Northeast State has named Malissa Trent as the College’s new dean of Mathematics.
She follows Nancy Forrester, who retired as the division’s dean in June. The Mathematics division directs programs of Mathematics and Pre-Engineering programs and The Learning Center where students can get free tutoring on numerous subjects.
“I am very blessed to be a member of this department and work with our faculty,” Trent said. “We have great people who strive to make math understandable and accessible.”
Trent joined Northeast State in 1997 as an instructor of Mathematics. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory and Henry College and her Master of Science degree from East Tennessee State University.
She became associate professor of mathematics and served as the coordinator of the division’s learning support services. As the division’s learning support coordinator since 2006, Trent helped shape the new learning support mathematics curriculum designed to assist students struggling with math.
“So many people are afraid of math,” says Trent. “We make it our goal to simplify things without lowering standards. So much of the math we teach at Northeast State is practical and applicable to the professional world where the students are going.”
Students majoring in Advanced Technologies programs such as electrical, electromechanical, and mechanical technology learn math’s role in technical and scientific education. Business, Pre-Engineering, and STEM majors must have a solid math foundation to provide a seamless transition as they matriculate to four-year institutions. Trent added that Pre-Teacher Education majors had to master math skills they would ultimately teach to their students.
“We make students in every program aware of how math plays a role in any profession they pursue,” said Trent. “When you understand math you can better understand the world.”
The Mathematics division’s 17 full-time faculty and approximately 20 adjunct faculty members teach a variety of courses of learning support math through differential equations.
“I know the caliber of people in this division,” Trent said. “Everyone pulls together and is dedicated to putting their students first.”