Amazing Students Profiles

Dana TeCroney

Dana TeCroney

“A Cadillac brought me to UGA, but the people kept me here,” says New York native Dana TeCroney. While on a road trip home from visiting a friend in Miami, TeCroney stopped by UGA to check out the top ranked math education program and made an instant decision to apply to become a doctoral student in the College of Education.



High School:

Clymer Central School

Degree objective:

Ph.D. in mathematics education

Other degrees:

B.S. in mathematics, M.S. in mathematics education

Expected graduation:

fall 2012

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

Outstanding T.A. Award 2010
Outstanding Teaching Award 2012
Captain of Chilly Dawgs Club Ultimate Team 2008 -2011
Colloquium Chair for the Mathematics Education Student Association 2007-2009
National Council of Teacher of Mathematics Student Affiliate Grant 2012

Current Employment:

UGA’s department of mathematics and science education

Family Ties to UGA:

None. There was one man in my very small town who attended UGA in the 1970s. My father bought a UGA license plate from him at a yard sale after I started school here.

I chose to attend UGA because…

I bought a Cadillac, and I went to visit a friend in Miami in my new car. At the time, I was working at a university in New York as an adjunct instructor while I looked at Ph.D. programs. A professor I was working with suggested that I visit UGA on my way back because it had one of the best programs in the country for mathematics education. When I visited, I was impressed by the diverse opportunities in the department; however, I was far more impressed by the welcome I received. The people in the mathematics education department are some of the best in our field, yet they are humble and helpful.  The Cadillac brought me to UGA, but the people kept me here.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

1.  Watching goats. I was involved with the Tanyard Creek Chew Crew project where goats were put on campus to clean up the area near Baxter and Lumpkin.
2.  Walking across campus at night. There is a peaceful calm when you’re walking around campus at night and the bustle of the daytime traffic is removed.
3.  Walking around on game day. In stark contrast to a peaceful night is a home game against a SEC opponent.  The atmosphere is intense, and it’s fun to be part of something that 100,000+ people are gathering to support.

When I have free time, I like…

spend it outside.  I grew up on a dairy farm, so it’s safe to say that I have an affinity for being outside and working. On a free day you might find me working on a Jeep, herding goats all over Athens, running a chainsaw, hunting pigs with a bow, camping, working in my garden, roasting pigs, playing ultimate Frisbee or analyzing dissertation data.

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

hard to say.  It seems like the answer to this entry is constantly changing, but I can tell you about one of the craziest days of my life. I woke up in a tent and as my friend and I emerged, we were staring at Raven Glacier in Alaska.  We walked 20 miles through the Chugach Mountains then hitchhiked into town where we ate the worst Mexican food I’ve ever had. With our stomachs full of disgust, we hitchhiked another 150 miles before a lady and her son picked us up around 11 pm. When I opened the door, I noticed that the son had an Atlanta Braves ‘A’ on his hat.  It turned out to be different colors and he played in a 14-16-year-old baseball league. I played baseball in high school and his mother was a teacher, so we had a lot to talk about. After 20 minutes of discussion, before we told them our names, they offered to give us their truck while we traveled. We tried to say it was crazy that they were giving a couple of hitchhikers a truck, but they insisted. The truck was an old Nissan and covered with paintballs from the son and his friends. We returned the truck at the Moose Drop Festival in their town a week after driving it north to Denali.

My favorite place to study is…

at a coffee shop.  I’m a sucker for the double stamp days.

My favorite professor is…

there are so many here that I think it’s unfair to pick one, so I’ll choose Keary Howard from the State University of New York at Fredonia (he’s also the professor that told me to visit UGA). Dr. Howard showed me that enthusiasm and fun can and should be part of learning. Mathematics is a field that is often seen as dry and uninteresting because people don’t see its uses. Working with Dr. Howard showed me that water balloon launchers, sidewalk chalk and string, and a pair of die (number cubes if you wish) can be as powerful as a computer in a classroom. You can’t put a price on motivation.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

Garrison Keillor.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

move to France.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to…

to be honest, money is not a consideration. Too much money changes the way people look at everyday things, and I’m happy with the little money I have. I would say travel the world, but you can find ways to do this and it wouldn’t be as much fun if money was endless. The beauty is in simplicity.

After graduation, I plan to…

go big.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

visiting UGA for the first time. After spending one afternoon I had seen a beautiful campus, talked with motivated and energetic Ph.D. students and sang bluegrass traditional songs at a professor’s house. I knew Athens would be among the best four or five years of my life.