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Concordia Professor Brings Stats to Every Day Life

Students taking statistics with Dr. John F. Loase at Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y. find themselves reading Viktor Frankl’s Mans’ Search for Meaning as part of their course requirements . The Pleasantville resident said he works hard to make his statistics class vital for his students.

“It is the first time they have ever seen a math course that actually applies to their life,” said Loase, a professor of mathematics and chair of the department. “By deleting 10 topics you really can go slower and focus on the meaningful topics.”

Loase brings this same practical approach to high school students in Harlem, Mount Vernon and Yonkers. “We go where it doesn’t seem too many people want to go,” he said. He and math partner, Prof. Melvin Butts, teach College Success Seminars to students at risk of failing. They emphasize the need to take hard courses in high school in order to be successful in college. Using statistics to support his argument, Loase said, “Otherwise, they may be among the 81% failure rate of college remedial students.”

Loase puts a great deal of trust in this next generation, even coining the word “sigfluence” to describe them. On his website,The Sigfluence Generation, Loase writes, “I defined sigfluence in 1984 as significant, long-term, positive influence.”

The author of 10 books, including The Sigfluence Generation: Our Young People's Potential to Transform America , Loase said he first talked about sigfluence 27 years ago at Harvard University.

“This is a mission driven college,” he said. “There is something about the mission that is very important—to reach students who would fail at other colleges.”

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