Students Celebrate Math with Prolific Alumna at Pi Mu Epsilon’s Golden Anniversary

The Golden (50th) Anniversary of the founding of Saint Peter’s New Jersey Epsilon Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon (PME) will be celebrated throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. Sharon Pastore ’73, a distinguished alumna and trustee of Saint Peter’s University presented the inaugural event “Our Love for Mathematics=Our Love for Problem Solving.”

Pastore grew up in Jersey City and attended Saint Peter’s as a student-athlete and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She went on to receive advanced degrees at Montclair State University and Rutgers University and have a prolific career, most notably at AT&T as sales vice president.

Before entering the corporate sector, Pastore was a teaching assistant at Montclair State University and taught math at Pingry School. Pastore discussed her love of math and how an interest in problem solving can lead to career success.

“I wanted to bring math around us into the classroom: math in art, math in nature and the Golden Ratio,” said Pastore.

In my classroom, I would take students out to look at things and we would be surprised where we found math. For example, there was a Fibonacci sequence in pine cones and sea shells. The hands-on experience in the classroom helped students to grasp concepts and develop appreciation for the subject.

Pastore, who credits Saint Peter’s with changing her life, emphasized the importance of math and how a natural curiosity can help students succeed. 

“Life is about problem solving and problem solving is critical to your career. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—that’s how problems get solved,” said Pastore.

As part of her career advice, she encouraged students to develop their skills including math, which is a language. Her advice for building a successful future? Find and develop an advocate who can help to advance your career.

She ended with solid advice, “What will never go out of style are honesty, integrity, working hard and respect, all values you learn at Saint Peter’s as part of cura personalis.

Also, at the event, current members of Pi Mu Epsilon presented Eileen Poiani, Ph.D. H ’17, special assistant to the president, a citation for being one of the founding members of the program and for her dedicated and loyal service to the Saint Peter’s mathematics department and its students for 50 years.

“Dr. Poiani was the first in many ways: the first female faculty member in the department, the first female vice-president at the University and the first female president of PME’s national organization,” said Gerard Protomastro, Ph.D., professor of mathematics.