Women in STEM – Meet Rayna Monroe
Meet Rayna Monroe! She is a sophomore here at CCU who is a Secondary Mathematics Education major. Growing up, she did enjoy math and science classes because her brain works very logically.
She was inspired by her high school math teacher who she got to have for three years who believed in Rayna, pushing her to become the best person she could be in math and see the value of being a good math teacher. She inspired Rayna to explore the field and once she got into the field, she decided that she really enjoyed this field. She did go back and forth between secondary and elementary education, but ultimately, she found out that she loved working with both middle and high schoolers. She did not go for other STEM related careers because she was good at math for a while and she did not enjoy other choices like Engineering or Accounting.
Growing up, there was not a lot of representation for women being in STEM. She did have female math teachers but that was the only time she saw females in STEM.
She noticed that other girls did not have a lot of confidence to believe in themselves to go into STEM, so being a women in STEM to Rayna means that she can instill other girls with the confidence to be able to do math and be good at math, not to be embarrassed about it but to be excited about.
She really likes how logical STEM because there is not a lot of opinion that is involved, especially with math. Math is very black and white, so Rayna enjoys it a lot more and is able to understand it better because she does not have to insert her own opinion into it.
She is fascinated by the patterns of math and how consistently it works out because to Rayna it leads her to know that there is a Creator of this world because of how well math works.
Her favorite class that she has taken at CCU was between her field classes because she loves learning about teaching and how to teach well. She also really enjoyed New Testament and Old Testament classes with Dr. Jones because she never took a Bible class before, and these classes were very beneficial and eye-opening for her.
Some challenges that Rayna has had to overcome is taking the difficult classes like history and English, along with realizing the challenges that she will be signing herself up for since she wants to become a teacher. She knows that teaching won’t be easy, but she does know that it will be worth it.
Rayna would advise other Women in STEM that they have a lot of potential whether they believe it or not. If they can push themselves and challenge themselves, they will be able to do what they put their minds to.
She also acknowledged that STEM can be daunting at times and people can create doubts, but if they have open minds and can get out of their comfort zone, they can pursue their dreams.
In her field classes, she learned that as teachers, they cannot directly say that they are Christians. If they are able to, it is a very small part of their lesson or introduction. That being said, it is very important for Rayna to show others that she is a Christian through her actions by treating her students with kindness, love, and compassion because kids will be able to notice that there is something different about their teachers even if their teachers are not given the opportunity to openly express that they are a Christian. This way would hopefully open doors for more faith-based conversations.
One thing Rayna wants others to know about her is that she has not always been good at math, and it is something that she has struggled with. She did take the higher math classes but considers herself to be the lowest. However, the challenges that she has gone through with the help of her math teachers has created this passion for her to continue to learn more.
It was such a pleasure to interview Rayna and get to know her story! Stay tuned for more stories!