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Mother and daughter graduate together

May 9, 2023

Eve Mathews was enrolled in a pre-nursing program at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA when she and her family moved to South Bend 30 years ago. The move was university-related, but Eve actually had to defer her own education.

Genevieve and Eve Mathews

“I’m a later learner, because I dedicated my younger years to taking care of my family,” she says. “I put my career on hold, but when my youngest child graduated from high school, my daughter Genevieve said, ‘Now it’s our turn.’”

Eve and Genevieve then began the process that eventually put them on the stage together to walk at the 2023 Indiana University South Bend Commencement ceremony. Genevieve had taken a non-traditional path as well.

“After high school, I said, ‘I don’t need a degree. I’ll make my own way,’” Genevieve recalls. “I ended up learning the hard way that it’s much tougher out there without a degree.”

The Mathews family went to live in Japan for significant periods over the years, and Eve’s early experiences there instilled in her a sense of empathy for fellow travelers. Being in situations such as having a child in need of a doctor’s appointment in a country where Eve could not yet even negotiate the phone book helped her grasp the vital importance of tutors. After returning to America, she tutored Japanese residents in the South Bend area – free of charge – for many years. When it came time for her to pick a major, it made perfect sense for her to choose to acquire a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in English language learners.

Eve will soon be teaching ENL (English as a New Language), and she has already received a job offer. Eve’s calling certainly makes sense to Genevieve.

“She knows what it’s like to be a mother who didn’t speak the language in a foreign country,” Genevieve notes.

Alongside their studies, Eve and Genevieve maintained a rather high profile as movers and shakers on the IU South Bend campus. Eve served as a Titan Ambassador and was a member of the Honors Program and the International Student Organization. Genevieve was president of the Math Club and worked as a math tutor. Both of them regularly volunteered to help organize and lead events such as the ISO’s International Food Festival and the annual Asian Heritage Month Celebration.

While her mother’s pedagogical future is verbally based, Genevieve’s talents drew her to the world of numbers. Her B.A. is in mathematics, and she double-minored in business and computer applications. Prior to her time as a Titan, Genevieve had already acquired an associate’s degree in business from Ivy Tech. Her next step is identifying the ideal PhD program to position her even better for her burgeoning career.

“My goal is to be a math professor, because my life has been so positively affected by math professors,” Genevieve says. “I love tutoring and teaching, and I want to pass it on.”

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