Faculty Profile: Betty Clifford

Betty Clifford is an assistant professor of mathematics and education, with specific focus on the algebras and math education. She has been at Lake Erie College since 1985. She has taught every course in the math department as well as the math methods course in Early Childhood, and AYA Math Education. She is a graduate of Cleveland State University and Willoughby South High School. She has always loved math and wanted to teach. She originally began teaching math when she was in college and tutored for the math department. Apart from teaching, Professor Clifford is also the faculty director of the LEC Mortar Board as well as the faculty adviser for the Science and Math Learning Community, and the faculty adviser to the Needle Work student association. Professor Clifford has been the recipient of Lake Erie College Excellence in Teaching Award, Ohio Magazine Excellence in Teaching, Honorary Faculty member of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society and Lake Erie College Athletic Department Faculty Recognition.

Why do you love your discipline?

I love problem solving! I would work all night on a problem to find a conclusion and find an application. I enjoy seeing math in other fields such as math and Art. It is so enjoyable to walk through an Art Museum and see math in sculptures, art, and textiles. Finding the math in the art of the ancients to modern day is wonderful.

What has been your proudest moment as a professor at Lake Erie College?

It is not a moment but moments: I enjoy every time a past student contacts me, whether they [were] math [students] or just happen to know me on campus. I am especially proud of our math majors. They are all so successful.

What one or two life skills do you try to teach your students?

Have Passion for what you do. Whether you are a teacher, work in research, or in business, it is the passion that makes you successful. You will find joy in everything and excitement in the little steps that we sometimes miss.

Tell us how you got involved with the Learning Communities, and what do you see as the biggest benefit of a LC membership to the students?

I have been involved with the Learning Community since the beginning. I was asked by the School of Science and Math to be the representative. It is so enjoyable to meet the freshmen and work with them using a different approach to math and science. The class looks at math and science through art, flying kites, studying super heroes and ending with skepticism: the questioning in science. The students in the Learning Community have a special bond with each other. They come from different backgrounds and interest. They support and interact with each other. It is especially exciting to see them together the next year; working, studying and socializing.

What was your favorite moment from the events your Learning Community participated in last year?

The HU125 Science and Math learning community had their midterm at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I thoroughly enjoyed their comments at the museum as they interacted with each other and especially dinner after in Little Italy. In the spring we had such a wonderful time at the West Side Market and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.