An Ambassador of Math

Student hopes to bring enthusiasm to the classroom

An Ambassador of Math

By Matt Markey

If you suspect Alyssa Lustgarten sees the world through brown and orange colored glasses, she will happily admit that is indeed the case. For her, mascots, fight songs, school colors, history and traditions are as much an essential part of BGSU as the classrooms, office buildings and dormitories.

“I think if you go someplace and you can just feel the pride and sense the unique connection a university has with its entire community, then you know that is something you want to be a part of,” the junior from Dublin, Ohio, said.

“Rich traditions are a bond between prospective students, current students and those who have graduated and moved on. I think Bowling Green kind of energizes you, and the impact is very positive when you experience that pride firsthand.”

Lustgarten was exposed to the BGSU experience well before moving to campus. She had several teachers in high school who were Bowling Green graduates, and their loyalty was regularly on display.

“One of my teachers would sing Ay Ziggy Zoomba each time I walked by his classroom. That school spirit really stayed with him,” she said. “And my mom is also a teacher, and a lot of her teaching partners are BG grads, and I saw the same energy from them. When I talked to them about their experiences here, it created a bond that we could share.”

While she was reviewing her options and considering her college choices, Lustgarten said BGSU distinguished itself by maintaining a continuous line of communication throughout the process.

“And that communication always had a personal feel to it,” she said. “When I visited campus for a weekend, they didn’t just list a bunch of statistics about the place—they wanted to go out and show you what BG had to offer. They called me by name and answered all of my questions. There was a personal touch that permeated every aspect of the experience.”

Lustgarten chose BGSU, and with her academic record and skill set she has been able to group together several scholarships to help with the cost and join the Honors College. The integrated mathematics education major said she benefited by seeking assistance from a multitude of sources.

“Even if you don’t get scholarships in big chunks, it can all come together and add up to something very beneficial,” she said. “By having these various scholarships, it allows me to not have to work so much while I am going to school.”

Lustgarten hopes her BGSU education will take her from the classrooms on campus right into a high school looking for an energetic and innovative math teacher.

“A lot of the students at my high school didn’t get calculus at all, but when I teach I want show students that math isn’t this scary subject everyone makes it out to be. It can be interesting, and I can make it relevant and a valuable tool for them. Math so important in so many areas now, and every student needs a good foundation in math before they go out into the world.”

Lustgarten has served as an ambassador for BGSU in several different capacities, regularly meeting with prospective students and their parents. She said her abundance of pride in her university has made it easy to connect with prospective students and share details and information about her introduction to BG’s traditions and rich history.

“I’ve met some other kids who have had experiences similar to mine, and I feel like I helped them make their decision on attending here,” she said. “A lot of the people at Bowling Green are really down-to-earth, they support each other, and there is an enthusiastic atmosphere that reaches everyone.”

She also has worked at BGSU Math Camp, and found its blend of fun, frivolity and quadratic equations to be a very appropriate proving ground for her plans to bring energy and excitement to the classroom after graduation.

“I like things really upbeat and energizing, and I want to use that approach as a teacher,” she said. “A lot of kids come to math camp and you can tell they don’t want to be there, but by the end they are enthused and ready for more. There are better ways to present math and teach math, and that’s something I want to utilize. And with the math background and enthusiasm I’ll have coming from Bowling Green, I’m excited about that.”

Lustgarten expects to graduate in May of 2017, and she plans to be a passionate representative of the University wherever her career path might take her. 

“I’ve worked at events hosted by alumni, and I want to be as active and involved as many of them are,” she said. “I really enjoy supporting BG as an undergrad, and I am certain that support will only increase after I graduate.”

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