I hope to teach students in my classroom the role that an understanding of mathematical concepts plays in everyday life. Basic math skills are essential to enabling students in urban schools to participate in civic activities such as home ownership and interpreting political poll numbers.”
For most of her life, Corinne Cornibe subscribed to the maxim that “those who can’t do teach.” She did not consider pursuing teaching and planned to become a “master builder,” earning a BS in architecture from McGill University. In her senior year, as a recipient of McGill’s prestigious Wilfred Truman Shaver Scholarship, Corinne was invited to participate in an architectural tour of Switzerland. It was during this trip that she began to have doubts about her chosen profession, realizing that the conditions necessary for the construction of the impressive architecture were inconsistent with her values.
Upon graduation, Corinne joined an architectural firm where she worked on the design of the Fred Rogers memorial (of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood) and had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Rogers at the project’s groundbreaking. However, “the reality that architecture is first and foremost a business continued to chip away at my enthusiasm.” Simultaneously, she supplemented her income by tutoring mathematics. “Within a few months, I realized that I was more enthusiastic about tutoring than architecture.” Corinne graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in mathematics and earned her teaching certificate from New York University.
In addition to being a Knowles Fellow, Corinne is a recipient of a Math for America fellowship. In 2010, she was appointed her school’s Chair of the Mathematics Department.