Breeann Wilson '19
Math grad moves forward with confidence
At times, Breeann Wilson '19 felt her status as a first-generation college student threatened to keep her from reaching her educational goals. Now, as she enters a Ph.D. program with the ambition of becoming a math professor, she sees her background differently.
"I view my socioeconomic status now as motivation for attending graduate school so that I may use my doctorate degree to benefit other students who have the same mentality I had," says Wilson, who double majored in math and mathematical economics.
Wilson says her mentality as a student was often one of self-doubt, but she found an important source of encouragement in her professors.
"I nearly stopped myself from filling out graduate school applications because I underestimated my ability to continue my education at a level unknown to my family," she says. "The math department has helped me to challenge these doubts, and with this encouragement from my mentors at Whitworth, I have achieved more than I thought possible."
Indeed, Wilson accomplished much as a Whitworth student and, as a transfer student, did so in a short amount of time. Last summer, she completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at James Madison University where she was introduced to graduate-level research.
"The most meaningful part about it was gaining the experience of doing mathematical research and working with a team of other motivated individuals toward a common goal," Wilson says.