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January Student Spotlight– Kellan Short ‘20 Mathematics

Coming to “Nova, I really was not sure what I was passionate about academically. I was undeclared because there were lots of subjects that interested me, and I didn't know what path would be best for me to take. My first year, I surveyed different courses in various departments fulfilling core requirements. One of those requirements was Calculus II. I was not thrilled about having to take such a difficult math class. While I had always enjoyed math, I was convinced that math would not play a large role in my future.

My Villanova professor for Calc II was Dr. Charles Ashley. My first impression of Dr. Ashley was that he was a very normal instructor, just like math teachers I had in high school. However, as we began exploring different ways to find an integral, I began to realize how lucky I was to have Dr. Ashley. He made class interesting, and he took a genuine interest in all of his students. For the first time in my life, I really felt a passionate interest in math, and I looked forward to our class meetings.

As the semester progressed, Dr. Ashley helped me identify the benefits of math as a major and the directions in life math could take me. He encouraged me to continue to take more math classes, and he helped me get into his Calc III class the next semester. By the end of that second semester with Dr. Ashley, I had decided that I would declare my math major. I have still gone back to Dr. Ashley’s office to talk about courses, career opportunities, or even to have a casual conversation about sports.

Since becoming a math major, I have had the opportunity to become further involved in department activities as the president of the math club. One of my favorite things about working with the math club is having the chance to interact with underclassmen who also feel a passion for math. I love to discuss the possibilities of being a math major, and I hope to share my experiences with them. It is rewarding to feel like I have influenced someone in the same way Dr. Ashley influenced me.

Kellan visits with his family the College Basketball Experience History Museum in Kansas City, MO (Notice Jay Wright!)

I am excited to continue to follow my interests in math in the future, and I am grateful to the Blue White Scholarship Foundation and the generous donors who allow me to do that. I hope to get in another math class with Dr. Ashley which will only reignite my intellectual spark for math. I look forward to sharing my story with other Villanovans and helping them.

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