Prof. Alice A. Mamhot
Teaching how to solve complicated number problems in the easiest and most enjoyable way possible is the specialty of Prof. Alice A. Mamhot of the Mathematics Department.
“I see to it that my students can learn and enjoy every time we meet in class,” she says.
And this she does without being consumed by traditional approaches to teaching math. She finds creative ways to allow her students to explore mathematical equations with her.
The moment a student is in her class, she treats her like how a mother cares for her child. “Kind' and “understanding” are two adjectives that describe how she manages her class. And her endearing personality only makes her assume one thing: that her students are there to learn. Hardly does she consider them knowledgeable in the subject on the first day of class — and this is something that helps her understand her students more and assist them in appreciating what would make some cringe at even the mere mention of the word math.
“But I always make sure that I give justice to the tuition fees being paid by my students,” she adds, stressing the need for teachers to be serious in the delivery of their lessons.
Alice obtained both her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from Silliman University in 1976 and 1983, respectively. She completed another graduate degree, Master of Science in Math, from the University in 2009.
Her entry into Silliman as a teacher was right after her graduation. She was gradually promoted, and was appointed Chairperson of the Department in 2001 — the same position she holds at present.
How Alice became a teacher she believes could only be the work of God and the encouragement of some people around her. In her younger years, she never thought of becoming a teacher. And when she was in grade school, she hated math. But her encounter with the multiplication table in later years, with her having to memorize it, made her appreciate math.
“I have known myself as a very shy person; I just don't know what happened that I became a teacher,” she says.
Alice wanted to become an engineer, but she ended up pursuing accountancy as her course during her first year in college. It was only after her professor that time, Prof. Caesar Cabales, encouraged her to try her at luck it that she decided to major in it. Her transfer to another course proved to be a right decision.
The discipline and determination that Alice grew up with are the same values that continue to inspire her in the profession that she has learned to love. “I simply try to do my assigned task as soon as possible. I do everything right away.”
Alice is married to Dr. Millard Mamhot, who is also a faculty in the Mathematics Department and with whom she has three daughters: Alice Mae, Melody and Aurora Corazon.
Let’s get to know more of Alice.
Describe yourself in three words.
Funny. Compassionate. Friendly.
What is your mantra in life?
Fear the Lord at all times. And, honesty is the best policy.
What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when I hear appealing and logical jokes. I cry when a loved one dies.
What is your favorite time or day of the week and why?
Saturday because it is when I get to have more time in taking a bath.
What do you love doing when not working?
I clean our comfort room and arrange my closet.
What is your favorite hangout place in the university?
My office and the Cafeteria — when I am hungry.
What makes you blush?
When I make a mistake in public.
If you were an actor/actress who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I am a person who comes from a humble beginnings.
What is your favorite game growing up?
Bulan-bulan, Jack Stone and volleyball.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Playing Galaxy Balls — it saves me from boredom.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I think people would be interested to know about my knowledge in statistical analysis in research.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
Well, I can’t think of any song that can describe my life at the moment. My favorite is: “Trust and Obey.”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up?
Look at the wall clock and pray. When it is already late, I go immediately to the bathroom.
What’s your idea of a family?
My idea of a family is that there’s a mother, a father and children. We do things together as a family like cleaning the house, going to the mall, shopping and eating in restaurants.
(NOTE: “Colleague of the Week'” serves as a window into the life of the faculty and staff members of Silliman University. It seeks to showcase colleagues from different departments and units, and present them as “the” faces that form part of the foundation of Silliman. Featured weekly are faculty and staff who have committed themselves to providing members of the Silliman community a campus experience that cultivates competence, character and faith within one and all. We get to know them as people who like any of us also have their fair share of challenges, successes, and an inspiring story to tell. Not all of them may be popular, but not a single one of them lives a life without hope and meaning to share.)