Meet Tammy Barrientos

Tammy Barrientos is the mathematics coordinator at SVSU's Regional Mathematics and Science Center, and graduate of the MAT, with a Natural Science Specialization. A former middle school teacher, Tammy designs math curricula for local schools and helps educators improve their teaching.

Tammy says that in earning her master's degree, she learned that her work with research made her a better teacher. She now advocates for all teachers to learn more theory through graduate studies, adding that it will markedly increase their success with students.

But Tamara says she remembers hesitating to pursue a higher degree. "A lot of the time, teachers are reluctant because they don't see the value it'll hold in their classroom, how it will directly affect them on a day-to-day basis," she says. "They want the theory they learn to impact them right away, and I believe this master's degree will do that."

Tamara had earned her undergraduate teaching degree at SVSU so she could teach math and science. But taking the step to the next level in her career gave her a freedom to specialize. she pursued math education, which she'd realized was her true passion. "My master's degree allowed me to explore the things I wanted specifically to look at," she says. "I knew what I needed when I started. I was able to decide what direction it was going in."