Lori Burch

Ph.D. in Mathematics Education

Bloomfield, Indiana

Where did you complete your undergraduate studies?
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics from Franklin College (Franklin, IN) in 2003.

Why did you choose to attend IU Bloomington?
I taught mathematics for twelve years before joining the mathematics education doctoral program at IU Bloomington (IUB). During my time in the classroom, I was fortunate to work with some of the IUB faculty as a teacher-participant in a long-term professional development project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). I was impacted firsthand by the research and scholarship happening at the IUB School of Education. The IUB faculty treated me as a partner in research, honoring my teaching experience while helping me grow in my own practice. They piqued my interest in impacting the field beyond the walls of the classroom. When I decided to pursue a doctoral degree, I was excited to do so at IUB!

What should prospective students know about your IU School of Education graduate program?
You will be challenged. The faculty at IUB are well-respected scholars in the field of mathematics education. Graduate students work alongside IUB faculty in teaching and in research. They honor your unique perspectives and experiences as they challenge you to grow as a scholar and to find your own academic voice in the field. You won’t be alone. Graduate students and faculty in our program make an effort to support each other—academically, professionally, and emotionally. We work together. We celebrate each other’s successes, and we support each other through the challenges that come with graduate school.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since starting your IU Bloomington program?
This summer (2020) I submitted my first, first-authored manuscript for publication. I am still waiting to hear from the editor, but I was very excited to press submit on a paper that was two years in the making! I started as a volunteer on a faculty research project in fall 2018 where I learned to conduct design-based research with pre-service teachers. In summer 2019, I implemented my own study with in-service teachers. The submitted manuscript provided (a) a benchmark for my own growth and (b) a chance to communicate our work to teachers in a way that might impact students.

What is the best thing about life in Bloomington?
From the lake to forests, I love the scenery in Bloomington! From the flowers on the trees in the spring and the colors that come with fall, Bloomington is a beautiful town. I enjoy finding a peaceful outside spot—or a window seat in a café—to work or to enjoy a drink with friends.