Faculty Spotlight: Anthony Lenard
As a child, Anthony Lenard enjoyed numbers, puzzles and logic problems.
Both of his parents were good with numbers. His uncle was a surveyor/engineer who would bring home problems for Lenard to work and sometimes brought Lenard with him into the field, where he would occasionally let Lenard help him survey. So it came as no surprise when Lenard entered a field that involved math. He spent 20 years at AT&T/Lucent Bell Laboratories -- six as a software designer, developer and tester (during which he worked on features for land-line and cell phones), and 14 as a technical manager.
But he was drawn to teaching when he was a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics.
"I was a graduate teaching assistant, and my duties included lecturing -- in normal-sized classrooms, via television to remote locations and a few times in the large lecture halls," he said. "It was rewarding to see a student ask questions and grasp a new concept."
Since becoming a full-time mathematics faculty member at College of DuPage, Lenard has two goals for his students.
"The near-term goal is for students to learn the mathematics for the particular course that they are taking, so that they can apply it to their next courses and to their career path," he said. "The long-term goal for them is to improve how they learn for the purpose of life-long learning.
"I tell students that when I first joined Bell Laboratories, on the first morning I filled out the various forms needed by Human Resources. By the afternoon I was already enrolled in a set of classes to learn specifics for my job. In fact, Bell Laboratories required at least 40 hours of education per year to stay current. I ask students to analyze their learning habits and to improve upon them since they will be learning for the rest of their lives."
On the last day of class, Lenard has an important message to deliver.
"I tell my students to go MAD -- Make A Difference," he said. "Some volunteer as peer tutors, some go help in other ways and thus give back to the community.
"All of this is a gift. I am very fortunate to have been blessed with loving parents, a wonderful wife and children, and great friends. I have had the opportunity to go to college and work with great people at challenging jobs at Bell Laboratories and College of DuPage."
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