Meet Affiliate Faculty Member, Lisa Hammer
Recently, Grand Valley’s Mathematics Department welcomed a new affiliate faculty member to its ranks. In Fall 2009, Elisabeth (Lisa) Hammer joined the math department, teaching 100-level math courses (primarily algebra, college algebra, and trigonometry). Lisa enjoys teaching developmental math courses. She explains, “I think you can see a lot of growth in your students in these courses. I really try to make my classes very positive so that students who have struggled with math in the past do not feel intimidated by the subject.”
Before coming to Grand Valley, Lisa taught algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus for several years at South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science from Calvin College in 2007 with a major in mathematics and a minor in Spanish. She is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Education with a content specialization in mathematics at GVSU. She plans to complete that degree in Winter 2012. She states, “My master’s coursework has been extremely beneficial to my teaching because it has helped me to reflect on how to best teach mathematics in a way that encourages students to take responsibility for their learning and to teach so that students gain a deeper conceptual understanding of mathematics.”
Lisa has always loved mathematics and when choosing a major in college decided to combine that passion with teaching since she wanted to pick a career where she could help others. Her favorite thing about teaching is her students. She continues, “I love interacting with them daily, helping them understand something that they struggled with in the past, and hopefully helping them have a positive experience with mathematics.” From the beginning, it has also been Lisa’s goal to teach at the college level. She enjoys teaching at Grand Valley because “it does an excellent job of challenging its students.” She also is a proponent of liberal arts education and was drawn to Grand Valley because of its commitment to a liberal education. Lisa also enjoys interacting with her colleagues in the math department. She explains, “I love working at Grand Valley because I feel like I am constantly challenged by my colleagues to continue to improve as a teacher. I like that they hold each professor to high expectations. I love working with such high quality people who are happy to give feedback and to work together to try to make Grand Valley the best it can possibly be.”
When Lisa isn’t teaching, she likes to remain active. She runs, plays basketball, and rollerblades. She also coaches high school track at East Grand Rapids High School, loves to bake and likes to share her baked goods with her students! Lisa also played basketball and ran track while at Calvin College and was once featured in Sports Illustrated when she won the Jostens Trophy which is given to the top Division III women’s basketball player.