Student showing professor math equation on chalkboard.

Alexis Washington first learned about Angelo State while still in high school.

“My math teacher was an ASU alumnus,” she said. “He helped me through most of my tough times. He took care of his students, and was one of the best math teachers I have ever had.”

Acting as her personal college advisor, Alexis’ math teacher pulled up the ASU website, and they brainstormed potential majors and minors. He described what it means to be a member of the Ram Family and about the many campus traditions.

“I applied, got accepted and received a scholarship,” she said. “I appreciate my teacher for telling me about Angelo State.”

Student writing on chalkboard.

A freshman mathematics major, Alexis has already started to build her community at ASU.

“I’m a part of the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) which is a math club here on campus,” she said. “I feel love there, and it’s like my home. I’m also a part of a problem-solving seminar that prepares for the Putnam Test.”

In addition to her classes and being heavily involved in student organizations, Alexis is a tutor in the Math Lab.

Students looking at notes

“I like how everyone is treated in the Math Lab,” she said. “You never go in feeling like someone dislikes you. Students who need help are comfortable enough to come in without being judged, even if they don’t know the simple math.”

“We all have been there, even the experts,” Alexis continued. “The Math Lab is a comfortable place if you need help. You can come in and we won’t judge you.”

“At ASU, you can connect faster with people than you can anywhere else.”

Alexis also got a chance to help herself when Dr. Karl Havlak, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, sent an email about a competition called Math4Manufacturing. To compete, students around the state submit short videos of themselves interviewing a manufacturing professional on how they use mathematics in their day-to-day work.

While she was eager to enter the contest, Alexis realized she didn’t have many local connections as she was still transitioning from the Houston area to San Angelo. Seeing her eagerness, Dr. Havlak helped get her in touch with Lindsay Barnes, an executive at Wendland Manufacturing Corp.

Professor pointing at chalkboard teaching student

“I emailed her asking if she would be interested in helping me out,” Alexis said. “She said yes, and we set up a day to interview. After we finished, I had to edit the video from 10 minutes down to 3 minutes.”

In December 2021, she was notified that she had won the contest’s grand prize of $5,000.

“It was an overwhelming and exciting moment,” Alexis said. “I forwarded the email to my professor right then.”

“It was a life-changing experience for me,” she continued. “I didn’t think I could come to school, compete in a scholarship contest open to students across Texas, and win!”

Student writing notes

Alexis didn’t know what doors would be opened when she stepped onto campus, but the connections she has made within the Ram Family continue to grow and confirm that Angelo State is where she wants to be.

“At ASU, you can connect faster with people than you can anywhere else,” Alexis said. “At bigger schools, you have to be more competitive in classes, but here at ASU, everyone works together. Everyone is a winner here.”

Share your “I Am Angelo” moment with us on social media by using the hashtag #iamangelo.