Suzie Smith

I found my academic future in high school Algebra I class. While many students dreaded the class, I got a rush of joy every time I solved for x. It was like cracking a little mystery, and I couldn’t wait to find out what x was going to be next time. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to apply math as my life’s work. Today I teach Operations Management and Data Analytics, two fields that apply math in practical ways. There was another mystery I didn’t consider until I left home after high school. Though I had a solid church background, I didn’t actively seek to know God better until I got to college and joined a Bible study group. As I read the Bible and answered the questions in the study, I felt like Scripture was speaking to me personally as described in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” When I read the Bible and prayed for guidance, I experienced the power of these ancient words speaking truth to me in my daily life through comfort, counsel, wisdom, admonition, and the historical narrative in the Word. The mystery of the Holy Spirit working in my heart through this process has been far more influential and profound than algebra – though they are related. German astronomer Johannes Kepler once said, “Science is the process of thinking God’s thoughts after him.” Like most college students, I struggled to find where I fit. I didn’t get in the sorority that I thought I wanted, lost the fight with the freshman fifteen, and changed my academic direction a couple of times. When I shared my struggles with Christian mentors and friends, they helped me see how God could use difficulties in my life to become something good, redirecting my relationships and building resilience. God has created each one of us uniquely, with diverse strengths, talents, backgrounds, and personalities. One of the reasons I became a faculty member was so that I could encourage the next generations of students to find their calling and fit.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"There's a way to do it better. Find it." -- Thomas Edison

My hobbies

Playing word games, yoga, swimming, planning my next trip to Disney World

My undergrad alma mater

Presbyterian College and Vanderbilt University (dual degrees)

My worst subject in school

History, ugh

In college I drove

1978 Ford Fairmont named Fred

Favorite books

Jane Eyre, My Losing Season, Everybody Always

Favorite movies

Babe, Groundhog Day, Shawshank Redemption, Toy Story 1&2

Favorite city

New York City

Favorite coffee

Molten Chocolate from The Fresh Market - chocolate aroma without the calories

My latest accomplishment

Learning Tableau and Power BI Data Visualization software