100 Stories

Robert Petry, B.Sc. Hons Physics (Sask), Diploma & M.St. Theology (Oxford), M.Sc. Mathematics (Calgary), Ph.D. Physics (Regina)

Instructor of Mathematics and Statistics, Campion College

Robert Petry

Instructor of Mathematics and Statistics, Campion College

Dr. Petry is a full time instructor at Campion College. He teaches most of the introductory math courses. As an instructor, in turn he finds himself to be both a mentor and role model too. Robert is fond of and passionate for his students’ successes. He observes that two types of student stand out to him:

Students who need extra guidance and support. “…more importantly restoring their faith in their ability to master material which they previously felt impossible… for this sort of student, overcoming a great fear is very rewarding and can aid them as they go on to face other challenges, academic and otherwise, in their future careers.”

Math/ Physics Scholars. ”These students refuse to let any concept pass them by not comprehended, ask questions that go beyond what I teach, and (thankfully) correct me when I make mistakes… for those students, being able to sit down with them and point them to other ideas and techniques, and suggest classes or career paths, is of value to me.  I always feel honoured to have worked with such scholars.”

Robert feels that his greatest accomplishment will be his team’s contribution of open-source textbooks: “When I started at Campion I found a like-minded spirit with my colleagues at the University and the time they freed for me by their sharing, allowed me to spend time on creating new resources, particularly properly formatted mathematical texts and electronic resources...”

Being within the Internet Information age, we are in the next renaissance era, able to enjoy a wealth of knowledge and have the ability to share it globally:

“The tradition of sharing ideas rather than treating them as some form of commodity and hiding them ... is what made the scientific revolution flourish… It means a lot to me that my workplace understands and appreciates the ethical impetus… It is my hope that these projects teach students that they too can create in meaningful ways… as such I am working to see how we can expose students in a meaningful way to this vital work in their math and science programs...“

Robert profoundly believes this way of giving back leaves a great legacy: “…Because my open textbooks are shared on the internet they are designed to benefit educators in the community.  However, more generally, I try, in practice, to demonstrate the development of a future involving technology that is built on an ethic of sharing.”