Warm greeting

Katie Able excels after transferring to Wright State's Lake Campus

Mindy Bettinger, left, science and mathematics lecturer, and Mindy Fulks, right, lecturer of middle childhood education, flank Katie Able, a middle childhood education student who has enjoyed her transfer experience at Wright State’s Lake Campus.

If you have ever visited Wright State University’s Lake Campus, there is a good chance you encountered Katie Able.

Exuding a bubbly effervescence, the middle childhood education major, with concentrations in math and science, feels right at home working part-time at the Lake Campus welcome desk assisting students and greeting visitors.

A native of Van Wert, Ohio, Able originally attended the University of Cincinnati after graduating high school but, after switching majors, found that going to college closer to home was the best fit for her. That’s how she landed at Wright State’s Lake Campus.

“I definitely made the right decision in coming to the Lake Campus,” said Able. “It has been a great experience and I feel more prepared for my future. There are great people here that I can talk to and learn from about education. The opportunity to substitute teach in local schools is also a huge positive.”

Now able to commute to school and with lower tuition costs, Able said the small class sizes also contributed to her decision to transfer to the Lake Campus.

“The general education classes, along with others, are much smaller,” she said. “It made me feel comfortable because I can actually talk to and have a connection with my professors and lecturers.”

Able added that she can work more closely with her classmates and that administrators recognize students, which makes her feel like more than “just a number or silhouette in the classroom.”

Mindy Fulks, lecturer of middle childhood education, predicts that Able has a bright future teaching students of her own.

“Katie is diligent, dedicated, eager to learn and she smiles with her whole face,” said Fulks, who accompanied Able to the Ohio Middle Level Association conference last November. “Armed with an updated planner, she makes the most of every class period, assignment and opportunity. Not only that, but Katie is a wizard under the hood of a car and not afraid to get her hands dirty. With all of these skills, I am positive she will be able to tackle the chaos, drama and challenges of teaching quirky middle school kids.”

Able, who is expected to graduate in the spring of 2025, said, “Life takes a lot of planning” and is therefore dedicated to using her physical planner.

Armed with a love of math and science, she switched her major to education because she wants to use her knowledge and passion for learning to help students.

“Math isn’t usually met with a lot of praise from kids, mostly groans and huffs,” she said. “These reactions are usually because of the way they view the subject and past experiences. I want to help students have good experiences and be able to learn. I love seeing kids have that ‘a-ha’ moment when everything clicks.”

Katie Able feels at home assisting students and greeting visitors at Lake Campus.

Able said she has had many teachers in her past who have served as role models, and her goal is to assist students in much the same way as those teachers who have helped her.

“Katie is always attentive in class, has at least two-to-three jobs at any given time, and is just generally friendly and bubbly,” said Mindy Bettinger, lecturer at the Lake Campus. “Last spring, Katie let her personality shine by teaching her class a lesson in probability using Dungeons and Dragons scenarios.”

When she is not in class or working, Able enjoys engaging in the disparate hobbies of crocheting and shooting. Both hold special meaning to her as she learned them under the guidance of her father and grandparents.

Able hopes to eventually teach math and science at the middle-grade level but would relish the opportunity to instruct in any capacity.

“I am just excited to be in a classroom and have the opportunity to work with other great teachers,” she said.

Although it was a big decision for her, Able advises her peers not to resist changing majors if it would be in their own best interests.

“Whatever you like, whatever you choose, you’re the one who has to live with it,” she said. “If you do switch, it’s OK. It’s not the end of the world.”

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