Professor Kati Dobeck, a Lorain County Community College Foundation Faculty Excellence Award winner, prides herself on her relationship with her students and the involvement she has with the college in more ways than just teaching.
“My favorite part of working at LCCC is getting to know the students,” Dobeck said. “My students inspire me and make me want to be the best teacher that I can be.”
Dobeck has been a math instructor at LCCC since 2004. She normally teaches statistics and the calculus sequence, but also occasionally teaches math for elementary teachers and differential equations.
“I like to teach math as if I’m telling a story, where each class builds on the class before,” she said. “Some lessons end in cliff hangers, some have historical sidebars about dramatic conflicts between mathematicians, and every now and then, there will be a musical number. Math class should have more musical numbers.”
Dobeck earned her bachelor of science from Bowling Green State University in pure mathematics and a master of arts from Indiana University (Bloomington) in applied mathematics. As a student “once I took calculus, I was hooked on math and I wanted to help people understand the reasoning behind it and see the beauty within it,” she said.
From 2006 to 2008, Dobeck was honored to be selected as a fellow in Project ACCCESS (Advancing Community College Careers: Education, Scholarship and Service). The group was founded by the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges “to develop a cadre of two-year college mathematics faculty who are effective members of their profession,” she said. As a part of Project ACCCESS, she received funding to attend several mathematics conferences and to design, implement and assess a special teaching project with two other fellows.
Although Dobeck teaches a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subject, she took two art classes at LCCC (drawing and two-dimensional design) in 2015 and 2016 and fell in love with the arts.
“This coursework reminded me of what it is like to be a student again,” she said. “I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and explored the realm of creative problem solving for the first time. It turns out that I love making art and apparently I may have a previously undiscovered talent for it.”
Seven of her pieces created in the classes were accepted into the LCCC Student Art Show in April of 2016. Her drawing titled “The Wood” won the FAVA Membership Award and her 2D ink design titled “Arts & Sciences” won the FAVA Classes Award. She also had two black and white drawings in the Full STEAM Ahead exhibit at the Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery earlier this year, celebrating the intersection of the arts and sciences.
In her spare time, Dobeck enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, as well as working in the garden.
She is also creating 41 interactive video statistics lessons that will be published through Wiley Publishing. “They will be offered as a resource to students all over the world who are studying the textbook ‘Statistics: Unlocking the Power of Data’ by Lock, Lock, Lock, Lock and Lock,” she said.