Teacher feature: Mrs. Audrey Haag

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Audrey Haag enjoys teaching with a hands-on approach. Haag applies her active learning method to data input, statistics and small animals with sharp teeth.

Haag admits that she is not the traditional researching professor. Above all, the joy in her career stems from her relationship with her students. She uses this relationship to justify her means of teaching.

“It’s always a challenge to keep students interested in the coursework,” she said, so she uses a hands-on activity “every class, every course” to involve students in their own learning and to gauge their understanding of a specific topic.

She also tries to teach in terms that are meaningful to students. She enjoys teaching her statistics classes for this reason. “It has a lot of real-world applications,” she said.

Outside of Mercyhurst College, Haag regularly volunteers at the Erie Zoo. As a docent, she teaches visitors about various zoo animals by allowing them to touch an animal’s fur or teeth.

Haag spent much of last summer training in small animal handling and recently had the opportunity to hold a small alligator. Eventually, Haag would like to use this training to take small animals to nursing homes and schools in order to teach a broader audience about wildlife.

Before adding her unique flare to the Mercyhurst community eight years ago, Haag spent 20 years working in Erie’s manufacturing industry.

After losing two jobs due to manufacturing companies going bankrupt, Haag happened to read a newspaper ad for a teaching position at Mercyhurst North East. “I’d always dreamed of teaching at the college level,” she said.

She taught mathematics at North East for two years before transferring to Main campus and adding IT function to her teaching repertoire.

Haag grew up in Middletown, N.J. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and minored in mathematics at Cornell University, and she attended graduate school at the University of Maine, where she earned an MBA for industrial engineering.

Besides teaching at Mercyhurst and volunteering at the Erie Zoo, Haag enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown children. Family activities include bird watching, gardening, hiking, skiing and snorkeling.

“We keep pretty busy,” she said.