Kristi Nelson, manager of UNT Mathematics' Math Quest Center, has perfectly exemplified UNT's commitment to building community by her tireless efforts to maintain the lab as a resource for UNT students throughout the campus shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Math Quest Center is a classroom space in the General Academic Building with forty computers for students to use during group tutoring sessions. It is also equipped with four 82" monitors around the room so students can better see the instruction being done by both graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. During the sessions, which are called "Recitations," the TAs goes over assignments and helps the class better understand the lesson concepts.
While the campus was still open, Kristi single-handedly turned the Math Quest Center into a socially distanced computer lab for students who wouldn't have internet access, complete with a detailed cleaning schedule for the workstations. She kept track of many things, from equipment requests to remote teaching forms, time reporting and more.
"I've only been at UNT since November but am proud to be part of such a fantastic team," said Kristi. "The office is always so positive and encouraging that it brings out the best in everyone. And when this new challenge hit us, we ALL did whatever was necessary to enable and equip the instructors to deliver the quality education that the students deserve."
As the last woman standing in an otherwise deserted department, Kristi even delivered teaching equipment and other items to people after work. She traveled as far as Keller to make sure all her fellow staff and faculty had what they needed to succeed remotely. Above all, Nelson kept her colleagues' spirits up with her positive demeanor and good humor.
Kristi says the UNT Mathematics' student workers deserve praise as well for helping the Math Quest Center maintain its operations. They assist the teaching assistants and students with computer and equipment problems and serve as representatives of the Math Department. These dedicated workers also regularly clean the work stations on a detailed cleaning schedule.
"They exemplify the Math Department's goal of consistency and being the best we can be every single day," said Kristi.
You can learn more about UNT's response to COVID-19 at https://healthalerts.unt.edu/