Catherine A. Roberts went to college planning to become a high school French teacher After earning an A in Calculus I, her professor convinced her to take more math. She’d never have considered a major in math were it not for one of her mentors (Professor Bill Barker, Bowdoin College) convincing her that she was welcome and could succeed. In her senior year, she realized her interest in math was such that she wanted to keep studying it, so she started thinking about graduate school. She spent a year at Duke University taking first-year graduate courses in math and then transferred to the applied math PhD program at Northwestern University with full support (tuition waiver and a stipend). Catherine spent several summers teaching math to first-generation low-income college-bound students in Upward Bound. As a professor at the College of the Holy Cross, she teaches a calculus sequence for underprepared students (many low-income, first-generation, underrepresented minority students) aspiring to study in the sciences, and many of her students have decided to become math majors. She is currently on leave from Holy Cross and is the Executive Director for the American Mathematical Society, one of the professional societies for mathematicians.
Photo provided as a courtesy of the American Mathematical Society.