Mama D teaches more than math

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Patricia Deamer, also known as Mama D, has been at Skyline since the summer of 1975 as professor of mathematics, teaching courses like Math 110, 120 and 200. She is well known as the co-coordinator of ASTEP, which sponsors, supports and guides students to succeed in their careers.

For about 37 years, Deamer has been coaching and caring for many types of students. As she looks back on her time here at Skyline, she says, “The students, as well as the college’s look, was different and throughout the years just got better.”

She has always enjoyed mathematics, and like many current students, she had some very good teachers in high school and in college. Deamer was born in Louisiana and earned her graduate degree from University of Albany in New York along with a Certificate of Advanced Studies.

Her former students usually come around and give speeches to the new students. Mike Taniguchi, a student of Deamer’s, said that she is “very motivational; she always seeks the best for the students.”

“Deamer is very relatable to our age group,” student Nichole Arenas said. “I think her class is more fun to go for, and we do not really get bored easily. The ASTEP program inspires us to wish to be better for ourselves and our future. They (the program) bring a lot of people to talk about their experiences and what they have been going through and they inspire us.”

Mama D has about 125 students in her department and other staff members give them counseling or academic support. The students and the staff feel like a United Nations family and get together even outside of the classroom. They entertain with family nights and sponsor other community programs like the Child Care Center. This year marks the second year of involvement with the Child Care Center, and the group will collect stuffed animals for the children at holiday time.

Mama D is proud of the diversity in her program: “They (the students) are all different, not only in color, race, gender, beliefs, but we all feel the same at the ASTEP Skyline College group,” she said.

Deamer advises students to get to know their teachers, follow the course syllabus, and find a study buddy in each of their classes.

Deamer plans to retire at the end of spring 2012. She plans to relax and keep in touch with “her kids.”