Foundational Mathematics Faculty
Abbey Auxter, Ph.D.
Dr. Abbey Auxter has a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Temple University and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University. Her background in mathematics education research has promoted a classroom environment of student engagement, discourse, and critical thinking. She is frequently learning new technologies to incorporate into her classes and finding new ways to challenge and engage students in the mathematical journey.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Auxter conducts research and writes articles for academic journals, peer –reviews for academic journals, and collaborates on a variety of committees. She is a Philadelphia native and does triathlons and half-marathons in the warmer seasons.
Miller-Cotto, D., Auxter, A., Byrnes, J., & Knewton, K. (2017) Too Much of a Good Thing: When Faded Worked Examples Decreases Performance in Algebra. Paper to be presented at biennial Society of Research in Child Development meeting in Austin, TX, April 2017.
Ding, M. & Auxter, A. (2017) Children’s strategies to solving additive inverse problems: A preliminary analysis. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 29(1), 73-92.
Ding, M. & Auxter, A. (2015) Children’s strategies to solving additive inverse problems: A preliminary analysis. Paper presented at annual American Educational Research Association meeting in Chicago, IL, April 2015.
Ashley Clark is a member of the Foundational Mathematics department at the Community College of Philadelphia. She earned her M.S. in mathematics education from the University of Pennsylvania and B.S. in Business Administration from Temple University. Prior to Community College of Philadelphia, she taught mathematics at various high schools in the Philadelphia area. As a high school instructor, she focused on providing her students with more opportunities to positively experience math and stimulate further interest in the field of STEM. Ashley uses her experience teaching high school to help her students find mathematics exciting and achievable. She is passionate about challenging her students to better themselves inside and outside the classroom. Her commitment to innovative teaching in mathematics has been evident throughout her career. Ashley truly enjoys working with students, sharing her knowledge with them, and helping them appreciate the beauty of mathematics.
Joan DeRosa is a Professor for Foundational Mathematics at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). Professor DeRosa received her B.S. in Mathematics and a master in Mathematics Education from Temple University. She is currently an Associate Professor and serves as Co-Chair for FNMT 017 Elementary Algebra.
Professor DeRosa has taught at CCP since 2010. Before starting her career at CCP, she taught secondary mathematics for both Philadelphia and Bucks Country school districts. This background has given her the skills to present mathematics to students that have struggle in the past succeed today.
She believes that being a college professor in the best job in the world. Her passion for mathematics, love for teaching, and her drive to make a difference in the lives of her students is present in every class she teaches.
Some students’ comments:
- If you are someone who has always struggle with math, she makes it seem easy
- She explains everything in a way that you will understand.
- She gives you a lot of tools to use and a lot of ways to practice.
- Everything she teaches is spelled out clearly.
Professor DeRosa teaches FNMT 017, FNMT 118 both in the classroom and online.
Along with her passion for mathematics, Professor DeRosa’s principal interests outside of academics revolve around family, friends and her membership with Feasterville Community Reformed Church where she share God’s grace, mercy and love with the community and the world.
Gail Dixon, Ph.D.
The world we have come to know through the mathematical sciences comprises one ground within which new technologies are formed and changed. Society, which constitutes the settings within which mathematics and technology develop and work, is limited by them. Hence student potential may be freed by improved technology, but is also constrained by it. Foundational mathematics instruction should develop an appreciation of the role of reckoning within other disciplines, as well as build basic arithmetic theoretical content and procedural knowledge. Instruction should provide students with interesting and sufficient exposure to the rich body of fundamental mathematics that underlies various subject areas, and guide students to an appreciation of the intellectual depth and the abstract issues that will challenge them in their future collegiate studies.
Currently the Head of the Foundational Mathematics Department in the Division of Mathematics, Science and Health Careers at CCP, I have worked in the field of Higher Education for over 30 years, having taught undergraduate and graduate mathematics and computer science courses in colleges and universities across the country. Also I have served as a Mathematics and Computer Science department chairperson as well as supervised various mathematical sciences programs. My educational background includes a Doctor of Education with emphasis on the College Teaching of Mathematics from Columbia University in the City of New York. A Chicago native, I have a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from Loyola University of Chicago.
Have you become convinced that math just doesn't make sense? Fret not: Professor Neumann can and will help you understand why math works the way it does. There are no non-math people. With just a little diligence, an open mind, and the right guidance, everyone can understand math.
Prof. Eric Neumann is an Assistant Professor in the Foundational Mathematics Department of Community College of Philadelphia. He joined CCP in 2012, and was granted tenure in 2016. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, earned his BA in Mathematics with a Psychology minor at Colby College in central Maine, and, while teaching at a small Christian high school in Camden, NJ, earned his MS in mathematics at Rutgers University-Camden.
