2010 Math grad student now ‘ambassador for mathematics’ at Ventura College
By Janet Egiziano, Director, Thousand Oaks Campus; Associate Director, MBA Program
Ask Janine Bundy about math, and superlatives not typically associated with the science of numbers flow from her mouth: ”It’s beautiful! Amazing! Exquisite!” Press her further and she’ll make you a believer. “Math is mankind’s way of validating God’s creations,” says Bundy. “Math explains the science behind a recipe and how plants grow, and provides us with a means to find beauty and wonder. And it’s a ‘brain train’ – it keeps the brain sharp.”
To say that Bundy, a 2010 MS in Mathematics graduate, is passionate about math is an understatement. It’s not a stretch, either, to call her a math prodigy. As a young child, Bundy easily recognized patterns of repetition and found numbers endlessly fascinating. Long before elementary school, she’d beat her older brother to the answer as their mother drilled him on multiplication tables. She dreamed of teaching math. This fall, her dream came true when she landed a tenure-track faculty position at Ventura College over 160 other applicants.
While Bundy arrived at her new career armed with passion, intellect, skill, a degree in electrical engineering as well as an MBA, she credits the CI mathematics faculty for her most recent accomplishment. A math grant provided funding to hire Bundy, then a grad student, as a teaching associate, allowing her to experience mathematics from both a student perspective and a teaching perspective. CI’s math faculty carefully shepherded Bundy through the teaching process, observing her class, offering tips, and sharing techniques. As a new instructor, Bundy says she tries “to model the way my instructors treated me. They were incredibly generous with their time and resources.”
At Ventura College, Bundy’s students include returning adults, college freshmen, and those who are products of failed public schools. “What most students need so desperately to develop is analytical skills, logic, and critical thinking skills,” Bundy states, “Math is the key. Everyone can learn math. It’s just a matter of finding a technique that will work for each student. That doesn’t always happen in a classroom, but it can happen during office hours.” It’s there, in her office, that Bundy pays forward the gift of generosity modeled by the CI faculty.
Bundy clearly relishes being an “ambassador for mathematics,” a role encouraged by CI’s Professor of Mathematics Cindy Wyels. “I am so grateful for this University and its mathematics program,” Bundy states. “It is the epitome of what an educational process should be.