Title: Assistant Professor
For Professor Catherine Chambers, it is the definiteness of mathematics that she enjoys most about her field. “I always love that you got an answer, you were always right or wrong and there was no gray area” says Chambers, who grew up in Rockland County, New York.
After earning her bachelor’s and her master’s in mathematics from the State University of New York in Albany, she began her journey teaching at County College of Morris (CCM) in 1998.
“Years ago people said, ‘Girls aren’t good at math’,” says Chambers. “That is not true.”
As Chambers views it, women can excel at everything that men can and it’s unfair to exclude them or treat them differently in the field they choose to pursue.
At CCM, Chambers is a strong supporter of the college’s Women in STEM initiatives which encourage young girls to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“Why should more women be in STEM fields? Because we can be, want to be and can excel at it,” she says. It’s everyone’s responsibility, society’s, teachers and parents, to involve and encourage girls to take a look at STEM fields from a young age Chambers believes.
One of Chambers’ biggest inspirations is her daughter who is pursuing a doctorate degree in biological oceanography at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her daughter is applying her education to the real world by studying the effects of climate change on fish populations.
The Women in STEM and the new Mathematics clubs at CCM provide a space for students to meet with other students who have similar interests in their fields.
“I’m thrilled that there are faculty running the academic clubs, I think they’re phenomenal programs and I’m so proud of CCM for supporting them,” says Chambers.
“I’m incredibly happy here, I love the focus on teaching as opposed to research and I would never even consider leaving”.
She also has some helpful advice for CCM students. “Take advantage of all your opportunities; don’t feel like there’s something wrong with using a service on campus like the Career Center, all these services are here to help you so you can succeed.”