A degree from Missouri State University can take Bear graduates anywhere.
She shares how her MSU experience shaped her continuing academic and career path.
Pursuing mathematics at MSU
Klement had enjoyed math since taking classes on the subject in high school.
But she discovered the true value of the field at MSU.
“I found math to be about more than memorizing steps or equations,” she said. “The field comes down to problem solving and critical thinking.”
Such critical thinking can lead to critical action with global implications.
This includes fighting climate change, which Klement learned could connect to math in her Introduction to Partial Differential Equations class at MSU.
“Using heat and wave equations, we can reveal which variables are most at play in influencing climate change,” she said. “We can also show to what degree shifting our use of resources can make a difference in slowing global warming.”
Klement plans to explore math’s role in shaping the environment as a career. She would like to combine this work with her talent in teaching, which she discovered while serving as a teaching assistant at MSU, she shares.
“My father served as a high school science teacher,” she said, “so the profession runs in the family.”
Fueling female representation in the field
There’s another problem within the math discipline that Klement would like to help address: the lack of women.
“It’s crucial that girls see those of their gender in the field,” she said. “If not, many can reach the conclusion that math or other sciences shouldn’t be for them.”
Klement credits the impressive work of female mathematicians she encountered when attending the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM) with inspiring her to pursue math studies past her undergraduate degree.
Dr. William Bray, department head of mathematics at MSU and Klement’s advisor, encouraged her to attend the event.
The conference served as Klement’s first exposure to UNL.
The large number of women enrolled as students and leadership at the university motivated her to complete doctoral studies there.
“There’s power in seeing women participating and succeeding in the mathematics classroom,” she said. “It can inspire other women to think about engaging in the field themselves.”
Klement’s doctoral program at UNL will begin in August.
She would encourage others interested in doctoral studies to connect with programs’ participants.
“The tool covers important program demographics, like available areas of specialty,” she said. “It also notes available funding and the number of first year students or women enrolled in programs.”
Klement is grateful for the support she received at MSU that made continuing her education possible.
“Dr. Bray always provided such helpful guidance as my advisor,” Klement said. “He, among all the professors in the department, offered the encouragement and opportunities needed to fuel my success.”