Five Minutes with Janine Peters – All Things Mathematics and Computer Science

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Professor Peters, right, was recently selected as Tori Monterusso’s most influential professor. Tori is a Class of 2018 Top Five Graduate and Donald A. Morris Academic Excellence Award recipient.

Janine Peters serves as associate professor of mathematics and chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. Professor Peters has taught students at OC for 15 years, and the relationships she’s built with students, faculty and staff have made her role especially enjoyable. She believes that problem solving skills are essential in life, and tackling math equations are one of the best ways to develop those skills.

Why do you love Olivet College?

I really enjoy the people at Olivet College. The students, faculty and staff are amazing! I think that the college’s mission and history draw truly special people to join the campus community.

What is your favorite memory from your time serving OC?

The look of pride and accomplishment on the faces of our graduating students and their families at Commencement. So many people in the world never have the opportunity to attend college. Less than ten percent of the world population holds a college degree. It is definitely an achievement that should not be taken for granted.

Where do your passions for teaching and mathematics stem from?

Both mathematics and computer science problems are like solving puzzles. Math is just so fun! There are always many ways to approach a problem, and I love finding the most elegant method and presentation of a solution.

What is your teaching style like?

I especially enjoy talking about mathematics with my students. While I do a little lecturing, I also like to engage students in discussion. This might incorporate the entire class, small group problem-solving sessions or one-on-one discussions with individual students.

What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

I teach classes, advise students and coordinate curriculum and course offerings for our department.  Faculty also participate in institutional service. I will be serving on the Academic Policy Committee in the 2018-19 academic year. Olivet College offers so many co-curricular activities too! I’ve really enjoyed service projects in which OC students have volunteered with local schools.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?

The relationships between students, faculty and staff at Olivet College are extraordinary.  Students at Olivet College get much more personal attention than other institutions I’ve attended and taught at. You aren’t just a number. (Though I do like numbers!)

What do you look forward to in your role?

Each year I am excited to meet the new students that come to campus! It is incredible how individuals grow over the course of their academic career.

What advice do you share with students?

Make sure that you stay on top of your coursework. If you get behind, you just won’t learn as much. It is so much better to leave class each day with a sense that you have a manageable amount of work to do before the next class meeting. By staying organized, students make the most of their educational opportunities. Having homework completed and questions laid out prior to the next class is essential.

What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?

My husband, Dan, and I own a historic house in Marshall, just a few miles south of Olivet. When I am not busy with college responsibilities, I enjoy working on projects around my house and in my garden. We also love to travel, especially in northern Michigan.

Learn more about Olivet College and opportunities for students – including Comets interested in math and computer science – by visiting campus or attending an upcoming admissions event. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu for questions.


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