Dedicated. Caring. Intentional. Hilarious. Joyful. Wise. Intelligent. Passionate. Profound. These are the qualities Dr. Gann's students ascribe to her. Even students who aren't fond of Dr. Gann's subject, mathematics, sing her praises. As I talked to Dr. Gann, it was obvious that she cares deeply about her students and is passionate about her job.
Her College Experience
Some students come to college and know without a doubt know which major is right for them. That was not Dr. Gann, who felt like she was floundering. She wanted to honor God, but at the same time, she felt as if God wasn't giving her direction about her career path. Eventually though, Dr. Gann realized that God was telling her that He didn't care what profession she chose. It wasn't that He didn't care about her, but that He was going to let her pick and use her choice to glorify His name. Then a computer science major, Dr. Gann realized that she had always enjoyed school and learning, so she decided to become a teacher.
Dr. Gann fell in love with teaching math when she realized that she had the ability to empower students. Sometimes she will have students that don't believe they are intelligent or simply unable to do math, but Dr. Gann thrives in the moment when she can show them that those are not true statements. For Dr. Gann, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student's face light up with understanding and confidence.
Dr. Gann can vividly remember Dr. Swor, a close friend, telling a student something that she wished someone had told her when she was struggling to choose a major. Those words were simply, "Decide what you would do for free, and do that. Then praise the Lord that you get to do it." Dr. Gann expanded on this thought, using math to back up her point saying:
Why Study Math?
Unfortunately, math is quite often taught as number-crunching and exercise completion, but according to Dr. Gann, math is the science of problem-solving. The skills that you use to solve a pure math problem are the same skills that you use to solve problems in your marriage. It teaches you how to think, and so it translates into lots of avenues. Mathematics students can be doctors, lawyers, politicians, and teachers, but even more so, Dr. Gann thinks that mathematics can be especially useful to Christians. Many times Christians shy away from science and math, but in fact, both provide support for their beliefs and teach them how to present their case logically to the world.
At the end of the day, Dr. Gann's goal is to love well. Whether it's preparing her future teachers to teach, tutoring a student, or simply giving some motherly advice, Dr. Gann does just that. Those who have the privilege of knowing Dr. Gann agree that she serves the field of mathematics, Mississippi College, and Christ in a way that is truly profound. If you want to know more about Dr. Gann, check out the Beacon's article, When the Odds Seem Stacked Against You.