Faculty Profile: i2 Instructor Stephanie Purington

Stephanie Purington

Meet Stephanie Purington, iCons 2 Instructor!

Dept.  College of Education

# of years in iCons:  2nd year

# of years at UMass:  2nd year

Why did you become involved in iCons? 

One of the professors who I work with was looking for someone who had a background in education and science and engineering --and I was excited to jump on board!

What is the best piece of advice you can give to iCons students? 

Take people up on their offers of help – people might say I know someone, or I know something.  Learn networking and learn to use your resources….

What have you learned from teaching iCons?

 I’ve learned that a group of people who are committed and passionate can move the needle on an issue.  They might not be able to solve it, but together they can find some avenue, some piece of it, that they can address.

What have you found most interesting about working in iCons? 

The creativity and risk –taking that students show in pursuing different societal problems impresses me.  It is definitely beyond what I expected students at this academic level to reach for.

What did you study in college?

Aeronautics and astronautics, with an emphasis on structural research.   Then, I worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, working on structural research on first generation carbon composite structures of wings and fuselage.  I then moved into teaching secondary math and science, after earning my masters of education (and taught for 19 years).  I’m now pursuing my PhD in Teacher Education and School improvement.  My focus is on studying better ways to prepare elementary school teachers to teach math -- especially addressing issues around math anxiety and the fixed mindset around math that many students develop at a young age.

What do you do when you’re not teaching at UMass?

 My PhD work! – and I like to bake (she is known for her brownies and chocolate chip cookies).  I also spend time with my family, like to read, am a huge Sudoku fan… and enjoy the occasional weekend biking on the rail trail.