Franciscan University holds a special place in Dr. Rebecca Rook’s heart. After all, it was at the Marian Grotto of the Portiuncula Chapel where she and her husband Phil were engaged in the summer of 2000 while she was speaking at one of the Steubenville youth conferences. Both Rebecca and her husband grew up around the university, so in many ways Franciscan feels like home to them. The Steubenville youth conferences were particularly pivotal in their lives and due to their influence, both Rebecca and her husband became actively involved in youth ministry during their years at Franciscan and thereafter. As a young adult, Rebecca was blessed to travel throughout the country and share her faith and love for the Lord with thousands of teens as a speaker at the Steubenville youth conferences.
Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Franciscan University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Licensure in Secondary Mathematics. She began her teaching career in the Diocese of Steubenville as a high school math teacher. She then went on to serve as a standardized test preparation, mathematics enrichment, and mathematics remediation instructor for 10 years. She has always loved seeing students have “light bulb” moments in mathematics – those times when abstract principles suddenly become concrete and confusion transforms into clarity. She believes that well-planned instruction and articulate explanations by teachers, as well as active engagement by students, are essential for students to gain a true understanding and appreciation of the beautiful discipline of mathematics.
Shortly after earning her Master of Arts Degree in Science and Mathematics Education from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2004, Rebecca began teaching as an adjunct professor at Franciscan University in the mathematics and graduate business departments. From 2012-2017, she served as an assistant professor of mathematics at Eastern Gateway Community College, as well as co-chair of the developmental mathematics department and chair of the program evaluation taskforce. In 2015, she taught her first math pedagogy course at Franciscan University and realized how much she enjoyed teaching future educators. This experience was the final nudge Rebecca needed to begin working on her PhD in Instructional Management and Leadership, which she began at Robert Morris University in 2016 and completed in January, 2019.
In 2017, Rebecca was blessed to join the education department at Franciscan University as a full-time faculty member. At the university, Rebecca teaches math pedagogy, middle school curriculum, and educational assessment courses. Beyond her teaching responsibilities, Rebecca is the program coordinator for recognition and accreditation of Franciscan University’s educational licensure programs. Her research interests include program evaluation in undergraduate honors programs and best practices in both secondary mathematics instruction and online doctoral programs.
Rebecca considers it an awesome privilege to be teaching at Franciscan University-an institution that has been so influential in her walk with the Lord. Outside of teaching, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her husband of 18 years (Phil – also an FUS grad), and their five (soon to be six) children.
PhD, Instructional Management and Leadership, Robert Morris University
Master of Arts in Science and Math Education, Wheeling Jesuit University
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, with Licensure in 7-12 grade Mathematics, Franciscan University of Steubenville