Graduate Hopes to Break Math Barriers, Awarded for Emergency Readiness Research

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Shadae Taylor earned a master’s degree in mathematics education in May from SC State University. The Allendale, South Carolina native received a Bachelor of Science in math from SC State in 2015 and won awards for her research.

Research The former Honors College student completed research, along with SC State professor of industrial and electrical engineering, Dr. Jae-Dong Hong, to help improve emergency preparation in South Carolina. They hope that their research will ultimately play a significant role in how federal and state emergency response officials prepare for natural and man-made disasters.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through SC State’s 1890 Research and Extension Program, their research is deemed to offer a more efficient disaster relief supply chain design that includes cost minimization, enhanced emergency preparation and improved emergency response to affected areas through the logistics network. The network distributes emergency relief items and tracks locations, inventory and performance. Their research has been recognized and awarded by several professional and academic societies.

In 2016, Taylor and Hong won the Best Paper Award at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Region of the Decision Sciences Institute in Alexandria, Virginia. During the meeting, they competed against participants from over 127 universities from 20 countries, along with professors from Ivy League schools in the U.S. with notable doctorate programs. In 2017, Taylor won the Student Paper Award at the SEINFORMS conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Taylor and Hong’s research papers are entitled, "A Cross Efficiency Method- Based Approach to Emergency Relief Supply Chain Design," and "Multi-Objective Models to Design Biomass to Biofuel Supply Chain System in South Carolina.”

Hong expressed how proud he is of Taylor and what these accomplishments mean for SC State.

“These awards show what we are capable of accomplishing at this institution. After competing against others from notable universities in the U.S. and around the world, we have proven that we have what it takes here at SC State. I’m beyond proud of Ms. Taylor and I know she’ll continue to make a difference everywhere she goes,” Hong said.

Additionally, Taylor was awarded for graduating with the highest average in mathematics education for the 2017-2018 academic year at SC State.

Taylor said she always knew that she wanted to attend SC State since several of her former teachers attended and spoke highly of its educational opportunities. Hearing other SC State alumni success stories also inspired her to attend the university.

“I’ve met so many educators and professionals from other fields who attended SC State and are very successful. I wanted to be like them and seize every opportunity possible,” she said.

Taylor said she has always treasured education and its value. She decided to become a teacher because she believes that they are the strongest people in the world and that every career is cultivated by educators.

During her fourth grade year of elementary school, she realized how much she enjoyed solving math problems, and she also knew that she wanted to pass that knowledge along.

“I wanted to break the chain in math, as it is often dominated by males. I know that women can contribute greatly to the field as well. I aim to minimize the cycle of fear that often surrounds math by spreading knowledge to all of my students and helping them gain more confidence in their abilities,” Taylor said.

“If you don’t have math, what do you have? Math is a foundation for learning that allows you to think critically and outside of the box. You can apply it to so many aspects of life. I’m happy to boost the learning experience and confidence of my students through technology and relating math problems to real-life situations,” she added.

Taylor’s former math professor and advisor at SC State, Sam McDonald, affirmed Taylor’s method of teaching as effective and engaging.

"Ms. Taylor, along with her cooperating teacher during student teaching, found a revolutionary approach to math intervention. For struggling students who are two or more years behind in math, time is of the essence. Re-teaching every missed skill and concept is simply not possible,” McDonald said.

“Shadae was able to find and use problems that were strategically chosen, requiring the skills being taught at that time. Her instruction was done by way of modeling, questioning, guided practice and independent practice. She taught to the entire class and to individuals, using technology and films. Innovations such as these, along with strategic grouping, made all the difference,” he added.

Taylor achieved a high score on the Praxis test, which measures the knowledge and skills of aspiring educators for their licensure and certification as teachers. A high score enables her to teach anywhere in the U.S., where the Praxis is required, as a highly competitive candidate.

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and served in the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) club within SC State’s 1890 Research and Extension Program. She also served in the Euclidean Math Club.

She thanked her former professors and other mentors for pushing her to be the best educator and professional possible. Her advice to current students is to seek out resources and ask for help.

“You never know who you might meet and how they can help you propel,” she said

The SC State alumna plans to teach at a high school that has fewer resources and make a positive impact. She also plans to earn a Doctor of Education degree and hopes to become a college professor and eventually a dean at a university.