Students Attend 6th Annual Mathematical Field of Dreams Conference

Brunswick, GA Four College of Coastal Georgia students were tapped to attend the Sixth Annual Mathematical Field of Dreams Conference sponsored by the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences in Mesa, Arizona, earlier this month. Student attendance is by invitation only and includes payment of travel, hotel and conference expenses. The students were nominated by Dr. Victor Vega-Vazquez, an Alliance member, student mentor, and Associate Professor of Mathematics in the School of Arts and Sciences. The students who attended were:
  • Melissa James of Woodbine, a junior mathematics major;
  • Wallace Ireland of Brunswick, a junior mathematics major who also attended last year;
  • Muh Lin Chong of Brunswick, a junior mathematics major; and
  • Bradley Holloway of Brunswick, who already holds a BS in mathematics and is pursuing a BBA.
“Last year we introduced our new baccalaureate degree in mathematics and we were excited to have three of our students invited to attend. This year we have an additional participant, which speaks well of our program, and our students are not only receiving a great math education, but they also enjoy additional opportunities outside the campus,” Dr. Vega-Vazquez said.

In a series of conference panel discussions, the students learned about different degree opportunities in the mathematical sciences, paths to earn a doctorate, graduate school selection and application, tips for graduate school success, and career opportunities once the Ph.D. is achieved. Dr. Vega-Vazquez was a featured panelist this year, discussing his own experiences as a graduate student and as a mathematics professor.

“This year, the Field of Dreams Conference focused on graduate and recent graduate experiences and all the opportunities available to future students in the mathematical sciences, as well the other science, technology and engineering (STEM) disciplines. Our students had the opportunity to directly interact with graduate students and faculty from around the country, learning about their experiences in graduate school as well as all the different ways to succeed” he explained.

According to Dr. Vega-Vazquez, that interaction encouraged James, who will graduate in May 2014, to pursue her graduate degree in mathematics with the goal of becoming a college professor. She will also be attending a competitive summer research experience for undergraduates in 2013. “This is precisely what this program is about opening new doors to our students into mathematics and the STEM disciplines,” he pointed out.

Dr. Vega-Vazquez is looking forward to a geographical expansion of the program. “We are considering the possibility of establishing a similar alliance in the southeast, with Coastal Georgia as one of the main campuses in this region. We are planning to include Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina within the new alliance region. This will definitely bring lots of opportunities to our students and faculty. I will continue to work to make Coastal Georgia a choice destination for students planning to major in any of the STEM disciplines. Certainly the future looks bright for our department and for the College.”

Release Date: 11/26/2012
Source: College of Coastal Georgia

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