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Mathematics major Lindsey Clark ’24 is a Noyce scholar and future teacher

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Lindsey Clark in Morken lobby
April 2, 2024
By Mark Storer
PLU Marketing & Communications Guest Writer

Lindsey Clark ’24 came to PLU knowing it was where she wanted to be. But Clark—a double major in mathematics and gender, sexuality, and race studies (GSRS)—says PLU challenged and changed her and expanded her worldview in ways she never before considered on her way to becoming a math teacher.

“Math is kind of what I expected it to be,” says Clark. “I like math and the discipline of working with students. That’s where my passion is.”

But it’s her other major, GSRS, that opened doors Clark didn’t know were there. “It’s just so different. It’s cross-disciplinary, so I’m taking classes from all over the university, and that’s been really valuable.”

Clark’s taken English and political science classes, and those have given her new perspectives. “The GSRS major really gets you in everywhere and gets you to do everything.”

Clark is also Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship recipient. Known as the Culturally Sustaining STEM (CS-STEM) Teaching Program at PLU, the scholarship is awarded to students of different backgrounds in their senior and graduate years who want to teach STEM subjects.

“There are six of us, two undergrads and four in the graduate program,” says Clark. “We meet once a month to talk about different concepts, from deficit-based mindsets, implicit biases, culturally relevant content, and things like that.”

Professor Tom Edgar of the mathematics department is Clark’s mentor for CS-STEM scholars program. “He’s super understanding and helpful, and I’ve learned so much from him.”

Clark was also strongly influenced by Professor Ksenija Simić-Muller. “She’s one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met,” says Clark. “In everything from pathways I wanted to explore, to planning out what I want to do, she’s always been there to help me, and she and Dr. Edgar have been real role models.”

Clark says part the value of the CS-STEM program is meeting with PLU grad students in the Masters of Arts in Education Program. “I get to hear their experiences—the good, the bad, and the horrendous. It’s nice to share a space with other people who are also passionate about changing how we teach STEM, how we view it, and how we connect it to students.”

Among her favorite student experiences was a math festival where PLU partnered with University of Washington Tacoma students, bringing the event to both universities and Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

“The goal was to bring mathematics in new, fun, and interesting ways to students’ and their families’ lives,” Clark says. “I generated something on tessellations, which is like tiling. Students could create their own tiling pattern on a piece of paper, and then color it in. The little kids loved that and had a lot of fun with it.”

Clark will graduate in May but will return to PLU in the fall to obtain her master’s degree and teaching credential, which she’ll complete in one year. After that, she’ll head into the math classroom. “Part of the Noyce Scholarship grant is that I have to teach at a Title I school for two years, so I’ll probably stay local,” Clark says. “I have the intention of supporting the local community with teaching.”

Lindsey Clark in the Morken Lobby
Lindsey Clark at a table
Lindsey Clakrk doing an equation on the whiteboard