College of Arts & Science at Miami University
Lisa Werwinski (Class of 2013)
- senior with majors in statistics and integrated mathematics education; working toward her MS in statistics
- from North Canton, OH
- varsity swimming and diving team
- College of Arts and Science ambassador
I just love this community.
Grad School Found Me
"I actually want to teach but there's not really a program for statistics education and this is the closest thing. I would love to teach college. I was a UA for a statistics instructor here my freshman year and that's how I got into this program. I always say that grad school found me; I wasn't looking for it. I would love to teach as an instructor here; hopefully something will come out of that."
A Sense of Community
"I just love this community. I coach a summer league diving team, so I would love to stay around here as an instructor. I think teaching college would be a better fit for me because I love this subject and want to be around people who really want to learn.
"I was an RA for two years so I've always had to focus on building a sense of community. I coach the Oxford diving teams in the summer and last year, my first year, summer of 2011, I had about 20 kids and this year I had about 40. Just the idea of the families in town, I mean there's a family in town, that I go over to their house for dinner every Friday night and just fellowship with the family, and she has four boys, and other college students from other schools come, and they're always asking me, 'Do you need anything? Or would you like to come over for dinner, it's multiple families,' and I think that's unique and it speaks a ton about a place.
"I think community also extends to classwork. Before I came to college I did everything on my own because people were just wanting to be in my group so they could get the answers, whereas here I've learned that you have to depend on others and when you have ideas coming together it makes work a heck of a lot easier. And that's the difference I think even between graduate and undergraduate because in graduate you need other people to get these things done, whereas in undergrad, a lot of it you can get through on your own, I mean it's easier if you have that study group but I mean I did not do this on my own. We obviously didn't cheat off each other but we've helped each other along the way."
Making It All Work
"I would love teaching at the college level, it's just that I'm torn because I don’t want to get a Ph.D. in straight statistics. I like the subject, but I want to teach, I don't want to do research. So, I don't really know where to go with that. I think I'm going to take a few years off because I'm only twenty right now, so to give myself time to figure out what I want to do. I know I want to teach, and I want to coach, I just don't know exactly in what context."
"I have a lot of fun in my graduate courses. The professors are more than just standing up there, we joke with them. I email them to meet at random times during my practice schedule and somehow it seems to work. So, I would say that that's the biggest thing: the professors are what led me. Like I said, graduate school found me, I certainly didn't find it. They're the ones that said, 'I think you would be a good candidate for this opportunity. I think you should pursue this.' I originally said, 'Well, I'll just apply. I think they're going to reject me but I'll do it to make you happy.' And then they accepted me and I was like, 'Oh gosh, now I'm into this,' and I just followed through."
Among the Many Things She's Learned
"Definitely learning how to work is like learning how to fight. Getting on scholarship especially when you come in as a walk-on athlete, people know you aren't quite as good, obviously, that's why you're a walk-on, but you're still expected to follow the same policies and procedures, you're at every practice and it's harder. You have to earn your spot. These people are coming in with scholarships, thinking they already have a spot. When you're a walk-on you fight for every travel spot, you fight to get on that bus and go to a meet.
"It just taught me a lot about the fact that I could do it when I put my heart in it. I ended up making the team myself, that's how I got on scholarship, and it just carries over into so many things, it carries over into so many things like comprehensive exams for graduate school. You fight until the end of an exam, you don't give up and that's an athletic principal. When you start something you follow through with it.
"And I would say the other takeaway is, ask for help when you need it. There's no sense in sitting there, struggling with a problem by yourself when some professor is more than willing to help, you just simply haven't asked. So, I'd say, working smart, rather than just working hard, because everyone here knows how to work hard. I mean they had to do that in high school to get here."