Magic Monday Alumnae Spotlight
It’s Magic Monday: October 5, 2020!
This month we honor a Woman of Mercy who exemplifies that a Mercy Girl is smart, inquisitive, and hard-working. Learn how these characteristics were fostered in Joanne Erdman Snow, Ph.D. ’70 and how her Mercy education shaped her as both a student and a mathematics professor at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
Name: Joanne Erdman Snow, Ph.D ’70
Post Mercy Education:
- B.A., Mathematics, Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland), 1974
- Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Notre Dame, 1979
Personal and Professional Achievements:
While at the University of Notre Dame in the doctoral program in mathematics, my area of specialty was a subfield of complex analysis, specifically complex solv-manifolds. After graduating I taught at a college in Muenster, Germany, Loyola College, and the University of Notre Dame. In the fall of 1983, I accepted a tenure-track position in the mathematics and computer science department of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, where I have taught a range of mathematics courses. I love teaching at a women’s college because I value what Mercy had to offer me as a high school for girls and I hope to have also built the confidence of women in mathematics. I have written numerous articles on my mathematical research and in the areas of the history of mathematics and teaching of mathematics. I also coauthored a book titled, Exploratory Examples in Analysis. I plan to retire in December 2020.
My husband Dennis and I have been married since 1976. We are the parents of four wonderful children and have also been blessed with five grandchildren. At my parish, I have taught in the Sunday School program, served as lector, Eucharistic Minister, and sacristan, and have been an active member of the parish council.
Were there any Mercy faculty members who especially impacted your life? Why?
- Sr. Joannes Clifford (RIP) was a great teacher who truly cared about advancing girls in STEM, long before it became popular. In my day, Calculus was not taught at Mercy so Sr. Joannes drove five of us to Loyola High School so we could have Calculus in our senior year! She really cared about each student. I stayed in touch with her until her death.
- Sr. Maris Stella (Ms. Marilyn Roush), was my Latin teacher, advisor for The Shield, our school newspaper, and another great educator!
- Sr. Angeline McGrath (RIP) and Sr. Seraphia (Sr. Carol Wheeler) were the best English teachers ever! What students accomplished in their classes exceeds what is done in some college classes.
What is your favorite Mercy memory?
It is really hard to pinpoint one memory: the friendships were wonderful; the faculty were excellent and very caring; the education we received was outstanding--second to none! The opportunities for extracurricular activities were great; I was involved with the school paper and forensics. Field Day was such fun and we took great pride in our participation! The development of our spiritual lives was also very important and impacted my understanding of the history of my faith. We were encouraged to serve and our faith life was nurtured. At Mercy, girls saw that faith is really a part of everyday life--not something reserved for Sunday mornings.