He has taught or tutored all levels of mathematics from pre-K through calculus, and enjoyed the unique challenges of every level -- but he particularly loves studying the logical foundations of arithmetic and algebra, and articulating those big ideas in clear, relatable ways. Professor Neumann loves Jesus, his wife, his four kids, and the city of Philadelphia (in that order), and enjoys learning about natural movement, economic theory, and the diversity of human experience. He is passionate about finding new and better ways to foster deep and lasting mathematical understanding, and tries to live by two mottos: "Never stop learning," and "Soli Deo Gloria."
You might see Eric walking or cycling between CCP and his South Philly row home. If you do, please wave "hello," and try not to run him over.
Cynthia Paul, Ph.D.
Dr. Cynthia Paul joined Community College of Philadelphia as an Assistant Professor in the Foundational Mathematics Department in 2015. Prior to becoming a full time faculty member at CCP, Cynthia tutored CCP students and taught workshops in the CCP Math Learning Lab at both the Main Campus and the Northwest Regional Center.
Prior to coming to CCP, she taught as an Adjunct Professor at both LaSalle University and Chestnut Hill College. There she taught pre-calculus mathematics, and developed and taught courses in Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers. She also supervised student teachers teaching secondary school mathematics at several area high schools. Prior to that, she spent 6 years teaching students and supporting math teachers in Philadelphia area charter schools.
Cynthia received her Bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics from Denison University; and her Masters of Science and PhD degrees from Drexel University. Her teaching interests include studying and using multiple methods of engaging and motivating students. Her research interests include methods of improving student mathematics achievement with all students.
Stanislav Ritvin is an instructor in the Foundational Mathematics Department at the Community College of Philadelphia. He grew up in Philadelphia and received his B.S. in Mathematics from Penn State University and his M.A. in Education from La Salle University. Mr. Ritvin has extensive experience teaching and tutoring various levels of math, ranging from Kindergarten to Calculus II. Before joining CCP, he was a Senior Knowledge Engineer at Reasoning Mind in Houston, TX, where he worked on developing math curriculum.
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Ritvin has a black belt in Tae Kwan Do and is a chess master. In his younger days, he was the national champion in his age group on three separate occasions. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess and soccer.
Thierry Elin-Saintine, Ph.D.
I hold a Ph.D. in urban education from Temple University, a Master’s of Arts (M.A.) in Math Education and a Master’s of Fine Arts (M.F.A) in creative writing and literature from the City College of New York. My background in creative writing, the performing arts, and mathematics education have provided me the confidence and flexibility to embrace and favor the student-centered, social-justice oriented and cooperative learning environment where student engagement and critical thinking are central and always sought after.
For most of my teaching career, I have worked with students whose learning styles and accumulated negative mathematical experiences made it difficult for them to succeed in traditional mathematics classrooms. Thus, I have always been challenged and continue to revise and refine my pedagogical and instructional methods in order to produce lessons, activities and assessment tools that allow multiple points of access for different learners while engaging every student meaningfully. Mathematics is the perfect vehicle for problem-solving and critical thinking; my objective, regardless of students’ mathematical aptitude and interest level, is to foster students’ creative abilities and provide them with the tools needed to experience mathematics as it is intended.
In my view, the classroom represents a space and ongoing opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of the world, develop a more nuanced and sophisticated view of their lifeworlds (their lives outside the classroom), and to begin the process of imagining themselves as transformative agents committed to the fight for a more equitable tomorrow. I am convinced that mathematics classrooms are the ideal sites for this transformation.
Yusefa Smith, instructor of foundational mathematics, received her M.S. in mathematics from Rutgers University and B.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. Prior to Community College of Philadelphia, she was a high school math teacher in Cherry Hill Public Schools in NJ. Her teaching philosophy is that effort creates ability and so she strives to be a great motivator to her students to get their best effort. Her track coach often stated after a hard workout that it was “money in the bank.” Every workout was a small deposit towards achieving a personal goal. She uses the same idea in education. Every class, every homework assignment, every effort is “money in the bank.” Students bring the effort and she’ll provide the proper coaching.
Office: Mint Building; MR-4E
Nandima Turay is a professor and the Assistance to the Department Chair in the Foundational Mathematics Department at Community College of Philadelphia. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics, with a minor in Secondary Education at Lincoln University in 2009. She received her M.S in Applied Mathematics at Delaware State University in 2011, where she did research focus on bio-neurological science involving mathematics. She is currently the chair of the accelerated courses that are offered in the department in addition to serving in other committees in the department.
She has a great passion to help students that have a dis-like/phobia of mathematics. It is her desire to have students earn an adoration and understanding of mathematics in everyday real-life aspect. She is enthusiastic in helping all students excel through foundational levels of mathematics and enter academic degrees pursuing career that greatly uses and enforce the science and applications of mathematics, especially STEM. She is interested in research that focus on exploring methods for developing students’ understanding while they are taking lower-level mathematics courses to promote their engagement in advanced mathematics.
Si Yoo completed her Bachelor & Master Degree in Mathematics from Drexel University. Si Yoo has served as an assistant professor since 2016 at Community College of Philadelphia.