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Leslie Molnar, B.Sc., M.A.

 Discipline/Teaching Area: Mathematics

I joined the College in September of 1988 and since that time have instructed ABE math and chemistry, and University Studies Math and Statistics.

I have served on many College committees and was a member of the College’s Education Council (EDCO), including a term as Chair. As EDCO Chair, I was also a member of the Board of Governors. I have also held the role of College of the Rockies’ Faculty Association (CORFA) president from 1999 – 2001 and again from 2011 to 2016. Outside of the College, I am the former second Vice-president of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators and currently hold the role of VP of the National Union of Canadian Association of University Teachers. Always looking to find ways to engage my students, I am also involved in applied research on the gamification of learning.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Instruction and Curriculum. My teaching strengths include being able to explain complex ideas, setting high standards for academic work, helping students tap into their potential, and making math less scary (and even fun!). With over 30 years of teaching experience, I have worked in rooms with chalkboards, white boards, overhead projectors, SmartBoards, and now, lots of online. I’m interested in helping students become more engaged in the learning materials, helping them to improve their self-efficacy and, ultimately, their achievement in mathematics.

If you take my online Calculus 1 course, you start with a pirate avatar, solve puzzles, gain objects and skills, etc., to ultimately solve the Quest of the Missing Emeralds.

I believe the process of learning mathematics is creative and artistic, not something to be done by rote. Many writers have noted the connection between mathematics and music. I strive to bring my musical training into my teaching of mathematics. The basic principles are the same: it is beneficial to have someone show you the basics, no matter how much natural talent you have. Techniques have to be practiced on your own time, you become better at the subject the more you study the work of others, and there is always room for improvisation, creativity, and interpretation.