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Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Ayerdi, B.S.’17

Joshua AyerdiJoshua Ayerdi B.S.’17, Secondary Education: Mathematics and Spanish, received several scholarships while at WMU: William Robinson Endowed Medallion Scholarship, Lee Honors College; Presidential Study Abroad Scholarship, Spanish Department; and the Colonel Charles E Bayliss Scholarship, Math Department.

Because of the scholarships I earned, I was able to see the world during my time at WMU. I was able to complete a study abroad program in Burgos, Spain during the Fall semester of 2014. While there, I was able to study Spanish language and culture first hand. This helped me to better understand the culture of Spain and improve my Spanish communication skills at the same time.

My scholarships really helped me to connect with people in my degrees. Through my math department scholarship, I was able to connect with other math students as well as faculty to learn how to use my degree post-graduation. I eventually met and worked with my thesis chair Dr. Tabitha Mingus and completed my honor college thesis, Relative Rates of Success of Students in Calculus 1, during the Spring of 2017. My Medallion Scholarship also got me involved with our service project, Future Leaders of Kalamazoo (FLOK), assisted by the then associate dean Jane Baas. We met weekly with at-risk middle school students in KPS's Millwood Middle School and helped them succeed and move on to High School on track for graduation. This helped me to make valuable connections in the KPS schools before I graduated.

Currently, I work at Mt. Pleasant High School as a Math teacher. I teach Algebra 1, Algebra 2, SAT Math Prep, and Math Support. I also work as the Head Coach of our Boys Varsity Tennis Team, the Head Coach of the Girls JV Tennis Team, and serve on the Faculty Council for our chapter of National Honors Society. In my spare time I play tennis with my friends and family, and enjoy game nights with my friends.

The scholarships awarded to me during my time at WMU really set me up for success. I was able to graduate debt free and start my career without having to worry about student loan debts. I am extremely thankful for the Spanish Department, Math Department, and the Lee Honors College for selecting me as a recipient of their scholarships, as well as the countless donors to the University that made the scholarships possible. I know that my life would not be the same had I not received them.

Read more stories from WMU alumni about how scholarships had an impact on their education and future success. If you have a story about how scholarships received from WMU helped with your success, and you’d like to share it with the WMU alumni association audience, please let us know by completing this form.