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William’s Reason to Love DCCCD: Caring Faculty

Last updated on October 4, 2019

I am William Kaseu, and I graduated from El Centro in the fall of 2015. I am so thankful to have started my academic career at El Centro College, one of the seven colleges of the DCCCD. El Centro is an exceptional institution, one whose bedrock lies on the foundation of innovation, critical thinking and academic excellence. But what makes El Centro even more extraordinary is the love, passion and dedication of their students, faculty and staff. Having said that, I am writing this blog post to thank some of the people who helped me succeed at El Centro.

William Kaseu, El Centro graduate, standing on the snowy campus at University of Rochester.
William Kaseu, El Centro graduate, standing on the snowy campus at the University of Rochester.

I would first like to thank Professor Cassandra Bowell of El Centro College. I first met Professor Bowell when I registered for her Math 1325 class section in Spring 2014. I remember going into her class as a rather naïve and braggadocious student, one who never fully appreciated the art and beauty of mathematics. It still amazes me to this day how she eloquently and aesthetically broke down mathematics to its essence; unlike many other professors, her mission was to show us the meaning, eccentricities and significance behind mathematics (not simply its mechanics) and how it applies to the financial world.

“I remember going into her class as a rather naïve and braggadocious student, one who never fully appreciated the art and beauty of mathematics.”

But above all, what most astonished me about Professor Bowell was her passion for teaching. The way she delivered her lectures made it almost impossible for a student to not have a positive experience with math. I, like many other students in the class, was no exception and had a very positive experience; this was the class where I first fell in love with mathematics. Mrs. Bowell was also the first professor to introduce me to the honors program at El Centro and how to approach mathematical research.

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To this day, I still cherish those experiences, as they have defined what type of student I am today, and I would really like to thank Mrs. Bowell for those experiences and for helping me better myself. Mrs. Bowell, you really exemplify the true meaning of what it means to be a great teacher and inspirer. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for your students; I can only imagine the sheer number of other students out there that you helped inspire. Their existence is truly a testament to the quality and professionalism you bring to your classrooms every day, without exception. Lastly, thank you for being a loving and passionate professor and, more importantly, thank you for being a friend.

I would also like to thank Dr. Greg Morris, the Vice President of Academic Affairs at El Centro College. Dr. Morris is an amazing administrator, full of humility and respect for others. He truly wants to see the college and all its students succeed.  I was fortunate enough to be selected to work as an intern on a project, which was directed and supervised by Dr. Morris, during Spring 2015. He introduced me to the inner workings of empirical research and helped guide me through all its mechanics and red tape.

When I began, I only had a vague idea of how to structure a research project, but his patience and exemplary human skills endowed in me a yearning to acquire more research knowledge; as a result, I have now attained a myriad of skills which will help me in graduate school and on Wall Street. Working with Dr. Morris was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, one that I will never forget. Thank you very much, Dr. Morris, for this opportunity and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to inspire, motivate and enrich me. You are truly changing lives through higher education.

I would also like to thank Dr. Pearson, a mathematics professor at El Centro College, for your mentorship. The time and advice you have given me are invaluable, as I have learned so much from you. You have helped me design my future plans and have provided me with a multitude of encouragement, feedback and support. As I start applying for graduate school later this year, I will utilize the wealth of information you have shared with me. Thank you again, Dr. Pearson.

And last but not least, I would really like to thank John and Lyn Muse for believing in me and giving me a hand up. When I first came to America, I was living far below the poverty line and it was financially challenging for me to attend college. I was on the brink of giving up but something told me to keep on going. I am so glad that I listened to that inner voice because on May 9, 2014, my life changed forever; on that day, I had an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Muse and I was selected as a 2014 Muse Scholar.

Their support helped me attend and graduate from El Centro and I have no idea where I would be if it were not for their generous support. They changed my life and gave me the opportunity to better myself. I would like to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Muse, your mentorship and philanthropy really help change lives, and I, like many other Muse Scholars, am forever grateful. I hope, one day, I can do more to express my gratitude and also help change other peoples’ lives, the same way you changed mine.

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