Suzanne Sumner, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mary Washington, earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in applied mathematics from North Carolina State University. Dr. Sumner earned her bachelor of science degree in mathematical sciences at the University of North Carolina, where she was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Since 2003 Dr. Sumner has served as Director of the Teaching Innovation Program at UMW, and she is active in improving teaching development and promoting interdisciplinary connections. Her ongoing interdisciplinary research and pedagogical collaborations connect applied mathematics with biology, entomology, environmental science, geology, and classics. Dr. Sumner is a recipient of five teaching awards during her years at North Carolina State University and the University of Mary Washington.
In her teaching, Dr. Sumner teaches the “History of Mathematics” course which weds mathematics and history to have an interdisciplinary bond. Several years ago, Dr. Sumner collaborated with Dr. Debra Hydorn to create a new mathematical modeling course using only examples from environmental science.
As part of the Project Kaleidoscope 2004-2006 Leadership Initiative “Building an Interdisciplinary Learning Environment,” Dr. Sumner organized the 2007 “Interdisciplinary Dilemmas in Ethics and Leadership (IDEAL)” colloquium along with her colleague Dr. Mary Rigsby. This initiative proposes a new interdisciplinary program of capstone courses at UMW employing service-learning to study social dilemmas from interdisciplinary perspectives and with ethical concerns. The colloquium featured lectures from the renowned speakers James Childress, John O’Connor, Gary Pavela, Albert Pierce, Gregory Stanton, Maryellen Weimer, and Kathleen Blake Yancey.
Dr. Sumner has been a Project Kaleidoscope Village Elder since 2007 and a Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century member since 1995. She was appointed as a Project Kaleidoscope Newsletter Editor in February 2008.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Project Kaleidoscope Village Elder (professional)
Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is one of the leading advocates in the United States for what works in building and sustaining strong undergraduate programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
North Carolina State University: Ph.D., Applied Mathematics 1992
North Carolina State University: M.S., Applied Mathematics 1987
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: B.S., Mathematics 1985
Media Appearances (2)
Professors Elected Co-Chairs of AAC&U PKAL D.C. Regional Network
Eagle Eye online
Professors Debra Hydorn and Suzanne Sumner (mathematics) were elected co-chairs of the new D.C. regional network of the American Association’s Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL). Hydorn and Sumner are both members of PKAL’s Faculty for the 21st Century (F21) Network. The goals for the network are to continue the work of PKAL toward improving STEM education for all students and providing faculty development and leadership opportunities for STEM educators. The D.C. regional network is planning on holding two meetings each year.
Four UMW Faculty Present at 2013 Lilly Conference
Eagle Eye online
Suzanne Sumner, professor of mathematics, Mary Beth Mathews, associate professor of religion, Kathryn Loesser-Casey, professor of biology, and Debra Hydorn, professor of mathematics, gave presentations at the 2013 Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching. The theme of this year’s conference was “Evidence Based Teaching and Learning.” Professors Sumner and Mathews gave a poster presentation on “The ‘Race and Revolotion’ First-Year Seminar: Reclaiming the University of Mary Washington’s Social Justice.” Professors Hydorn and Loesser-Casey gave a workshop on “A New Course to Develop Students’ Scientific Reasoning and Practice Skills.” The conference took place in Bethesda, Md., from May 30 – June 2.