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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Dr. Francesco Strazzullo at the award ceremony of the Reinhardt-Cherokee County School District Math Tournament in November 2017.

Math is something everyone uses at some point every day, and Dr. Francesco Strazzullo strives to change students’ mindsets that they don’t have to be naturally good at math to succeed.

In fact, the now coordinator of Reinhardt’s mathematics program had a hard time with the subject in high school but thanks to his teacher, he found a love of numbers.

Strazzullo, who came to Reinhardt in 2009, appreciates when students play an active role during class. He enjoys experimenting with various teaching tools and feels Reinhardt’s small scale allows for direct feedback for him to adjust how he presents information. He wants students to take with them “the confidence that math does not have anything to do with genetic predispositions, that our ability to think critically and process thought clearly is both an art and a science, which can be perfected by practice.”

“The math department offers courses that foster the development of critical thinking skills, preparing students to adapt to the job market requests or graduate schools’ demands,” said Strazzullo.

The program offers degrees focused in the academic realm, and provides degrees to prepare students for the workforce, such as cybersecurity and quantitative sciences. Strazzullo said almost all math education majors find jobs in schools before graduation.

“Many of our graduates have taken our internship course, working at an accounting and revision firm, an engineering consulting firm, the NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) or teaching a game coding course for the Cherokee Juvenile Department of Justice,” Strazzullo said.

On his journey in working with mathematics, Strazzullo earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in math at Federico II in Napoli, Italy, his home city. He then studied the Computer Algebra system (CAS) at the University of Opava in Czech Republic, and from there met an American professor who helped him apply for the doctoral program in mathematics at Utah State University. Strazzullo married his wife in 2003 while earning his graduate degree. They have three children.