Statistics Alumna Returns as Instructor

Kathleen Suchora on the first day of classes at UCF.

The Department of Statistics at the University of Central Florida recently hired Kathleen Suchora as an instructor – and she is glad to be back.

Suchora graduated from UCF’s Department of Statistics in 1997 with a master’s degree in statistical computing. She previously taught at UCF from 2001 to 2004, when she left to have her son.

She moved to the Tampa area with her family and became very active in the community. She was on the Board of Directors of her local YMCA and served in multiple roles in the Parent-Teacher Association at her son’s school. She also started the annual Food Allergy Research and Education Walk in Tampa, which raises money for those living with life-threatening allergies. She credits her son’s own food allergies with inspiring her to put the event together.

Suchora still wanted to teach, however, and took the opportunity in 2008 to fill in for a UCF professor on sabbatical.

In May, statistics instructor Susan Schott retired from UCF, leaving an instructor position open. Suchora had worked as a graduate teaching assistant for Schott while she was completing her degree, and Schott served as her mentor when she began to teach her own classes. It seemed only appropriate for Suchora to apply for the job.

“I am so happy that a position was open and I was able to return to the department,” Suchora said. “I have been thoroughly enjoying my return to the department thus far.”

Suchora is most looking forward to being back in the classroom and working with students. She enjoys mentoring her graduate teaching assistants and other graduate students that are teaching their first classes. She is also interested in using new technologies in her class.

“Technology has advanced so much in the 12 years that I have been gone that I look forward to finding out how I can use it to benefit my students,” Suchora said.

Suchora credits her high school math teachers with instilling her love of mathematics. Her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida is in mathematics and mathematics education. She chose to focus on statistics for her graduate degree because she believes that people in any profession can benefit from a solid understanding of it.

“No matter what job a person has, they will need to be able to read journal articles to keep up in their field, they will need to be able to understand statistical ideas in news articles on a daily basis, and they should be able to analyze any data they collect,” Suchora said.

Suchora currently teaches two sections of statistical methods I, and one section of basic stat using Microsoft Excel. She looks forward to continuing to grow in the department.

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