Associate Professor, Mathematics
B.A., Carson-Newman College
M.A., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Office Location: Labry Hall
Laurie Dishman earned a Bachelor of Arts from Carson-Newman College in 1993 with majors in mathematics and French and a minor in music. She earned a Master of Arts in 1995 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1998 in mathematics from Vanderbilt University. She began teaching at Cumberland University in August 1998. In 1999, Dr. Dishman also became the Director of the Learning Center @ Cumberland University until 2004 when it closed. For the years 2008-2010, she is serving as Interim Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
While at Vanderbilt, Dr. Dishman was competitively chosen as a Master Teaching Fellow. She worked in the Center for Teaching, organizing and leading an orientation program for incoming teaching assistants in mathematics and economics; serving as a consultant to teaching assistants from across the university; and learning how to improve her own teaching techniques from experts in academia. Dr. Dishman's teaching style is a relatively open format in which questions from her are many, and questions from students are encouraged. She wants students in all her classes to always ask "Why?". She believes that they can gain a deeper understanding from knowing why and how topics in mathematics work the way they do.
At Cumberland, Dr. Dishman has taught many different courses, including Basic and College Algebra, Calculus I, II and III, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra I and II, Differential Equations, College Geometry, Special Topics in Mathematics and Structure of the Real Number System, a class required for all elementary education majors. She has served on the Faculty Senate (both as secretary and as president), Institutional Effectiveness Committees for mathematics and physics, the Teacher Education Advisory Council, the Student Disabilities Services Committee and the Learning Center Committee (as chair). She served as co-chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Steering Committee until becoming Interim Dean and continues to serve as a member of that committee. She also serves as a faculty representative on the SACS Leadership Committee in preparation for reaffirmation in 2010.
Dr. Dishman is the sponsor of the Abelian Group, Cumberland’s student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), where she organizes monthly speakers and activities for mathematics students, and has taken groups of students to the MAA-Southeastern Section conference meetings for the last two years (2008 at The Citadel and 2009 at Belmont University). She is also the faculty advisor of the Cumberland University chapter of the Alpha Sigma Tau national sorority.
Outside of academia, Dr. Dishman and her husband, Stephen, are avid Tennessee Titans football and Nashville Predators hockey fans. They enjoy traveling and have visited Scotland, England, France, Austria, Germany, Ukraine and Romania, as well as many places in the U.S., including Hawaii. They are also very active in their church in Hendersonville, participating in the hand bell choir and other ministries. Dr. Dishman has donated her hair four times to Locks of Love for use in wigs for cancer patients. She and Stephen walked the Country Music Half-Marathon in April 2004 to raise money for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at Vanderbilt in memory of their daughter, Nadia. Their second daughter, Sasha, is the joy of their lives and keeps them very busy watching "Dora the Explorer" and just generally seeing the world in new and exciting ways.