Professor and Franklin College alumna Angie Walls is dedicated to providing support and guiding her children and Franklin College students through her passions in math and faith.
Math isn’t for everybody, but Walls strives to find a way to help students see how math is more than equations.
Walls has been a lecturer of mathematics at Franklin College since 2012 and graduated from the college in 1988. She started helping students as a math tutor in sixth grade and has continued working with students since.
Walls said while she enjoyed homeschooling her three children nearly to middle school, none of them developed her passion for math. She thought it was funny that all three of her kids are good at math, but none of them liked it. Her favorite part was planning field trips, or as her kids called them, “history vacations.”
She attributes a lot of students’ struggles with math due to a lack of faith in their skills.
Freshman Ariel Walker, who took quantitative reasoning with Walls last semester, said she’s had trouble with math for a long time but Walls helped her make it through the semester.
“Math has always been my weakness,” Walker said. “It is really hard for me to learn and I’m sure it has been hard for teachers to help me.”
Walls said her focus is on helping students conquer their fears and build confidence in their abilities.
“I try to make sure that they are not as fearful of it and they have more confidence in their own skills, so I try to build those up while going through the class,” Walls said.
She added that she tries to teach students in a way that allows them to let go of their fears and connect math with their daily lives.
“I try to bring in as many real examples, here's how it's used in jobs in art, in English, in education or whatever,” Walls said. “So, I try really hard to connect students with real-life math, not just a formula.”
Sophomore Victoria Simmons and Walker said outside of class Walls goes out of her way to make sure students understand the curriculum. Both Walker and Simmons said she supports them inside the classroom and out.
“She has done whatever she can to help me in and outside of class because she wants me to do my very best, even when she is not teaching my class or working at the math study center, she has found time to be there for me and I appreciate her so much,” Simmons said.
Walker said Walls teaching style and positive mindset make her different than her teachers in the past.
Walls is also the faculty sponsor for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She was part of the group as a student when the organization first started on Franklin College’s campus and now helps students organize activities and approves meetings.
Senior Reilly Jones, president of InterVarsity, said Walls has become another mother figure to her since she met her four years ago through the organization.
“She very quickly became a mother figure to me, both encouraging me and challenging me to be the best I can be,” Jones said. “Her genuine care for me has helped me get through some of my hardest challenges in college, being both a shoulder to cry on as well as someone to rejoice with when achievements are made or prayers are answered.”
She said while Walls has all of the same duties the other faculty advisors on campus have, Walls puts in a lot of additional time and care with each member.
“What most people don't know is the time she pours into the organization and its members; time that is not compensated or even recognized most of the time,” Jones said.
Jones said before COVID, Walls would have students from the group come to her house a couple times a semester for her famous baked spaghetti and brownies with ice cream. Now, she tries to meet with students individually each week.
“It means the world to me that I have been able to connect with a mentor so well and been able to share my experiences with her throughout my entire college career,” Jones said. “I'm so thankful that FC made our paths cross and campus is lucky to have her.”