Alumni Profiles

Victoria Lu, Class of 2005

When the Faculty Challenges You, You Learn More

Victoria Lu is a Mathematics major and Art minor in the class of 2005. She comes from Taipei, Taiwan. She was in the honors program, in the Cardinal Singers, and as her instructors say, a very good mathematician! After graduation, Victoria came back to Plattsburgh to work in the Admissions office.

In Her Own Words

"For an international student, starting out as a new student always comes with numerous problems and questions. The staff here never felt that it was a bother to help out. With their help, I found my way easier. I really enjoyed my geometry class. The professor's ways of teaching were forever surprising and entertaining. We made models, discussed topics in groups, and learned other model structures though computer programming. The professor guided us through as we learned."

The Math Commons are a Fun Place to Work Together

"I really like the math commons. It's across from the faculty offices, and down the hall are the classrooms; close to help, close to class. There is a white board we can use for group studies and some sofas and couches. It's a very warm and welcoming place. We have many group projects and therefore, many group studies. Throughout the semesters, my fellow math friends and I learned each other's strengths and abilities. We're no longer just classmates, but really good friends. I've also been a math tutor for 3 semesters now. I've realized the pleasure and rewarding experience of helping others.

"When the faculty challenges you, you learn more. If you think you're not getting enough, you challenge the faculty."

Ben Palmer, Class of 2005

You Can Be Your Best If You Work Together

Ben Palmer is a Mathematics major and Computer Science minor from Nassau, New York. He graduated from Plattsburgh State with a B.S. in Mathematics (and a minor in Computer Science) in 2005, and went on to graduate school.

In His Own Words

"I came here because the mathematics professors really enjoy their subjects and the college has a good honors program. I like the location; very close to the Adirondacks, and the campus is nice too. There is a real sense of community in the mathematics department. It is a small group, especially in the upper levels. There's always somebody to study with because we've been in so many classes together that we all know each other. We also believe that you can be your best if you work together."

Talented and Friendly Faculty Will Get You Involved

"The faculty here is really good and will get you involved in the subjects they teach. They are also really friendly. The professors will also go through any math problem with you. I've enjoyed using the math computer programs. We use them in some classes for figuring out things. It's really great to really be able to see how calculus and geometry work in 3 dimensions.

"Plattsburgh State is welcoming to just about anyone and you can find whatever you're interested in. I have become more of a leader here than I thought I could be. I tutor mathematics in the Learning Center, am President of the Pagan/Wiccan Alliance club, and Treasurer of the FORGE club. I've liked almost everything I've tried here. There are a lot of good options and this is a good place to be. You can even start your own club. There is good local music and events on campus too. The college is open to whatever you want to make of it."

Pat Parker, Class of 2005

The Professors Treat You Like an Equal

Pat Parker, from Ballston Spa, New York, came to Plattsburgh to study to become a mathematics teacher.

In His Own Words

"I really like the people here. The program has a very friendly atmosphere and I felt accepted right away. All the professors treat you like you are on the same level with them. Dr. Kenoyer, the department chairman, also has a very good understanding of what it's like to be an incoming freshman. There is a real sense of community with people in your own level of study in this program. All the same people are in your classes from the first semester. Group work is a huge thing here so we work on a lot of projects together.

"The program has very good professors. They are very knowledgeable and have given me lots of incentive to keep going in the mathematics field. My instructors are also enthusiastic about mathematics and manage to make every class exciting. They are great at finding easy-to-understand ways to explain the most complicated mathematics topics. I also like that the mathematics program is very well organized and mapped out."

The Facilities are Great

"There are a lot of great facilities here. The computer lab in Hawkins Hall has great mathematics computer programs. The learning center is an especially great thing because you can get one-on-one tutoring and you can just walk in. You can also talk there to mathematics students who are further along in their studies. Since coming here I have taken on a lot of leadership roles. I work closely with the mathematics club, am a Resident Assistant at the dorms, and the President of the Interfraternity Council. After graduating I look forward to coming back to visit to see how the mathematics department has changed because there is always something new going on."

Chris Pavone, Class of 2001

There Is No Faking It In Mathematics

Chris Pavone, Class of 2001, is currently earning a Ph.D. in Math from the University of California at Santa Barbara (U.C.S.B.). He received his M.A. in Mathematics from U.C.S.B. in June 03' and will finish his Ph.D. there in June 2006.

Chris credits his close relationships with his Math Department faculty for much of his present success.

In His Own Words

"It's clear that my mathematics background from Plattsburgh State enabled me to go on to further my studies in mathematics (there is no faking it in mathematics). The foundation I received at Plattsburgh State was strong enough to help me survive my first couple years of grad school. As soon as I arrived at U.C.S.B. I was expected to hold discussion sections for groups of around 30 students!

"Without tutoring, being a teaching assistant, and giving presentations while I was at Plattsburgh State, I don't think I would have been able to do those things as easily during my first year of grad school. I have taught my own class twice and, for me, being able to stand up in front of an audience was a major accomplishment.

Personal Relationships With My Professors Made All the Difference

"Every professor that I had at Plattsburgh State (in the Math Department especially) left a great impression on me. To mention just a few:

  • Joe Bodenrader pretty much took me under his wing and helped me with everything from giving presentations to applying to grad school. Joe also taught me Calculus and his class was an influential factor in my decision to become a mathematics major early in my freshman year.
  • Sam Northshield was also a great advisor and was there for help whenever I needed it. He gave me lots of great advice on grad school and shared a lot of his experiences in grad school. He still keeps me up to date on the happenings around the department and sends me each issue of the department's newsletter, Vital Sines, which I love reading.
  • Bob Hofer taught me how to write a proof, and that has proved to be one of my most valuable skills (it probably helped me survive my first year of grad school).

"What I liked most about the program was its very personal nature. Plattsburgh State is a relatively small school and I made some very close connections with many of my professors and my peers. I rarely went anywhere on campus without recognizing a face. Whenever I go back to visit Plattsburgh I always make my rounds to the Learning Center and Math Department and say hello.

"The facilities at Plattsburgh State were excellent. Hawkins Hall (where the Math Department is located) was one of the nicest buildings on campus. I always felt very fortunate to go to such a comfortable and well-accommodated school. The computer labs at the library were awesome too.

"Plattsburgh State is an awesome school, and an overall great experience. I definitely recommend it. If you are planning on doing math, Plattsburgh State has some great professors."

Chris' Advice for New Mathematics Students

"Let's see... Don't listen to what they say; the dining hall is great. Become a tutor at the Learning Center (and do your homework there because it's cool and all your friends will be there). Work hard and stay focused. And most importantly, it's not the school that determines where you go after you graduate, it's what you put into the school."

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the mathematics program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

David Kenoyer, Chairperson
Phone: (518) 564-4137
Fax: (518) 564-4124
Email: kenoyedb@plattsburgh.edu

SUNY Plattsburgh
Mathematics Department
Hawkins 244
Plattsburgh, NY 12901