Centre News

20 Questions with Mathematics Professor Jeff Heath

March 7, 2013        
Jeff Heath Jeff Heath, assistant professor of mathematics.
1. Position at Centre?
Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Paducah, Ky. A small riverfront city that offers a surprising amount of culture.

3. What are your hobbies?
Hanging out with my girls and playing sports.

4. What is your dream vacation?
A cross-country family road trip, stopping at all of the major national parks. It’d be nice to squeeze in a few rounds of golf on the way, too.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
My oldest daughter, Abigail, age five. She loves to draw and produces several new works every day.

6. Favorite novel or poem?
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” It was my go-to book for many book reports growing up.

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
I love UK basketball and football, the Redskins, the Dodgers and all Centre athletics. I enjoy playing all sports, especially if there is an intramural championship T-shirt on the line.

8. Favorite TV show?
“Pardon the Interruption.” I don’t really watch any “regular” TV shows.

9. Favorite album?
Recently it’s been Michael Jackson’s “Number Ones.” I have an eclectic taste in music, pretty much anything from classic rock to R&B. My wife is proud to have converted me to a country music fan as well, much to my mom’s chagrin!

10. Favorite holiday?
Christmas, because we get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and nothing beats celebrating Christmas with little kids.

11. Favorite food?
Barbecued ribs, but this is a tough call, since I enjoy eating literally anything.

12. Most prized possession?
I have a box where I’ve kept all of the cards and letters from my wife Shanna, ever since we first started dating. The last few years I’ve been able to add Fathers’ Day and birthday cards from my girls, too.

13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
I have amazing grandparents, and I was blessed to grow up within a few miles of each of them. So if the dinner party were limited to four, I would excuse myself and allow my two little girls to get to know Granddaddy Ed and Grandma Doris, my two grandparents who passed away before their births.

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Getting to know the students both in and out of the classroom. I love hearing about their passions and interests. What makes working at Centre so special is that everyone truly has the students’ best interests at heart.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
I have lots of great memories from my childhood, so it’s hard to single out just one. Many of them occurred in the summer nights at the ballpark, where Dad would give me pre-at-bat advice and my grandfathers would encouragingly whistle and holler all game long.

16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
Probably teaching at another liberal arts college.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
Studying abroad at Oxford my senior year of college. Aside from the amazing cultural experiences I had, studying in their tutorial system helped me learn how to learn independently.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
Jake Sully from “Avatar.” Pandora seems like a pretty cool place to explore, especially when you can go for a ride on that giant dragon.

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
Old Centre. It is an impressive building that boasts quite a remarkable history.

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
College is full of opportunities, but you must take initiative to make the most of them. Get involved on campus, seek leadership opportunities, apply for internships and research experiences, study abroad and have fun!

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail elizabeth.trollinger@centre.edu with your feedback.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

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