Penn State Altoona has been awarding degrees in math since 2004. Since then, our graduates have entered a variety of professions, employing their mathematical knowledge in different ways. Here is what some of our graduates are doing currently:
- Carolyn Serene (2010) is employed as an actuary at Highmark Insurance in Pittsburgh. During the summer after her junior year of college, she participated in an internship at Highmark and enjoyed it so much that the company became her first choice for employment. As a senior, she passed the first actuarial exam on her first attempt, and she succeeded at the second exam just two months after graduating.
- A 2008 graduate is working in the systems protection group at Dominion Power Company in Virginia. In addition to his math degree, he acquired an associate's degree in engineering technology from Penn State Altoona.
- Barry Minemyer (2007) is pursuing a doctorate in mathematics, with a specialization in topology, at Binghamton University. He received a master's degree from there in May, 2009. While at Penn State Altoona, as well as studying a great deal of math, Barry was a prominent player on the basketball team. He also passed the first actuarial exam as an undergraduate.
- A 2006 graduate is teaching high school in Pennsylvania.
- Immediately after graduating in 2005, a former student assumed a position as an actuary at Progressive Insurance in Ohio. She had originally come to Penn State Altoona intending to major in nursing. However, after enrolling in an honors calculus course, she discovered that she enjoyed math immensely and was blessed with considerable talent for the subject. In her sophomore year, she was awarded a scholarship to participate in a summer math program for undergraduates at Carleton College in Minnesota. Moreover, the summer before her senior year, she completed an actuarial internship at Progressive Insurance. She also passed the first actuarial exam while still a student.
- A 2005 graduate is teaching middle school in Pennsylvania. She received a master's degree in math education from Slippery Rock University in 2006. As an undergraduate, she worked on several research projects in the physics department and also participated in an internship at U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh.
- A 2005 graduate works in the computer division at Progressive Insurance in Ohio. While at Penn State Altoona, she passed the first two actuarial exams.
Comments from our graduates
- "After graduating from Penn State Altoona with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, I began my career in actuarial science. I work for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My team is responsible for senior products, with its primary focus on Highmark’s Medicare Advantage products. An employee in my position typically performs technical and clerical tasks to assist in a range of financial and risk management activities, and much of my work involves analysis of data using mathematics and computer programming.
"I believe that the math program at Penn State Altoona helped me to embark on my career and be successful in this profession. The courses I took in calculus, statistics, and computer programming provided me with the basic training that any actuary needs for both the job and the rigorous examination process. Moreover, the analysis courses helped me develop the sharp analytical skills that are the hallmark of a successful actuary. Most importantly, I received the support that I needed to earn my degree and pursue actuarial science after graduation. All of my professors were able to help me when I did not understand certain concepts, but they were also there to challenge me in a manner that allowed me to grow intellectually. My experience in the math program at Penn State Altoona was very enlightening and fulfilling, and I am glad that I chose to earn my degree through it."
— Carolyn Serene, 2010
- "I am currently a graduate student and teaching assistant in the math department at Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York. A broad description of my research is the study of the interplay between topology and geometry. As a teaching assistant, I have taught Calculus 1, 2, and 3 as well as Linear Algebra. I absolutely love my situation here in Binghamton. I enjoy learning and teaching mathematics, and just like at Altoona the department here is full of great people.
"Penn State Altoona prepared me very well for graduate school. The curriculum furnished all the prerequisites that I needed to succeed in the basic graduate courses at Binghamton. In addition to those essential requirements, I had the opportunity at Altoona to take a variety of other courses, ensuring that I entered graduate school with a broad foundation in mathematics. The faculty at Altoona really took care of me and put me in an excellent position to succeed in graduate school."
— Barry Minemyer, 2007
The study of mathematics provides you with the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to society by giving you the capability to solve problems in such diverse fields as computer science, economics, engineering, environmental science, government, management, medicine, and social science. A bachelor's degree in mathematics prepares you for careers in a wide range of industries including, the aerospace, defense, financial services, information technology, government, and insurance industries. A bachelor's degree in mathematics also prepares you for a teaching career, and it can lead to advanced degrees in business, education, engineering, law, mathematics or statistics.