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News: Lawson goes full circle from Roane State student to Roane State faculty

News: Lawson goes full circle from Roane State student to Roane State faculty

Ashley Lawson

Feb. 2, 2018

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Ashley Lawson said it was a bit strange going from being a Roane State student to teaching at the college’s Cumberland County campus, but she’s successfully made the leap.

“I was scared a bit when I was a student, a bit intimidated, especially about going on to a big university,” Lawson said.

But she was more than successful in going from Roane State as a transfer student to Tennessee Tech, where both her undergraduate research project and her master’s thesis in math won accolades and were published. As an undergraduate, Lawson majored in math with a minor in education.

She’s gone full circle and returned to Roane State as an assistant professor of math. “It’s very different from being a student to being a faculty member,” Lawson said.

“But I love the people here more than anything,” she said. Her job “is a lot of work,” she said, “but I do like it. I feel very supported at this campus.”

Lawson said her parents never finished high school and live in a rural area of Cumberland County near the Putnam County line.

Lawson credits Ann Berry, who works in the Learning Center on the Cumberland County campus, with helping her improve her language skills.

Lawson’s sister, Jessica Lawson, also attended Roane State’s Cumberland County site. Jessica followed her sister’s footsteps and has transferred to Tennessee Tech.

With little age difference between her and her students, Lawson said she dresses professionally as a sign of her hard-won status as a college professor.

And as a new faculty member, she has a mentor, Associate Math Professor Deborah Miles, who offers her tips on successful teaching.

“I really like my job,” Lawson said of her first full-time occupation.​

To learn more about academic programs at the Cumberland County campus, call (931) 456-9880.

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