Brian Macon—professor of mathematics

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Brian Macon is a community-minded professor of mathematics. He plans to use his Raymer F. Maguire Jr. Chair in Mathematics endowment to build a student community for those students interested in STEM careers. “At a non-residential college like Valencia, there is a strong need to create a sense of belonging and help students with shared interests connect and network outside the classroom,” says Professor Macon.

What he wants to do is to build a community of students interested in STEM fields and to spark an interest in creating campus-based activities long-term after this project is complete, and to build connections to local leaders in STEM fields and gain their support for Valencia’s students.

Ideally, he says, “we’ll invite guest speakers from within our community to visit the campus. Speaker events will help like-minded students meet each other and local industry leaders. Speakers will become more interested in Valencia students, which could lead to possible internships or other opportunities.” Also under consideration, “a ‘math/science problem of the month’ program, where students can earn points for prizes from the bookstore.” The problem-of-the-month will be available for all students, disseminated to students through faculty and student development announcement boards.

His goal, then, is to create a sense of community among students interested in STEM fields through a variety of activities (guest speakers, forming of clubs, problem of the month) intended to create connections between students, faculty and local leaders in current STEM related jobs.Brian1

Professor Macon teaches mathematics at the Lake Nona campus. Many students walk in to his class with a negative attitude about mathematics at the beginning of the semester and he loves the challenge of helping students gain an appreciation of the subject.  He has been teaching full time at Valencia for 15 years, and “I can’t imagine doing anything else other than interacting with students and sharing my passion for math and its applications. This is the fifth time I have been honored with an endowed chair project, and I appreciate the opportunity the Foundation and its donors provide for faculty.”

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