Professional Statement

My name is Marvin Elder II. I am currently a sophomore double majoring in Mathematics and Mathematics Education at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU). I chose to attend MVSU because it has always been known to have one of the greatest departments in the field of Mathematics and Computer Science. Since attending, I have learned a lot about both majors and I am constantly being motivated to further my studies in the two and enroll in a master’s program.

I am from Indianola, MS. In the future I plan to give back to my community and become an Algebra teacher. In our region, state test scores are not so great and this motivates me to become an affective instructor. I also plan to stay active as an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America, so I can help promote leadership in young men’s lives at an early age.

I got started in the field of Computer Science and Mathematics in the summer of 2009 when I was accepted into the National Science Foundation-HBCU Undergraduate Program Summer Science Program held at MVSU. The program introduced me to the Computer Science and Mathematics field. The advisors, mentors, and teachers there showed me how important these fields were in my life.

I attended the Alliance for Graduate Education in Mississippi Winter Scholar Symposium 2010, held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The speaker for the group I was in was Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Associate Professor of Higher and Postsecondary Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through his speech, I learned that the status of one's future depends on the amount of work one puts in during the present time. This statement added on more inspiration from the words of my department chair, Dr. Constance G. Bland, at MVSU, "Four years of hard work and you're set for life.”

During the summer of 2010, I completed research at Elizabeth City State University in the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Science (URE OMPS) program. The primary focus of the research project was threefold. First, research was conducted on the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). During the research of the IRB, mock IRB approval applications were submitted for review. These actions had to be taken before any research could begin. Second, the focus of the research project was to assess the hypothesized success of both the URE OMPS program and the virtual seminars through a comprehensive data analysis of questionnaire responses using experimental statistics. Third, the design of experimental questionnaires was explored. Demographic, Likert Scale, open- and closed-ended survey questions were all used for questionnaires that were administered after the virtual seminars. Calculations of the statistical measures were done using the two sample test for observational data using the statistical software packages Excel-StatPlus and Minitab.

After obtaining bachelor’s degrees in both Mathematics and Mathematics Education, I plan to further my education by obtaining a master’s degree in Mathematics. I also plan to continue to find research opportunities in efforts to expand my knowledge. I plan to be able to use the degrees and research opportunities to build a strong career in a Mathematics oriented field.