Congressman, math prof to speak at ETSU fall commencement exercises

Contributed To The Press • Dec 6, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Mathematics professor Dr. Robert Beeler and U.S. Rep. Phil Roe will be the featured speakers for East Tennessee State University’s fall commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 16, when more than 1,350 students are expected to graduate.

Beeler will be the speaker during the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Roe will deliver the 2 p.m. address. Both ceremonies will be held in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome).

Beeler, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in ETSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, is the 2017 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching. He is praised for his lively, witty and entertaining teaching style that makes mathematics fun for students.

Since joining the ETSU faculty in 2007, he has taught 12 different courses in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, from undergraduate general education to graduate courses, and has chaired or served on numerous thesis committees. He received the College of Arts and Sciences award for Outstanding New Faculty in 2010-11 and its 2017 award for Distinguished Teaching.

In addition to teaching, Beeler is an active researcher and holds an extensive record of service to the university and profession. He is the author of “How to Count: An Introduction to Combinatorics and Its Applications,” a text for upper-level undergraduates.

Beeler holds a Ph.D. in mathematical sciences from Clemson University. After receiving his associate degree in mathematics at Pellissippi State Technical Community College, he earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics and statistics from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee. A Johnson City resident serving his fifth term in Congress, Roe is chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and serves on the House Education and Workforce Committee. As a physician, he has become an active player in the effort to reform the nation’s health care system. He is co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and a member of the Health Caucus.

Roe was born on July 21, 1945, in Clarksville. He earned a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Austin Peay State University and went on to earn his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1970. Upon graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.

Prior to serving in Congress, Roe was mayor of Johnson City from 2007-2009 and vice mayor from 2003-2007. He ran a successful medical practice in Johnson City for 31 years, delivering close to 5,000 babies.

Roe has three children – David C. Roe, John Roe and Whitney Larkin – and is a proud grandfather. He is a member of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Complete information on commencement for graduating students and the public is available online at http://www.etsu.edu/reg/graduation/ceremony.php.

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