Dr. Dyana HarrelsonDr. Dyana Harrelson

Dr. Dyana Harrelson of the Hope College mathematics faculty has been elected to the national council of the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society.

The organization made the announcement on what is arguably the most appropriate date of the calendar year for mathematics news: March 14. The date is sometimes known as “Pi Day” because when it’s written numerically it resembles the mathematical constant Pi: 3.14.

The council consists of only nine mathematics professors from around the country. When Harrelson’s three-year term begins on July 1, she will be joining Hope colleague Dr. Stephanie Edwards, who will be serving as immediate past-president for a year after being national president for the past three years.

Harrelson is an assistant professor of mathematics instruction at Hope, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2018. She noted that she is particularly anticipating the opportunity that serving as a councilor will provide to encourage students around the country to engage with mathematics and peers who share their interest.

“Giving students an opportunity to experience mathematics for themselves is a passion of mine,” she said. “I am really looking forward to helping to organize student research-paper sessions at Pi Mu Epsilon meetings. I think it is important that students are given an opportunity to talk about their own math and see work that others are doing.”

Pi Mu Epsilon is dedicated to promoting true scholarship, especially in mathematics. Founded in December 1913 and incorporated in the following May, Pi Mu Epsilon today has 409 chapters in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Hope’s Michigan Delta Chapter became the fourth chapter in Michigan when it was established in 1972.

Harrelson was inducted into the Georgia Beta chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon when she was a graduate student at Georgia Tech, where she completed her Ph.D. in mathematics in 2000. Two of her children were inducted into the Hope chapter when they were dual-enrolled at the college as high school students.

Her emphasis on providing students with meaningful learning experiences includes having revised the department’s General Education course, adding real-world content such as voting theory, gerrymandering and data security, and revising her teaching of calculus to include more active learning and opportunities for revision.

Among other activity in the department, she — along with Edwards — took students to the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in 2020 and 2023. She has also coached the Black River Middle School math team since 2016.

In addition to her doctorate, Harrelson holds a Master of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Clemson University.