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SMC names Allison Sherman as valedictorian

Kelly Konya | Tuesday, March 26, 2013

 

Sherman, a computational mathematics major, said she originally liked Saint Mary’s because of the professors’ commitment to teaching and the College’s small class sizes.

 “There is a strong sense of community and the personal attention that each student receives was very important in my final decision to attend Saint Mary’s,” Sherman said.

Professor Joanne Snow, chair of the mathematics department, said she hired Sherman as a teaching assistant after having her as a “star student” in Calculus III. “Sherman has the rare ability to explain concepts that she clearly has mastered to other students who have not yet achieved the same level of understanding,” Snow said.

Sherman said her experiences as a teaching assistant in the department have encouraged her to pursue a career in education. She is in the process of applying to several teaching certificate programs and has not decided which program she will attend after graduation in May. “In the future, I hope to teach at the collegiate level and further my study of mathematics,” Sherman said. “I want to always be learning new things and I hope to inspire my own students to do the same.”

Mary Connolly, professor of mathematics, said she helped Sherman develop her love for mathematics and encouraged her to decide on a math major. Connolly said Sherman’s skills extend beyond academics. 

“Computational mathematics is a major which combines significant computer science with higher-level mathematics classes,” Connolly said. “Allison is a very talented computer scientist, but one of her truly outstanding qualities is her generosity towards other students.”

Sherman said her key to success is entertaining a healthy balance of friends, academics and extracurricular activities. She balances school with her roles as treasurer of the Mathematics Club, president of the Saint Mary’s chapter of Pi Mu Epsilo, and participant in the National Mathematics honorary society.

Sherman’s former roommate Erin Masko said Sherman is a diligent student.

“She never puts off work for the next day, but instead tackles it right away,” Masko said. “She is wonderful, and deserves this honor of valedictorian.” 

Sherman said she is grateful to be honored as her class’s valedictorian. “I was extremely surprised, and I feel incredibly honored to represent my class,” Sherman said.  “I owe a great deal of gratitude to the entire Mathematics Department faculty at Saint Mary’, and in particular, Professor Snow, who has encouraged me throughout my collegiate career.”