Robert Noyce STEM Scholars Program

 

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Caitlin Vaccaro

 

Cohort:

2011

Subject:

Mathematics

Bachelor's:

Mathematics

Wellesley College

Teaches at:

 

Hometown:

Los Alamos, NM

 

 

 

 

 

I was raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a town whose primary sustenance is the national laboratory found there. As such, I grew up surrounded by highly intelligent and talented scientists, many of whom left their successful careers at the laboratory to dedicate their lives to teaching.  In my years there, I grew a strong fondness for math and science, and above all, a fierce passion for learning. After high school, I went on to study at Wellesley College, a small liberal arts college located in the intellectual hub near Boston, where I received my degree in Mathematics.

Like many of my college peers, I could have gone on to make high wages at a prestigious job, but I opted out in an effort to find something that would bring my life the greater sense of fulfillment that I was looking for.  Something that would make the work I was doing more worthwhile and meaningful. And, for me, meaning and value came not from money or prestige, but from the ability to contribute to the betterment of society. It was only recently, however, that I realized the fulfillment I was looking for had been right in front of me all along.

An unfortunate event brought about the realization that teaching was the answer to my search.  It started with the death of a local math teacher, Mrs. Nash.  In the wake of her passing there was an immense sense of loss. Countless people shared stories about Mrs. Nash’s positive impact on them and how much she would be missed. I never met Mrs. Nash, but her impact reached even me.  She became a role model, and drove my passion for helping students do the things they thought impossible.

So, as my own education continues, I am excited to move forward with the goal of helping students realize their dreams through education.  I realize its importance and impact, and thrive off of its ability to reinvigorate my experience of the world around me.

 

 

Dr. Jason Jude Smith, Program Manager
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave, EDU105
Tampa, Fl 33620
Phone: 813-974-1345
Email:jjs2@usf.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

 

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