Success Has Long Been a Constant for Stonehill Math Grads

December 28, 2015

When it comes to the success of Stonehill’s mathematics graduates, the numbers speak for themselves.

“Most Stonehill math students have a job within a year of graduating — pretty much every single one,” said Professor Hsin-hao Su, chair of the Mathematics Department.

And some, like Sarah Chiodi ’11, have more than one path to choose from.

Within months of earning her Stonehill diploma, Sarah was offered a job at Boston Scientific — a medical device company in Marlborough, Massachusetts — and was accepted into the graduate program at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia.

She chose both.

While pursuing her master’s degree in Georgia, she worked online part time for Boston Scientific as a biostatistician —analyzing public health and medical data in what is a rapidly growing branch of statistics. Meanwhile, she landed a second part-time job as a statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Today, Sarah is a senior analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and a part-time researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

“My Stonehill degree was the launching pad for my career,” said Sarah. “Basically everything I learned at Stonehill, I applied to my graduate program. The professors taught me skills I use now, every single day.”

Sarah is not the exception, but the norm.

Success Is a Constant

Stonehill’s Mathematics Department has seen graduates go on to top-tier graduate schools and successful careers with a staggering success rate — 98 percent of the alumni have a job or are in a graduate program within months of graduation. “Roughly 60 percent become secondary or high school teachers, and of those who apply for those jobs, the success rate is 100 percent. If a Stonehill grad wants a teaching job, they’ve got it,” said Su.

Alyssa Shelters ’11 — who, at age 4, would ask her mom to create math problems for her to solve — said she’s never wanted to do anything but teach math, and that Stonehill helped her achieve her goal. “I am forever grateful for that,” said Alyssa, who now teaches math at Middleboro High School in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Other students, like Kelsey Roberts ’13, were inspired to teach by their Stonehill math professors. “I hope one day to be able to help my students the way I was encouraged,” said Kelsey, now earning her Ph.D. in economics from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Classroom Work Bolstered by Experiential Learning

Dan Perry ’11, who is now studying Pure Mathematics at Montana State University, cited his experience in the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) as being key in preparing him for Ph.D. work. SURE students perform significant, publishable full-time research under the guidance of and in collaboration with an experienced faculty researcher. Dan published and presented two papers at the Midwestern Conference on Combinatorics and Combinatorial Computing with Professor Su.

“Math is the foundation of science and the language of nature; any math major has a wide variety of career paths to explore,” said Su. “Mathematics courses help build students’ skills in problem solving and data analysis, which can be applied to many fields.”

Some recent math grads have gone on to study at the graduate levels at Ivy League schools and colleges and universities around the country. Still other math alumni have gone on to work at the Boston Celtics, Boston Architectural Center, the Environmental Protection Agency, Raytheon and Liberty Mutual, to name just a few companies.

“Math is the foundation of science and the language of nature; any math major has a wide variety of career paths to explore. Mathematics courses help build students’ skills in problem solving and data analysis, which can be applied to many fields.”
Professor Hsin-hao Su, chair of the Mathematics Department

Flexible Program + Supportive Faculty = Success

Corey Adams ’12, a senior auditor at Fidelity Investments, was undeclared when he started at Stonehill. Once he decided to pursue a math major, he was pleased that “everything started to fall into place.”

Corey said he loved analytics and investments; when he couldn’t find a course that specifically dealt with them both, Su helped him develop a personalized directed study program, which he said was “hugely beneficial in my current role [and] helped me transition to my career at Fidelity Investments.”

Corey said what many other Stonehill math alumni and current students often echo: one-on-one guidance and small class sizes are huge benefits; with a teacher student ratio of 1:10, the Math Department feels like a close-knit family.

“I once had a math class with just four other students,” said Meghan Galiardi ’11, now earning her Ph.D. in mathematics at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. “I had some of the same professors multiple times and got to know them well.”

Abby Soraci ’16 agreed: “Since it’s one of the smaller departments on campus, it’s easy to build strong relationships with the professors and other students in the department … We’ve become such a close group of friends that we can frequently be found studying together in the Math Lounge on campus.”

“Studying math at Stonehill really pushed the way I think,” added Christopher McKay ’16. “As a dyslexic, I learn a little differently than my classmates. [Learning in a] small setting like Stonehill definitely helps me … I think every professor in every class took me from a place of minimal understanding and brought me to a place I’d feel comfortable teaching someone else the material.”