student success

Jeraco Speelman ’09 

Major: Applied Mathematics for Operations Research and Pure Mathematics 

Hometown: Edgerton, Ohio  

Jeraco speelman.jpg

When Jeraco Speelman graduated in May, he will have completed 175 credit hours and 19 math classes. A former Marine and Edgerton High School state wrestling champion, Speelman will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics for operations research and pure mathematics.    

After serving in the Marines for four-and-a-half years, Speelman was recruited to wrestle at Eastern Michigan University. But he soon realized that a large school wasn’t the right choice for him and transferred to The University of Findlay, the same school from which his brother, Jason, had g​raduated several years earlier.

Although Speelman isn’t considered a ‘traditional’ student, he did take full advantage of the extracurricular activities offered within the College of Sciences.

Speelman is a charter member of Pi Mu Epsilon, a math honor society, and he is a founding member of the Euler (pronounced ‘Oiler’) Math Club. As a member and officer of the club, Speelman has been responsible for digitizing the design of and ordering club organizational wear; organizing the first and second annual Euchre tournament on campus; and participating in the Math Survivor Competition, which includes a series of math-related challenges that take place during the academic year.

Barbie Bungee.jpg   ​
J​eraco, far right, participates in the Euler Math Club’s Math Survivor Competition. In this photo, team members compete for top place in Barbie Bungee.​

In addition to his involvement in student organizations, Speelman had the opportunity to present his academic work to members of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at their spring meeting, held at Marietta College in Ohio. 

While in an abstract algebra class taught by Pamela Warton, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, Speelman and other students investigated the symmetries of a cube to show that the symmetries form a mathematical group. 

"Jeraco really delved into the problem and did an outstanding job on the project,” said Warton.  

She asked Speelman and another student to do some additional work on the project and present the results to the MAA group. Their work was presented to math faculty and graduate students from across the region.

After graduation, Speelman will move with his wife of less than one year to Virginia, where he has secured a job working as an operations research analyst for BAE Systems, a company that contracts work for the Marine Corps.