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Adolfo Rumbos

Adolfo Rumbos's picture
Adolfo J. Rumbos
Professor of Mathematics
Pomona College

I received a PhD in Mathematics from the University of California at Santa Cruz (1985-1989). I have bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from the Humboldt State University in Arcata, California (1980-1984).

I am currently a professor of mathematics at Pomona College. I have been at Pomona College since July of 1991. Prior to Pomona College, I had teaching and research post-docs at the University of California at Davis (1990-1991) and University of Utah in Salt Lake City (1989-1990).

Pomona College does not have a teacher education program; however, as a faculty member in the Mathematics Department, I have participated in various outreach programs that involved many of our majors in a role of tutor or mentor for high school students from the southern California area. These programs have been pivotal in motivating our graduates to pursue careers in education.

The first of these outreach programs mentioned in the previous paragraph was called the Pomona Enrichment Program (PEP) started around the summer of 1995. I was involved in it in the summers of 1996 and 1997. The program was run primarily by Pomona College students under advice of faculty. I developed curriculum for my two years of involvement. In the last year, a student mentor was in charge of doing most of the teaching based on that curriculum. The student later received a Rockefeller Fellowship to go into teaching.

Seven years after PEP, Pomona College received a grant from the Irvine Foundation to run an outreach program named the Summer Scholars Enrichment Program (SSEP) starting in the summer of 2003. Funding from the Irvine Foundation lasted for three years. The College continued to fund it until 2008. The program was directed to high school students in the areas surrounding Pomona College starting in summer prior to their sophomore year. Students would continue in the program until the summer prior to their junior year. I was involved in developing curriculum based on problem solving in mathematics. An important component of the program was a group of Pomona College students or alumni who worked as mentors and tutors. Many of them honed their teaching skills in that program and became very enthusiastic about getting involved in education.

In 2009, SSEP became the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS) and is run by the Draper Center for Community Partnerships. I have been involved in the program teaching mathematics to rising 12th graders. Again, the participation of Pomona College students and/or alumni as mentors and tutors has very important. I am not aware of any study directed to finding out the impact of the program on the number of participants who go into education after they leave Pomona College. But I would venture to say that the impact has been very significant.

Subject Areas of Interest:
  • math

Education Areas of Interest:
  • project-based learning
  • recruitment
  • retention
  • support structures