Get to Know Your Professors: This Issue: Q & A with Deb Wiens (Math Professor)

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photo by Brandon Keim

photo by Brandon Keim

By: Kasha Caprata –

Name: Debra Wiens

Originated From: I was born in Casper, Wyo., but grew up in Forsyth, Mont., and Kimball, Neb.

Undergraduate/Masters/PhD Programs: My undergraduate degree is from Rocky, with majors in biology, chemistry, and math. My Master’s degree is from Colorado State University in mathematics. I chose Rocky because of scholarships and because it was in Montana. I started as a bio/chem major thinking medical school. Bill Jamison, the math professor at the time, convinced me to add mathematics. When I decided med school wasn’t for me, I decided to continue in math.

Inspiration for Becoming a Professor: I have always enjoyed helping people and teaching is a natural extension of that. I enjoy the contact with students and the fact that every year is a new challenge.

The Definition of Education: Education is a way to continually improve and challenge yourself. It is not just learning what you need to get a job, it is learning to be willing to try new things and continue to grow.

Draw to Rocky Mountain College: I returned to Rocky to teach because I received an excellent education here and wanted to be able to help future students.

The Best and Worst Things About Being a Professor: The best part of being a professor is the interactions with students. The worst is the constant grading of papers.

Advice for New Students: Be willing to try classes that you aren’t necessarily comfortable with. You just may find an area that you actually love. Be sure to follow your heart in your career path, not just dollar signs.

This Year’s Agenda: I am teaching two new classes this year. I look forward to that challenge.

Hopes: I hope to be able to positively impact students lives. Sometimes that comes from helping an advisee find a new calling that they hadn’t thought of before. Sometimes it comes when I can show a student who never liked math that there are some very interesting topics that they have never seen before and that they will enjoy. It may even not be related to academics, but just being someone who can listen sometimes can make a difference to a student.


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