FAU alumna, Brittanney Adelmann, Ph.D., possesses strength and fortitude when it comes to pursuing her goals in higher education. Adelmann has developed a keen ability to use these assets that have led to amazing accomplishments and a job she loves. She demonstrates these for a wide range of students studying mathematics at Florida Atlantic and thrives in assisting them to develop their own sense of passion, ambition, and perseverance, helping them to succeed. Brittanney graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mathematics in 2008 and held on tightly to her passion for teaching and mathematics. Her ambition to become a teacher led her to seek out various opportunities in the world of mathematics at FAU.
“I knew I wanted to teach and I knew I really liked doing mathematics. I wanted to change the perception so many students held, “I am not good at math” or “I can’t do math” by becoming a teacher who engages students, provides a purpose, and helps them enjoy the subject.”
Brittanney went on to graduate with a Master’s in Mathematics in 2010, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics, specializing in Cryptography in 2016. She now holds an administrative position, as well as a teaching position in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at FAU. Her passion, ambition, dedication, and perseverance has led her to her dream job with the best of two worlds: administration and teaching. She is the Director of the Math Learning Center (MLC) and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. She began her new position in May, 2013 as the Assistant Director of the MLC, and was promoted to become the Director in August of 2018. She greatly enjoys her adjunct teaching position in the department.
“I have a front-row seat in helping students be successful in their math courses. I supervise about 130 student workers, ranging from undergrads to grads and am blessed to have played a role in mentoring many of them over the years. I am responsible for starting a Learning Assistant (LA) program in the calculus sequence at FAU—this involved course redesign (from math) and embedded peer support (MLC) to provide active learning in the classroom. This program has been successful in lowering DFW rates, engaging students in the learning process, and aiding with faculty development. We recently hosted a successful LA regional workshop at FAU, working closely with our partners at the University of Colorado, Boulder (the home of the LA Program)."
When asked how her studies at FAU helped her to prepare her for this role, she explained, “Great instruction, mentoring relationships, and guidance of members of the math department has definitely helped to mold me into the successful teacher/administrator that I am today. Graduate school was very challenging and there were times I wanted to give up…but members in the department, along with the other graduate students I was in the program with, helped me through the more challenging times to the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Brittanney has enjoyed the experience of developing life-long friends along the way. When asked about any favorite experiences at FAU, Brittanney explains, “One of the greatest experiences was getting to know graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) from other countries/cultures and becoming friends with them. I broadened my knowledge of people in the world, and am a better human being because of it. It should also be said that certain faculty believed in my ability and saw my capabilities at times when I struggled to see it. Thankfully, they never gave up on me and pushed me to make good decisions along my path.”
Her doctoral research is in quantum cryptography. She describes her experience working with her doctoral committee chair, Rainer Steinwandt, Ph.D., by stating, “My advisor was awesome! I am pretty sure he knew everything going on in the field. Under his direction, I was always guided into thinking about areas that were most important to contribute to the field. I was also lucky to be on a grant with my advisor for a few years that produced multiple published papers.”
"Mathematics is a beautiful and challenging field. NEVER give up, even when it gets so difficult that you feel you will never make it keep pushing through. Ask the tough questions, research and continue to learn, and you will persevere. Life is about how you show up when it’s tough and accomplishments that were hard fought for mean more than those that were easily attained. The battle was beyond worth it for me. I get to do a job I love every day!”