Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Ask the Professor: Dr. Audrey Meador, assistant professor of mathematics

Dylan Green

Dr. Audrey Meador is an assistant professor of mathematics in the College of Engineering. Dr. Meador teaches mathematics content courses to pre-service teachers and professional development courses for in-service teachers.

Dr. Meador earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Texas A&M University. She is a former McNair Scholar and alumna of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity.

“I love WT,” Dr. Meador said. “I love the atmosphere, I love the students, it’s really nice. Prior to this, I used to teach in high school. And it was really like a full circle moment having those students not only be students here at WT, but now some of them are actually working here. And so, it’s really cool to have that progress.”

Dr. Audrey Meador demonstrates how she teaches students to teach in one of the classrooms in the Classroom Center. Math teachers will use blocks and toys to illustrate concepts to younger students. (Jo Early)

Dr. Meador’s research interests include the recruitment and retention of students in STEM fields. She conducted a research project involving STEM students from rural areas.

“Many of them saw that their rural towns were kind of dying and they didn’t want to see that because that was a big part of their identity,” Dr. Meador said. “So, a lot of them want to go back and help out their communities in some way. Another thing some of those students didn’t realize is that there’s actually a place for many of them to work once they graduate.”

As an example, Dr. Meador explained that students from small towns where the only career opportunity is to work at a packing plant might not realize that these plants require engineers to maintain their machines.

Dr. Meador also researches diverse populations in STEM education, with mixed results.

“I found that I’ve confirmed the ones where, yes, it’s impactful, but I’ve also confirmed that it’s not, so I’m still a part of that mixture of diversifying the teaching workforce,” Dr. Meador said. “But I still think it’s necessary because we just need more teachers, and I think we need to start being really creative about where we pull those people from, especially in the STEM fields.”

Dr. Meador teaches metacognitive learning strategies to her students using a book by Dr. Sandra McGuire titled “Teach Students How to Learn.” One of these strategies is to learn the material as if you needed to teach it to somebody else. Dr. Meador told a story of her using this method to ace her advanced calculus final while she was an undergraduate.

“At the time, I was dating my husband, and he had this dog [and] she didn’t like me very much because I was moving in on her man,” Dr. Meador said. “So, he said, ‘Why don’t you spend more time with her?’ And I said, all right. I don’t like you, dog; you don’t like me, so you know what? I’m going to teach you a bit of calculus. So that’s how I studied and then wound up acing my final and I’m pretty sure if my dog had taken it too, she would have passed it as well.”

Dr. Meador described the College of Engineering as “a blessed place.”

“I love WT, but one of the things I really love about the College of Engineering is that we’re all led we’re led by women and that’s pretty rare in engineering, computer science, math fields that have been heavily male-dominated, to be led by our dean being a female and our two associate deans being female,” Dr. Meador said. “So, that’s a really unique and special place to be and I feel like I’m really proud of that fact because they understand the challenges not only for all faculty, but faculty that are women, you know, being a working mom, and those types of things. So, I just wanted to say that because it’s really something I value and enjoy a lot.”

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About the Contributors
Jo Early
Jo Early, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Jo Early and I am a senior digital communication & media major from Amarillo. I transferred from Amarillo College in Spring 2023 and began working as editor-in-chief in Fall 2023. I want to inform the West Texas A&M Community and spotlight student resources. In the future, I hope to work for NPR.
Dylan Green
Dylan Green, Graphic Designer
Hi, my name is Dylan Green! I’m a senior Graphic Design major, and have worked with The Prairie News since Spring 2023. My career goal is to do design work for the music industry or other arts-related fields. I enjoy collecting vinyl records, listening to music, and making art in my free time.

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