Faculty help College of Arts and Sciences student find success in and out of the classroom

April 11, 2024

Christopher McAlley smiles for a close up.

Christopher McAlley ’24, MAT ’25, has always loved to solve problems. Whether inside or outside of the classroom, he is dedicated to making a difference.

His passion for mathematics was sparked at a young age and Quinnipiac has enabled him to love for this area of study. McAlley’s college career has changed his perception on math and how he now views the subject as an art form, he said.

He dove into engagement and involvement opportunities immediately as a student in the College of Arts and Sciences. During his second year, the Bobcat served as the math representative in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council and rose to vice president during his third year.

“We tried to be a voice for students in the College of Arts and Sciences and also a support group,” said McAlley.

Along with encouraging students and organizing events, he had the privilege of helping to select the Commencement speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate graduation last year. During this academic year, the school altered the operation and function of the council, renaming it to the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board. In his role as a senior member of the board, he volunteered at open houses and spoke to many prospective students about the Quinnipiac experience.

Throughout his time as an undergraduate, he has connected students with faculty to improve communication and perspective within the community.

“It is important to me that I am a voice so I can share my experiences with others,” said McAlley. “I want to be able to show other students what they are capable of and how they can achieve that. I want my peers to know that they are surrounded by supportive faculty. I want every student to have the same, or better, experience than me so they can succeed too.”

The faculty and staff at Quinnipiac have been instrumental in McAlley’s accomplishments throughout his undergraduate career.

“I loved that each of my professors were personable and available for me if I needed help,” said McAlley. “In the math department, my professors were outstanding individuals. Each one I had the pleasure of getting to know on a personal level. Intellectually, they helped me grow as a student and made my experience at Quinnipiac very enjoyable. My favorite part about the administration is that everyone wants to see you succeed and in every one of my classes I felt like that was their mission.”

Aside from his leadership positions in student-run organizations, the mathematics student has been working closely with Professor of Mathematics Louis Deaett on an in-depth research project. For the past year and a half, the two have discovered and discussed findings related to special properties of matrices in linear algebra.

This project has sparked a new passion for McAlley within research and this professional partnership has instilled a great sense of pride within him. He presented their findings at the Hudson River Undergraduate Math Conference on April 6 and plans to publish a paper with the information the two uncovered.

He will go on to complete his master’s degree in teaching after graduating in May and intends to teach secondary math.

“My goal to be the biggest support system for my students,” McAlley said. “Quinnipiac has modeled what it is like when faculty care about your success. Not only academically, but in life. I am enrolled in the MAT 4+1 program which has taught me a lot about the teaching profession. It has allowed me to gain my own classroom experience.”

As he reflects on the past four years of being a Bobcat, he offers advice to prospective and current students. McAlley encourages students to not take anything for granted and try everything and anything, he said.

“Coming from a math guy, the chances of you succeeding at something you don't try is zero,” said McAlley. “Even if you don't think you will like something or succeed at it, if you don't attempt it, there is no way you can be sure without trying.”

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