With a soft spot for indie rock and hailing from across the country, Dr. Elizabeth Bodine is certainly not your average Cabrini College professor.
Bodine, a mathematics professor, is one of several new instructors at Cabrini College for the 2010-2011 academic school year. Bodine completed her graduate work and Ph. D. at Washington State University in May and began looking across the country for a new place to call home.
“I really wanted to be at a place small enough where I could get to know the students and other faculty members,” Bodine said. “I had wonderful experiences at Washington State, but it was so large. I would have classes of 150 students and I always felt like there were students I could’ve helped more if I had more interaction with them. Here [at Cabrini], we’re already a month in and I know all of my students’ names and I’m getting to know them really well.”
After attending Linfield College in Oregon, Bodine spent five years teaching at Washington State University on a teaching assistant program and knew she wanted to continue in education after graduating. Bodine said, “I found it really rewarding to see how students grow throughout a semester and through a series of courses, and I really loved that experience. I didn’t necessarily know going into grad school that that is what I wanted to do. I loved it once I started, so I stuck with it.”
Although she teaches many courses across the college’s curriculum, Bodine will spend this semester teaching Math 113 and 114, which are Modern College Math 1 & 2. She also instructs junior and senior math majors in an Abstract Algebra course.
“I’ve always enjoyed puzzles and logic problems,” Bodine said, in regards to her history. “As a child, I always enjoyed those things, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Bodine, who double-majored in math and Spanish, is occasionally surprised by how she almost ended up in Language. “I spend time studying abroad in Spain and Mexico, and I thought that I’d do something with Language in graduate school. After I my undergraduate degree, I took a year off to explore some options and see what I wanted to do. I was using Spanish a lot for my job, but I really missed math. That was when I knew I wanted to study [math] in graduate school.”
The east coast is certainly a big change for Bodine, a native of Washington. “Its really beautiful here,” said Bodine. “I try and explain to my friends [from home] that I drive through a deciduous forest to get to work, and it’s just not something we’re used to.”
Bodine enjoys Cabrini so far, and hopes to get a lot out of her time both at the college and in the Philadelphia area. “The campus is so beautiful and everyone has been incredibly nice and welcoming. I’m looking forward to working close with students and helping them develop. I like working with majors and helping them refine their skills in reading and understanding mathematics, but I also enjoy working with non-majors who think math may not be for them and helping them find something in it that they might enjoy. Working with a variety of students is really rewarding, and ultimately fun.”