Dr. Rachelle Ankney grew up in the Midwest and, after achieving her doctorate, she found her way to North Park where she has taught for over a decade.
For Dr. Ankney, “Engaging with students about justice issues happens more easily at North Park than at other schools. I love going into the new semester and meeting wonderful people.”
Her most popular courses are Math 1030, a general education class, and Abstract Algebra. Although on two ends of the spectrum, general education and major-specific courses respectively, Dr. Ankney says that in both classes she creates an environment where students change their self-perception. “They come in thinking they can’t, and leave thinking they can.” In both courses, students are challenged to stretch beyond their perceptual limits and discover what they’re capable of mathematically.
Living in Chicago, and with a curriculum tied to the city, Dr. Ankney’s adoration for Chicago is contagious. “My GE math courses are very political. A lot of how racism has shaped the city of Chicago. Mathematics has a lot to say about systems of injustice because mathematics can be used to establish that something is systemic instead of individual.” This was something that Dr. Ankney could not bring into the classroom until North Park gave her the space to facilitate it in the classroom.
Dr. Ankeny and Dr. Kaestner, co-wrote a math textbook, Just Math (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2015), in which mathematics is applied to social justice issues.
Dr. Ankney’s favorite place in Chicago? “Pilsen. People have to go to Pilsen; to see the street art and graffiti there, and eat some tacos. Chicago’s best-kept secret is the Lakefront trail south of soldier field. It’s totally different from the Lakefront trail north.”