Maya Lanzetta: Sharing the wonder of math


CCC Math Faculty Maya Lanzetta reviews math concepts with a student during her office hours.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - From beginning algebra to calculus – math is the language she’s most passionate about.


And Maya Lanzetta teaches it all at Coconino Community College.


“It’s a beautiful language,” Lanzetta said. “I want to share that passion with my students.”


Lanzetta started teaching part time for CCC when the college had a single campus on North Fourth Street. Her daughter was 6 months old. Now, her daughter is 21, the family has moved from Flagstaff – and back – more than once, and Lanzetta, who now has a master’s degree in mathematics, teaches full time at CCC.


“I never thought of it as a career until I moved back,” Lanzetta said, adding that she’d never really planned on being a teacher. But, a high school math teacher, people telling her that her abilities were a gift she should embrace, and a love for teaching settled the question for her.


To her, math has a wonderfully clear ability to explain the world – from the inner workings of nature to the blue-collar realities of the construction trades. She added that so much of that wonder is often left out of the teaching of math; too much of a focus is made on the equations instead of the real-world applications. So, she dedicates herself to revealing that wonder.


First, she taught high school, but she knew she wanted to work at the community college.


“These are the students who inspire me,” Lanzetta said.


The students at CCC are often returning to school after living a bit of life. The students arrive wanting to improve their lives, and Lanzetta said that desire shows itself as an appreciation of the educational experience by the students. That appreciation helps the college feel like a home.


When Lanzetta isn’t teaching or grading papers, she serves as the CCC Faculty Senate president – a job she takes as seriously. The Faculty Senate is an important voice of the faculty for CCC to understand the workings and interconnectedness of the college from the ground up.


“It’s been an honor to serve,” Lanzetta said.



Monday, 1st April 2019

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  • Monday, 1st April 2019