With more than 45 years of teaching experience, Dr. Joyce Lindstrom still gets excited when the light bulb appears on her students’ faces as they solve a difficult math problem.
“Understanding math is like a brick wall for so many students,” Joyce said. “I get to help them tear down that wall. Successfully passing math allows students to go on to their other classes and to pursue their dreams.”
One of Joyce’s students wrote in an evaluation, “Dr. Lindstrom is an educator that goes the extra mile to help her students become successful and confident in all areas of mathematics. She has an enthusiasm for mathematics that is infectious and quickly gains the confidence of her students.”
Joyce, who teaches beginning, intermediate and college algebra, as well as math classes for students who want to be teachers, was awarded both the national-level 2010 William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award and the Central Regional Faculty Member Award by the Association of Community College Trustees.
But even with many of her own achievements, Joyce says her students are her proudest accomplishment. “When my students are successful, I’m successful,” Joyce said. “I think ‘yes!’ we did it together.”
As one of SCC’s early faculty members (she joined in 1988, the second year the college was offering classes), she had an opportunity to develop a number of programs with the students and the community in mind. “I’m grateful to have a job where I’ve been able to try a lot of things I had never done,” Joyce said.
Those attempts resulted in plenty of success. Joyce is responsible for developing the college’s Education Program (which she led for 20 years), the Associate of Arts in Teaching program, the Associate of Applied Science degree for education paraprofessionals, and a number of other initiatives to benefit students in St. Charles County.
However, Joyce currently is focusing on math. In addition to teaching, Joyce is collaborating with adjunct faculty members on an initiative called “Achieving Success With Math” which tackles math competency. The program reduces the number of entering students who need developmental math in college, and increases the number of students who will complete the college-level math required for a degree.
“Together with adjunct math faculty, we are presenting to high school students on the importance of taking math during their senior year,” Joyce said. “Students who arrive at SCC prepared for college-level math courses save themselves and their parents hundreds of dollars and many hours of work required to complete up to three semesters remedial work.”
The program is working – more than 85 percent of students who heard the SCC presentation are taking math their senior year, and twice as many of those students are placing into college-level math as those who did not hear the presentation.
Funding for the “Achieving Success With Math” program is made possible with community support that comes through the SCC Foundation.
“It has been such a privilege to work here at the community college,” Joyce said. “I have been empowered and challenged. Now, I have the privilege of leading and empowering others – both faculty and students. Watching them grow, succeed and prosper is a very rewarding experience.”