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MU Spotlight: Shannon Talbott

MU Spotlight: Shannon Talbott

MU Spotlight 20/20

Shannon Talbott

What is your role at the University and what is something many may not know about the work you do?

I teach a variety of math courses and FYWS. My research involves algebra and combinatorics, and the project that I am currently working on with a collaborator in Minnesota involves an idea called magic labels. As part of my service work outside the University, I help to organize the math sessions at the SACNAS conference (the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) and help to organize the USTARS conference (Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium).

My favorite spot on campus is _____ because _____.

My favorite spot on campus is anywhere I can bring some tea and sit and chat with other people because the infrequency of relaxation time in my schedule makes me appreciate when I have it!

My favorite College tradition is _____ because _____.

My favorite College tradition is the Honors Banquet because I think it is a great way to take some time out from the hectic nature of the semester and celebrate students' hard work, and I love getting a chance to sit down with students outside of the classroom and have conversations about their work and their goals.

My typical weekend would go something like this: _____.

I try to have one day as mainly relaxation, so Jason (my spouse) and I might go to one of the oh so many festivals that are up in the Poconos near where we live or walk around the Stroudsburg Main Street area, check out the record shop, grab some dinner, and stop by the cider place. I love to bake, and I do that more on weekends than during the week.

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My favorite thing to do when I am away from campus is _____ because _____.

My favorite thing to do when I am away from campus is travel because I love experiencing new food, culture, and language. That is, of course, what I do when I have a decent amount of time. During the semester, I mostly spend the evenings watching television and knitting.

Who is your hero? Why?

My hero is my grandfather, Papa, was an amazing person. He was a product of the Great Depression and a bit stern, but he was also inconceivably kind and generous. He had a gift for being fully present in the moment and making it feel like your conversation was the only thing happening for the moment.

Make up your own question and answer!

What is the best sport?
Rugby! People seem surprised to learn that I played, but I love the game. I had never before felt so strongly that my team was a community as when I played rugby in graduate school.

What sound do you love? Why?

I love the sound of rain. I don't know why I have such warm feelings towards it, but the idea of sitting by the window on a rainy day with a sweatshirt and mug of tea sounds like bliss.

I can never resist a good _____.

I can never resist a good book. Books take you to new places and allow you to experience and explore the world, people, and yourself in new ways. I am in agreement with the George R.R. Martin quote, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies … The man who never reads lives only one."

What makes you happy?

Good friends, good wine, good conversation, and good dessert make me happy!