Mathematics Alumni Profiles

Tyler Hefty Alumni Profile 2015

Tyler Hefty

B.S. Mathematics, UW-River Falls

Currently, I work as a data analyst within the Psychometrics Department at Renaissance Learning in Madison, WI. As a data analyst, I collaborate with psychometricians by preparing and analyzing educational test data. Our team applies statistics to the design, development, and evaluation of our company's computer adaptive tests.

My background as a mathematics student at UW-River Falls has built a great foundation for my professional career. At UW River Falls they were able to spark an interest in mathematics through small class sizes, which gave me more one-on-one time with the professors. This interest, made me more involved within the program and provided extracurricular opportunities. I have represented UW River Falls multiple times in a worldwide math modeling competition put on by COMAP. To this day I utilize the creative thinking and mathematical knowledge I gained from the competition and courses at UW River Falls.


Lisa Rosenthal Alumni Profile 2015

Lisa Rosenthal

B.S. Mathematics, UW-River Falls

Having a career in information technology as an IT Business Analyst at Andersen Corporation is directly related to the skills and knowledge I gained through my undergraduate career. As a business analyst, I am working as a liaison between the business and IT department to help solve problems using technology as a solution. Every day I work with all sorts of people to understand what challenges they are having, and work to develop a solution that will solve their needs. This requires strong problem solving and analytical skills.
Being a mathematics major in college, I never thought that working in the IT industry would utilize all the knowledge I gained. I always thought I would need to find a career that used numbers and math since that is the curriculum I studied. I learned quickly that it isn't necessarily about how good you are at doing math equations or memorizing different formulas, but it's about how good you are at solving problems. My undergraduate work built the analytical, problem solving, logical mindset that I use every day to solve problems using technology. Now I realize a major in mathematics is essential to having any career that requires solving problems.



Adam Kaufman Alumni Profile 2015

Adam C. Kaufman 

B.S. Mathematics Secondary Education, Coaching Minor - UW-River Falls 
M.S. Mathematics Education- UW-River Falls

AP Calculus and pre-calculus teacher and assistant wrestling coach at Hudson High School, WI.

I have been teaching and coaching at Hudson High School for 10 years and have taught most subjects we offer here over the course of that time.  My extensive background in mathematics and education from UW-River Falls, has made me extremely knowledgeable in my content area.  This allows me to educate students using a variety of methods so as to help all different learners gain a better understanding of mathematics.  I am also able to challenge students with deeper level thinking questions and help them understand college level mathematics.  I owe a lot of credit to the UW-River Falls Mathematics Department for their instruction as well as the education department for their strategies for delivering my knowledge.  Finally, my Master's Degree program allowed me to collaborate with other teachers on a graduate level where we learned graduate level mathematics and how to apply math and math history into the classroom.  Every level of my learning through UW-River Falls has been beneficial to me in my career. 

Toni Fruth Profile Photo

Toni J. Fruth

B.S. Mathematics Secondary Education – UW River Falls
M.S. Mathematics Education – UW River Falls

I teach high school mathematics at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, MN. I have taught everything from Algebra I to AP Statistics. In addition, I am enrolled in the Doctorate in Education program at Hamline University. My goal is to research ways to reduce the achievement gap, especially in the mathematics classroom.

In my undergraduate degree, the math classes I took challenged me, but I received the support that I needed to succeed from the professors. The graduate degree in mathematics education provided invaluable experiences to grow as a teacher. I was able to learn and work with other math teachers as well as some of the same professors that I had as an undergraduate. When the professors I had as an undergraduate still remembered me several years later, I knew that I was part of a special community.

 Jen Hartle Profile Photo

Jen Hartle

B.S. Mathematics Secondary Education - UW - River Falls
M.Ed Mathematics Education – University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
M.A.S Applied Statistics – Penn State University

For 12 years, I taught high school mathematics, including courses in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and AP Statistics.  While teaching statistics and completing my graduate work in Mathematics Education, I discovered a passion for applied statistics.  In my current position, Associate Statistical Modeler for Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, I conduct statistical analyses and build predictive models in areas of risk, fraud and collections.

My course work at UW-River Falls prepared me not only for teaching but to be a problem solver and think critically.  It is this solid foundation of mathematical concepts and ideas that allowed me to be a successful teacher and statistician. I am thankful to the professors in the UWRF math department for laying the groundwork in my studies in mathematics.  I will continue to be a lifelong learner because of the excellent undergraduate education I received at UWRF. 



Courtney Hable Profile Photo

Courtney Hable

B.S. Finance, Mathematics Minor – UW-River Falls

Currently I am an Associate Actuarial Analyst on the Medicare and Retirement team for UnitedHealthcare in Minnetonka. A primary focus of mine is to analyze pharmacy claims and assist senior management with making decisions for the future of Medicare and Retirement. I passed my first actuarial exam in March of 2015, my second exam in October of 2015 and am currently studying for upcoming exams.

My journey to becoming interested in the actuarial science field began in the Math Help Center at UWRF. I was a tutor for three years and was introduced to the field by another student and decided to pursue it. Even though UWRF does not have an actuarial science program, I was able to successfully enter the field with the help of my professors. The smaller class sizes gave me the opportunity to interact and learn from everyone in the classroom and become a better student. The mathematics department at UWRF is outstanding and they help prepare students for what they want to pursue in the future. Thank you to all the professors who helped me with this journey!



