoming a teacher. I hope to teach high school after college. Working in the TEU program opened up an opportunity for me to work with high school students from all different backgrounds, an opportunity I don't have as much at Bucknell. I gained so many valuable resources, experience, and a community in which I can talk about math education with while in the TEU program.
Nate Mattis – 2017
Hello! My name is Nate Mattis. In the semester following my Math TEU experience, I entered my junior year at Bucknell University. At college, I major in mathematics and am earning my secondary teaching certification, and actively work with the math and education departments to tutor, facilitate study groups, and am usually the go-to person when there is a math-education need! When I’m not working, you’ll often find me on a basketball court or throwing a frisbee! I firmly believe that teaching is one of the most important and well-rounded experiences that we can engage in. Having the opportunity to think and learn with a myriad of young minds and unique personalities is incredible, and something I look forward to every time I think about teaching. The experiences I had at the TEU program only furthered these thoughts, and I am thankful for the opportunity to participate!
Eric Gofen - 2017
Hi, my name is Eric Gofen, and I’m in my third year at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. I’m majoring in Mathematics and Politics and am also interested in education. Currently, I tutor high school and college students, do improv comedy, lead tours, grade math homework, and run lots. When I graduate, I want to be a high school math teacher. My own fantastic teachers and the ability to do social work to create a more equitable society for all are two main reasons I want to teach, and the TEU was a wonderful experience towards this goal.
Lisa Kehe – 2017
I'm Lisa, and I'm currently a junior at St. Olaf College. My major is math, and I have concentrations in educational studies and women's and gender studies. I'm originally from Palatine, IL (a northwest suburb of Chicago) where I grew up with an older brother. Aside from teaching math, I really love dogs, dessert, and spending time writing. Within the classroom, I'm passionate about empowering girls and women and working on eliminating math phobia. I want to be a teacher because I know firsthand the influence a caring, fun, and kind teacher can have on students' lives... If I'm someday half the teacher that my high school math teachers were to me, I will have succeeded! I've done a lot of work in local middle schools near St. Olaf and have already been prompted to form ideas of what my future classroom will look like and how it will run. Eventually, I hope to settle in and establish my classroom in a high school math department.
Catie Chun - 2016
Hi! My name's Catie and I'm a senior mathematicsphysics combined major at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. I enjoy being outdoors, playing soccer, doing puzzles, and, of course, Keeping up with the Kardashians. Growing up in the swampy marshes of Silicon Valley, I was lucky to always have been taught that math was something more than just plugging and chugging. I decided to pursue mathematics in college to find the elegance and satisfaction that I was promised by my high school teachers. I'm happy to say that I've found that at Whitman. I recognize that I am extraordinarily privileged to have received such strong support and encouragement to pursue math and physics, especially through the times that I've struggled and failed. I believe that support and encouragement play a vital role in accessibility to STEM education, and I hope to utilize my unique perspective in providing equitable math education through a teaching career.
Oliver Meldrum - 2016
Oliver Meldrum is a second year mathematics major at Oberlin College. He is passionate about working to increase the quality of math education and learning by making math fun and conceptual for students. He also very interested cooperative living and spending time outdoors. He is planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and studying math in Budapest this coming year. He is currently applying what he learned during the TEU program to tech a math circle for local fifth graders.
Sarah Lewites - 2016
Sarah Lewites is a member of the class of 2018 at Wellesley College, where she is a math major and a secondary teaching certification candidate. Sarah is from Berkeley, California and often spends her summers teaching at an innovationfocused summer camp in the area. Sarah has studied math anxiety and given a talk at Wellesley's Tanner Conference about growth mindset and her experience with the TEU program. Sarah plans on teaching math at the high school level after graduation.
Victoria Zamarra - 2016
I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross. I am a math major, education minor, and member of the Teacher Education Program at HC. On campus, I am part of the D1 Track and Field team, tutor through Academic Services, and am a TA for the math department. I have wanted to become a teacher since I was eight years old after having the most wonderful second grade teacher. I hope to teach high school math after graduation and share my love for the subject with my students. Being a part of this program has allowed me to gain valuable resources, teaching experience, and fantastic role models within the teaching community.