Faculty Spotlight: Kimberly Brehm
Meet Kimberly Brehm, Bellevue University Math Professor
What programs/ classes do you teach? I’ve been hard at work creating the new BS in Mathematics and have taught all of the math courses we currently offer.
Tell us about your previous work/schools? I began my career teaching at the middle level (8th grade) and did so for 4 years. I then moved up to the high school level and began working on my master’s degree. When I completed my MAT, I enjoyed teaching high school AP courses, coaching varsity volleyball and teaching adjunct courses for several different institutions, including BU. When the full-time position opened up here, I applied immediately, and the rest is history!
BS in Middle Level Education with Emphasis in Mathematics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln (2000)
MAT in Mathematics, University of Nebraska – Omaha (2011)
Innovation in Teaching Award – Bellevue University – July 2017
What do you love most about teaching at Bellevue University? Bellevue University has been very supportive of every innovation I have implemented to improve the math program at Bellevue University. The MathX lab is an amazing learning environment that is rich in technology that enhances the educational experience for our students. They have also supported the inclusion of Oliver, the “Mathcot”. He is my Morkie puppy who accompanies me to class to reduce math anxiety.
What motivates or inspires you? I teach a subject that many students don’t like or are even afraid of. It is very inspiring when that same student emails me at the end of the term to tell me how much they enjoyed my class or that they finally had that “A-ha” moment. It is even more inspiring to see it happen in person in the classroom! I save all of those emails and Reflection Forum posts. When I’m feeling frustrated or need a pick-me-up, I read over them again.
What experiences or people had the most influence on you? My mom taught me to be the strong woman I am today, and I am so thankful for that. I had to be strong growing up in a family outnumbered by boys! I have three brothers, and of course, my dad. There was a lot of shooting hoops in my upbringing!
What interests you outside the classroom? What are you passionate about? I have always had a passion for playing and coaching volleyball. When I began working for Bellevue University, I had to give away the coaching aspect of my job. However, I still find time to play!
What is your favorite teaching experience or memory? When I was teaching middle school at Millard North Middle School, I was a second-year teacher. I had a great, but tough, group of students that year, and my principal wasn’t a fan of mine. One day, the principal walks into my room in the middle of a lesson and told me that a student of mine (who was serving in-school-suspension that day) was having a fit and they needed me to calm him down. My principal offered to cover my class while I helped the other student. When I got back to my classroom, my students had decorated my classroom with streamers and balloons and brought in a cake to celebrate my birthday with me. It was fantastic and I will never forget it!
What career did you dream of when you were a child? To be honest, I always knew I was meant to be an educator. When I was young, I would hold “school” for my stuffed animals. I would put them in little rows and read to them or teach them math. ?
Where did you grow up? I was born in Omaha, NE, but my family moved to Elkhorn, Nebraska just before I entered the 1st grade. That is where I spent the remainder of my childhood.
What is your favorite book? I have so many! My most recent favorite read was “The Girl on The Train”.
What is the most important piece of advice you give to your students? Don’t give up! Anything worth doing is going to be a struggle at some point, but you can succeed if you just keep trying.
What do you think distinguishes the BU experience/education? The University is student-centered, and everyone goes above and beyond to help students succeed.