Panofsky strives to stay active on campus

By Eric Povish
March 5, 2009

Pythagoras once said a2+b2=c2. In order for c2 to be a truly accurate number you must have the correct fit for the a and the b. The mathematics department this year added a piece to its equation with the hiring of Dr. Ellen Panofsky.

Panofsky is a new math instructor here at Cabrini. Apparently kind and easy going, she seems welcoming to all that Cabrini has offer her, and is eager to leave her mark here on campus.

Fresh out of grad school at Lehigh University, she has some experience teaching college-level students. Panofsky was a teaching assistant for three years there, and taught classes of her own for two. During her last year as a grad student, she also taught at Lafayette College. Prior to her grad school years, she was an undergraduate at Millersville University.

Being young herself, Panofsky said she understands the stressful baggage that is inevitable with school. With tuition and other bills being such a big part of student life, she knows how hard it can be.

“I was always told you’re not going to get rich being a grad student, but you shouldn’t go into debt either.”

As for her future at Cabrini, she is looking to become very active and involved on campus. “I want to get involved around here. I want to incorporate myself into the Cabrini community.” Panofsky is ready to challenge herself and her students, to push them to succeed and help them along the way.

Outside of her office hours she regularly attends seminars and “how-tos” for her going-green lifestyle. At the seminars she learns about all the new organic household products that are environmentally safe.

Along with environmentally-safe household products, this mathematician has a deep love for organic foods. All of her food is bought locally from local farms all throughout this area. And one particular hobby that she enjoys is canning her own preserves.

“It’s so easy! I try and buy local and organic.” Much like a freshman, she is still getting used to the campus and her classes. She finds her freshmen classes more shy then her other classes, but welcomes that as a growing experience for her and the students.

Panofsky recognizes that students can see math as a hard and daunting subject and she understands that. Learning through examples she says is the way she likes to get her points across in the classroom.

“You can’t just open up your book and say I’m studying my math. You can’t study math.”

She said that being young also helps her to better connect with her students, “It’s only been six years since I was an undergraduate.

I’ve said to several of my classes that I am barely old enough to be your older sister!”

Eric Povish

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