Susan Ficken 

Susan Ficken

B.S. Mathematics with minors in Agricultural Studies, German and International Studies, UW-River Falls
M.S. Mathematics, Northern Illinois University
Ph.D. Mathematics, Northern Illinois University 

I am an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Mississippi University for Women. It is a terrifically awesome job. I really like the fact that every semester I’ve gotten to teach a couple of developmental classes (honestly one of my favorites, I love seeing lightbulbs turn on), a standard freshman class, and an upper-division proofs class (thus far modern algebra, advanced calculus, and topology). It keeps me on my toes and stops me from getting stale.

There were many things I appreciated about UWRF. The small class sizes made it a lot easier to not get lost in the shuffle. The encouragement to participate in things such as research experiences, the modeling competition, and the Putnam exam really did wonders for me.

However, I think one of the things that UWRF did the best at preparing me for was the reality of working in a smaller primarily undergraduate institution. I was able to enthusiastically and genuinely discuss the needs of entering students with varying degrees of mathematical preparation and interest during job interviews. I deliberately set out looking for a job at a place somewhat similar to UWRF.



Nic Been 

Nicolas Been

B.S. Secondary Education, Mathematics and Health - UW-River Falls
M.S. Art of Education - Viterbo University
M.S. Administration - Viterbo University

I have been involved in education since 2001, beginning in Barron, WI, as a high school mathematics teacher.  Following that, I taught mathematics at St. Croix Central High School, in Hammond, WI.  Currently, I am in my third year as an Associate Principal at River Falls High School. 

Time spent at UWRF in preparation to work in secondary education was invaluable.  Specifically in my pursuit of a mathematics degree, an array of great staff members nurtured my learning and appreciation of vast and in-depth knowledge.  Although I am not currently a classroom teacher, the application of math skills I use on a daily basis is extensive, from scheduling to data dissemination.  Most importantly, I still have ongoing relationships with many of the staff whom impacted me at UWRF.  There is no doubt that attending UWRF to earn my degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made.



Anna Mika 

Anna Mika

B.S. Elementary Education, Mathematics Minor - UW- River Falls
MS. Secondary Science - UW-River Falls

I am currently an Instructional Science Coach at Endeavour Elementary in Cocoa, Florida, where I work with kindergarten through sixth grade teachers. My focus it to support teachers with content, background knowledge and resources to support science understandings for our youth. As a result of my dual degrees, I am able to make math and science connections for the teachers and students.

Through a lot of support of the UWRF Math Department; professors, tutors, the math study room and fellow students, I was able to successfully complete my degree including my math minor in 3.5 years. My math minor enabled me to apply to be an astronaut with the 2004 class. While I was not chosen as an astronaut, I was in the top 200 out of 4,000 and have been offered amazing experiences to share with students and teachers. My time at UWRF brings fond memories and I am fortunate to have stayed in contact with faculty and students. I would not be able to watch rocket launches from my backyard without the involvement of UWRF in my life.



Emily Minor 

Emily Minor (née Schroeder)

B.S. Elementary Education, Mathematics Minor – UW-River Falls

I am currently a 6th and 7th grade teacher at a junior high school in Navasota, Texas. I teach students of various ethnic and socio-economic statuses. 

Going through the mathematics program at UWRF, I learned the value of breaking problems down. There are many different ways to teach each concept. Just as my professors endeavored to help me understand difficult topics, I strive to teach concepts in ways that connect with my students. 

My experiences at UWRF taught me to never give up. Challenging situations inevitably arise, and reaching each moment of success is priceless. I love my job, and I am appreciative of the experiences that helped me get to where I am today.



Amber Steinmeyer 

Amber Steinmeyer (née Mueller)

B.S. Elementary Education, Mathematics Minor – UW-River Falls

I currently teach 5th grade in Stillwater, MN where I teach all content areas (literacy, math, science, social studies). My undergraduate work prepared me to be able to not only understand mathematical concepts, but help students see real-world connections to the concepts they are studying. In working at UWRF I also had the opportunity to develop test questions where I practiced identifying multiple methods to solve various problems. This experience helped me in multiple ways. First, I am able to help students identify multiple methods and find one that best meets their needs and second, I was given experience working with technology tools to support learning. Integrating technology is a huge part of my role as an educator. My UWRF experiences, both classroom work and in the field, not only prepared me for my first teaching position but it also helped me find a job right after graduation.



Lori A Christman 

Lori Christman (née Hoffman)

B.S. Mathematics – UW-River Falls
PhD Statistics – The Ohio State University

For the past five years I have been working at STATKING Clinical Services in Fairfield, OH.  I began with the company as a statistician and have since transitioned to the role of Section Head for Biostatistics.  As Section Head, I supervise other statisticians within the company in addition to serving as a project statistician for pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic companies.  My main duties as a project statistician include clinical study design, writing statistical analysis plans, reviewing data analysis outputs, and interacting with US and European regulatory agencies on behalf of clients.

My mathematics education at UW-River Falls was instrumental in helping me choose and succeed in this career path.  My probability courses showed me the opportunities of a career in statistics and provided a great foundation for my graduate work at OSU.  I also really benefited from the small class sizes in that I was able to develop strong relationships with my professors.  I am very thankful for the education that I received at UWRF.       



Contact Us

Department of Mathematics
Kathy Tomlinson, Department Chair
715-425-3326, Fax: 715-425-32O3
207 North Hall
410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls, WI 54022-5001

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