During the first day of her Spanish 101 class and just the second day of her freshman year, Anne McEllhenny took such precautions to avoid being late that she actually entered the classroom while an earlier class was still in session. That class was Spanish 102, so Anne was afraid she had indeed turned up late—at least, until the teacher stopped the entire class to inform her of the truth.
“It’s a good story, though,” says Anne, a reserved but pleasant young woman, “because now when people ask me for an embarrassing moment, I have a good answer.”
If asked about her major, Anne also has a good answer, though it might be more of a mouthful—middle school education with a concentration in math, accompanied by a minor in English and another minor in Spanish.
Anne first checked out Geneva by spending an overnight trip, and decided she loved it. “What really impressed me was how friendly the people were,” she said, also mentioning that she liked the small size, the scholarship she received and the study abroad programs. She spent the fall semester of her sophomore year in Rome, where she was able to help teach English through a church program.
Anne began her college career with a major in elementary education, but switched after spending the summer following her freshman year helping with a youth group. Inspired to teach more than just the basics, Anne shifted her focus to grades five through eight. A middle school major requires a concentration in a specific subject, however, so Anne’s decision led her to another choice: which subject to teach.
Anne had enjoyed an algebra class in high school, but she “still wasn’t sure about the whole math thing” when she decided to take a gamble on a calculus class at Geneva. Thanks to a great professor, she loved it. Dr. Edward Dambach was “funny, but easy to understand,” and made himself available to meet anyone who needed help outside the course.
Dr. Dambach remained helpful after Anne picked math as her concentration, too: Anne hadn’t taken Trigonometry, a prerequisite for Calculus Two, but needed to take the fall Calc Two course before the spring trig course became available. To solve the problem, Dr. Dambach supplied her with two trig books, practice tests and a color-coded study sheet—all so that Anne could study during the summer and get into the Calculus class before the trig one. In Dr. Dambach’s words, he planned to do “whatever it takes” to get Anne into Calculus Two when she needed.
Anne’s four areas of study—education, math, English, and Spanish—keep her busy. She takes advantage of the May@Geneva program, and plans to spend an extra semester in order to finish everything. She still works on campus, though, and has logged time working at Alexander Dining Hall, McCartney Library and the academic help center. Her skill as an algebra tutor affirmed her choice of majors. She also volunteers for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, for which she hangs out with a local 6-year-old boy once a week for an hour and a half.
Anne’s volunteer work spans all situations—teaching English to Italians, spending summer with a young group, and tutoring algebra despite a full workload. The servant-leader attitude this displays proves without a doubt that she is well suited for her math education major at Geneva College.
-Adam Rowe '14