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The Mathematically Improbable Optimism of Tim Grosse

Tim Grosse, associate professor of mathematics, is a self-described open book and a self-proclaimed optimist.  He graduated from Carthage High School and went on to SUNY Oswego where he earned his bachelor in arts degree in mathematics, the first in his family to earn a college degree. He loved tutoring other students, both in high school and college, and knew that he wanted to teach but wasn’t sure in what manner he wanted to teach.  After working odd jobs, he decided to call Jefferson to inquire if the College was in need of any math tutors, and that one phone call changed the trajectory of his life.

“When I called the College, they told me they really weren’t in need of tutors at the time but thought I might make a great adjunct instructor,” he said. “I was hired as a part-time instructor and in 1997 was hired as a full-time math tutor; and the rest is history.”  Tim spent the subsequent seven years as JCC’s math tutor and math instructor, and during that time, attended SUNY Potsdam part-time where he earned his master’s degree in instructional technology. Over the years he has risen to the rank of associate professor and has garnered a reputation on campus for being both patient with his students and someone that helps make learning mathematics enjoyable.  “The most rewarding part for me is helping my students through their challenges. When outside forces may be working against them, being able to help them succeed is the best feeling,” he said. “The variety of students at Jefferson is really what I love most. Getting different groups of students, from all different ages and backgrounds, to learn and grow from each-other is truly amazing to watch.”

Tim’s never-give-up attitude has helped serve so many of his students while teaching them that they can always persevere even when falling on hard times.  “All of my years of tutoring really solidified my sense of giving back and helping. Tutoring students helped me learn not only how to teach, but how to be a good teacher,” he said. Tim’s optimism is infectious and trying to have him think about regrets and challenges in his life is something foreign for him. “I have only one regret in my life and that is that I didn’t come to JCC to earn my degree. I lament over this! We have such a nurturing environment and I believe a deeper focus on education at Jefferson.  I would of excelled here as a student,” he said. 

Tim’s love for his students and Jefferson shines through in the classroom and beyond. “I tell my students that you can’t plan for everything in your life and to let life lead you where you’re supposed to be and to have an open mind; but, whatever the future holds for me, I know I want it to be here at Jefferson.”

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