Insights about Math and Myself

Faculty mentor supports transfer student Laura Herman '18
Laura Herman

Majors: mathematics and psychology

Activities: soccer, math club, Admissions ambassador job, athletic office job, math tutor

What attracted you to Nazareth?

I loved the tight-knit community and the friendliness of everyone on campus — from professors, to staff, to students — and the school pride.

What do you like best about Nazareth?

  • how welcoming everyone on campus is
  • the relationships you can make with other students and professors
  • how beautiful the campus is

When I first transferred, I was so nervous especially because I transferred in the spring, but all the girls on my floor were so welcoming and immediately invited me to do everything with them.

As a transfer student, how did you get into the campus groove? What advice would you give?

  • I took up my floormates on invitations to watch a movie in their room, go out to get lunch, go to a sporting event, or go play grocery bingo on Friday.
  • Live on campus if possible, because that is a great place to get involved and make friends.
  • A lot of the departments have an area where you can go to do work or meet with a tutor, and this is another place where I made relationships with professors along with other people in my major.
  • Joining clubs is another great way to get involved, make friends, and make connections.

Why did you choose your majors? What do you hope to do after college?

I am currently a math and psychology double major, but I started as a math education major. I have always loved psychology, but I was afraid of all the schooling it might require. I loved math at Pittsford Mendon High School, and the idea of being a teacher seemed like the perfect fit. However, when I took PSY 102 for one of my core requirements, I was reminded again of how much I love psychology. I talked myself into majoring in psychology and math because I had time to complete both — and truly love both. After college I hope to work with kids although I am not set in what type of career. For now I am leaning toward becoming a child psychologist.

Has anything stood out about your interactions with faculty and staff at Nazareth?

I have made some amazing relationships with professors — even professors who I have not actually had for a class. Dr. Yousuf George even helped me for an hour on a Saturday after he attended a lecture and saw me on campus struggling with math homework, when he could have just gone home.

Dr. (Matt) Koetz has mentored me from the beginning and taught several of my classes. From him I've gained:

  • insight to not just math, but the world in general
  • realization of what I'm capable of
  • understanding that the goal isn't a perfect assignment but to challenge yourself
  • appreciation that the most rewarding things are those we put the most effort at and finally figure out — whether it's math or using a copy machine by yourself

Sometimes Dr. Koetz knows me better than I know myself. When talking about internships, he mentioned he notices that I like to figure out the correct way to study something. For example, on a tangent in class about how we would figure out if it's true that an infinite number of monkeys typing on a typewriter eventually would write Shakespeare, I would say all the steps we would need to take to correctly figure this out. I never realized I did that. At Nazareth, class sizes are small and the professors spend time to actually get to know their students in such a special way.

What else is a key part of your college experience?

Soccer! I owe so much of my amazing experiences at Nazareth to the women's soccer team. I have made lifelong friends, learned valuable life lessons, and have made some of my fondest Nazareth memories with the team. From bus rides and nights at hotels to preseasons and pasta dinners, I have loved all of it.

What do you do for fun?

Besides soccer, I love arts and crafts, reading, playing guitar, singing, coaching soccer, and when I'm feeling really nerdy, learning anything I can about psychology.