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Success Stories

Rebecca Freese ‘16 Rebecca Freese ‘16

Becca graduated with a Mathematics major and a Biology major. While at Augsburg Becca attended the SIBS (Summer Internship in BioStatistics) program at the University of Minnesota, and then went on to do a research project with Dr. Miles Ott, which lead to a publication: Distinct Coping Profiles Are Associated With Mental Health Differences in Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Adults in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Becca is now in the Masters in BioStatistics program at the University of Minnesota, and you might occasionally find her in Lindell…

Here’s what Becca has to say:

I’m still a data science intern at Metro Transit. I’ve worked on a variety of projects, including analyzing survey data, building Shiny apps to visualize/map/model data, and helping to write internal reports and papers submitted to the TRB (yes, the same journal I submitted to the summer I was at SDSU…). I’m currently working on an application of the traveling salesman problem to optimize the routes that shelter maintenance workers take throughout their day to clean shelters. In short, I get to hang out with a bunch of smart people and play around with code in R, it’s pretty great!

This semester I’m taking Survival Analysis, Statistical Methods for Correlated Data, an intro GIS class, and am working as a TA. I will be completing my Masters this spring!

Tyler Heaps ’13Tyler Heaps

Major/Minor: Mathematics Major, Computer Science Minor
 Title: Coordinator, Analytics & Research at United States Soccer Federation

Shortly after graduating from Augsburg, I began working as a data analyst for Ceridian in Minneapolis, MN. I have spent the past 2 1/2 years in their Finance department, developing sales reporting and pricing analytics for their new cloud based HCM (Human Capital Management) application.

I have recently accepted a job as Coordinator, Analytics & Research with United States Soccer Federation in Chicago, IL. To have the opportunity to combine my passion of soccer with analytics was a dream of mine when I decided to pursue mathematics at Augsburg. I am beyond excited to see how I can provide my insight through data, to help benefit the sport.

Jennifer Lovering ’10

Major/Minor: Mathematics/Accounting

Title: Actuarial Analyst II at AnthemJennifer Lovering

During my last year at Augsburg I started working at Ingenix consulting as an Actuarial Analyst. I was there for four years before moving to my current job. In both of these roles I worked on various teams to help support national health insurance providers in assessing risk and forecasting future costs. Making progress through the actuarial exams has also been a critical aspect of my career. Like most actuaries early in their career, getting through the actuarial exams has truly been the bane of my life.

Much of the success I have had (both professionally and in the exams) can be accredited to the education I received at Augsburg. Memorizing and regurgitating formulas from a textbook have little utility in the real world; the courses and professors at Augsburg challenged me and taught me how to apply mathematical reasoning to a variety of complex settings. Working in the health insurance field where things are never static, this has been especially important.

While it is painful for me to admit, the courses that were my least favorite (most challenging) when I was in college have proven to be the most valuable to me post-graduation. Having a liberal arts education has also been incredibly beneficial to me. In my career field, it is not enough to be just mathematically savvy; critical thinking and communication skills are imperative. I am thankful that my liberal arts education has made me a more well-rounded and culturally competent person.

Austin Wagner ’13austin wagner

Major/Minors: Mathematics major, minors in philosophy and physics
Title: Data analyst for Target Corp.

I had received a job offer from Target during my junior year after my internship that summer, and began working full time as a data analyst in June. Basically, I use data, statistics, and mathematical techniques to help Target make good business decisions.

The mathematics program at Augsburg gave me the tools to think quickly, creatively, and logically, not only through [my time in the classroom], but also through research experiences, study abroad opportunities, and conferences throughout the region.

Most importantly, I learned how to clearly explain myself to a variety of people who have wide-ranging expertise. This has easily been the most invaluable tool since I graduated. After all, the coolest analysis in the world is useless if you can’t explain to people why it’s so awesome!

Jasmine Zand ’12Jasmine Zand ’12

Major/Minor: Mathematics, and minors in communication studies and Middle Eastern studies
Title: Analytics consultant at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

I began interning at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in January of 2012 and I still work there as an analytics consultant. The best thing Augsburg did to prepare me for the working world was to offer an environment where people with similar aptitude and motivation could work hard and create quality results. I learned just as much inside the classroom as I did outside of it with my peers, professors, and advisers.

Ashley Gruhlke ’09Ashley Gruhlke ’09

Majors: Mathematics and secondary education
Title: Math teacher at Fridley Middle School

The summer after graduating, I went to Greece (island of Crete) to get certified to teach English as a second language. Upon returning, the school year was already starting, so I was a substitute teacher in schools throughout the metro area and I taught middle school AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college-readiness program aimed originally at students who are first generation college students) in Minneapolis.

From 2010-13 I taught math at Sobriety High School (Coon Rapids and Burnsville). The students were amazing and really working towards bettering themselves and overcoming their addictions. We closed our doors at the end of the 2013 school year. Now I am teaching at Fridley Middle School, working with eighth graders in regular math and advanced math.

I love introducing students to positivity with math and the idea of doing something more with their abilities. Augsburg taught me to look beyond the stereotypes and the demographics and focus on the individual. That helps me work with teens in finding what helps them not only learn but to grow. Also, Augsburg’s focus on the community and outreach impact how I view my community and the role I play in it.