St. Louis Alderman Ward 20
Bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2000
I LOVE math. I have always considered myself an inherently creative person. I love finding new paths to things and math is an immensely creative endeavor. I loved imagining concepts and thinking through proofs, finding paths to outcomes that were different from the textbook, new ways of thinking of things. Imagining new geometries, deconstructing algorithms. But it really came came down to obstinance. I had a 3rd grade teacher who told me girls could never be good at math, and I really took proving her wrong to heart.
Alderman of the 20th Ward, City of St. Louis. Alderman is the St. Louis term for an elected city council member. I represent a richly diverse and dynamic part of our city as well as the best interest of our city as a whole. I love where I live and I see a lot of room for improvement in our municipal government. Plus, they told me you could never bust in to politics without a connection. (Yes, you’re starting to see a pattern…)
How I use math in my job:
I wish I used math more. I wish we all did in government. But I do pour over the details of our city budget and make decisions based on the numbers. For example, just last year our city proposed a new football stadium financed primarily by tax payers. It didn’t take a math major to figure out the plan was not going to work out well for tax payers, but having the “mathematician” in the room weigh in on things did make people take the opposition more seriously.
Advice to Truman students getting ready to hit the job market:
Be comfortable with yourself. Know you have one of the finest educations in the world. I got my first job because I goofed and dropped the F bomb during my interview. I found that out years later when I asked why I got hired, they assumed because of the F bomb that I knew what I was talking about and was confident enough in my skills to be myself. I wouldn’t suggest randomly dropping F bombs, but a relaxed self confidence goes a long way not only in the interview but in life.