Alison "Sunny" Mall
AGE 38Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Alaska Anchorage, Master of Arts in Teaching Program
Adam Elliott Photography
Growing up, my sister and I would pound our fists and yell "Wonder Twin powers activate! Form of a …" I remember enjoying the creative possibilities that this game allowed.
Education: Doctoral Candidate, Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics from the University of Louisville; Master's Degree in Teaching from the University of Alaska Anchorage; Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics, Spanish minor from the University of Alaska Anchorage; etc.
Community work: U.S. Peace Corps, Single Track Advocates, Any Soldier Program, Alaska Returned Peace Corps, Adopt-a-Road Cleanup, math tutoring for high school students, mathematics competition, National Science Foundation, etc.
Family: Parents, sister and brother-in-law, 3.14 nephews, a Nepalese brother and a dog
Favorite lunch spot? Spicy eggplant at China Town Restaurant.
Best stress reliever? Getting together with a good friend over dinner and beer.
Favorite place in Alaska? Resurrection Pass, hiking it, skiing it, but especially biking it.
Your most memorable experience that could only have happened in Alaska. While it's possible for a grizzly bear to "jog" toward me in a place other than Alaska … while I'm sitting in my packraft, grounded on a gravel bar, it's not as probable.
Name the person you most respect and why. Bono. I am impressed with his ability to express his faith in an honest and open manner. His commitment to his fellow man and his ability to keep U2 together for 30 years are achievements I admire.
Famous quote to live by: "Half of the people can be part right all of the time; Some of the people can be all right part of the time; But all of the people can't be all right all of the time."
How did you make your first dollar? Splitting and stacking wood for my parents.
What did your pet or child teach you about business? My dog Abbi-Gale has taught me that interactions with strangers generally turn out better when I greet them as if we were already friends.
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? In the "Grapes of Wrath," I learned from the Joads that it's essential to honor and be kind to others, even when faced with hardship and injustice. And a healthy dose of anger toward injustice can see people through difficult times.
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Inheriting my father's sense of humor and lack of patience. I continually work on overcoming the latter. Even though it has been my downfall on occasion, I hope to keep the former in tact.
What was the least intelligent thing you've ever done or seen and what did you learn from it? In the Peace Corps I taught seventh-grade mathematics in a remote village in Palpa. The top girl in the class was habitually late to class. I told her if she was late again, she would have to watch class from the window outside, which she did a number of times during the next month. She invited me to her house and I learned that she walked more than an hour (uphill!) to school after working in the fields each morning. I learned that it's important to put myself in my student's flip flops from time to time and compromise.