Asked and Answered

A reader reflects on how an MSU Denver professor changed her life.

Publish Date: October 17, 2014

Metropolitan Denver Magazine Summer 2014

We Asked:

How did your MSU Denver education change your life? Was there a particularly inspiring person you encountered while at the University?

You Answered:

About eight years ago when the mortgage industry crashed, I was laid off from my job as an underwriter. Since it was difficult to find another position due to the crash, I decided to go back to school at the age of 50 and get my degree. I signed up for algebra with Dr. Diane Davis [associate professor of mathematical and computer sciences] and quickly learned I was up to my ears in trouble. I spent the first two weeks of school crying and banging my head against the wall. Although I was really good at algebra in high school, that was over 30 years ago and things seemed to have changed a bit since then. Algebra was like a foreign language to me. I was questioning my ability to finish the class and considered dropping out of school altogether. After all, when I was in high school, I took a standardized test that indicated there was less than a 50 percent chance I would be able to complete college.

I finally broke down and went to Dr. Davis for help. I will never forget how patient and kind she was. I asked if she thought I had the ability to do the work. Without hesitation, she looked directly at me and said, “Yes!”

When I was unable to grasp a concept, she would explain it in a different way until I did understand. I saw her do the same with other students. She had a real talent for explaining a formula or concept in several different ways, making it possible to accommodate many different learning styles.

I ended up getting an A in her class. I was so motivated, I continued on and, in 2010, I graduated summa cum laude. Today, I am the owner of a small business.

I will always be grateful to Dr. Davis for her help and patience. I cannot describe what a huge impact she had on my life.

- Vicki Blinn, B.A. psychology ’10

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