Stephanie Blanda and Angela Berardinelli, Ph.D., are the newest addition to Mercyhurst’s Math department.
Blanda is a Ph.D. student with a minor in computational science at Pennsylvania State University. She obtained a B.S. from Lebanon Valley College, where she double majored in mathematics and computer science.
After having experienced both a close-knit undergraduate college and a huge community in graduate school, Blanda is confident she belongs to a small community. After she visited Mercyhurst for the first time, the friendly, welcoming community made her want to stay.
“This is really unique,” Blanda said.
Berardinelli also shares Blanda’s feelings. Prior to Mercyhurst, Berardinelli taught and finished her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of North Texas, with a strong background in computer science. Her research interests lie broadly in the areas of algebra, geometry and combinatorics.
Teaching for the first three weeks of semester, both Berardinelli and Blanda find their passions in every class and student. Their biggest goal in short term is to finish the semester successfully by helping their students benefit from their college experiences as best they can.
Blanda and Berardinelli have another thing in common: they both became interested in math, because of the teachers in their undergraduate programs that helped them find their passions.
“As an undergraduate student, my professors helped me learn that math was something you had to work at to succeed, that it didn’t matter that I sometimes struggled to understand an abstract concept,”said Blanda.
Inspired by that experience, her teaching tactic is “not telling the student what to do but helping them to get there by their own.”
Berardinelli, on the other hand, brings all of her energy to the classroom and tries to engage students with flexible methods to grasp difficult topics.
“It is definitely rewarding to see in real time students come from confusion to understanding, and from understanding to mastering the subject,”said Berardinelli.
She also encourages students to succeed in their academic careers and to explore other passions, because for her, college is an exciting time that allows for self-exploration and satisfaction in areas other than professional studies.
“The process of discovering yourself is to savor, not rush. So if you need time, take your time, figure it out,” said Berardinelli.
With great energy and teaching philosophy, both Blanda and Berardinelli expect to bring their passion and dedication to every class and be guiding lights to their students.
Born and raised near Pittsburgh, Berardinelli is an ever-faithful fan of the teams in Black and Gold. She loves hockey and is planning to attend an upcoming Mercyhurst hockey game in the near future.
Blanda is originally from Lebanon, Pa. Besides her love for math and programing, Blanda is also interested in board games and playing music. During her undergraduate years, she played in a band.