Arts & Sciences


Sarah Payne


Photo of Sarah and Adam Payne

Photo of Sarah Payne with her husband Adam

Hi! My name is Sarah Payne. I have been a math instructor at WPCC since the fall semester of 2016. Prior to that, I was a lecturer in the math department at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. I grew up in Catawba County, North Carolina, and I am so glad to be where I consider home.

I completed all of my studies at Western Carolina University. In 2011, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with an Education concentration, and in 2012, I received my Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics. My Master’s project about using active learning to teach function transformations was published in The Centroid, The Official Journal of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and I am a member of the North Carolina Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges.

Math has always been enjoyable to me, but it was not until my senior year in high school that I realized I wanted to have a career using mathematics. I knew I did not want to have an office job doing countless math computations, so during my first year at WCU, I took some education courses which helped me decide to go down the education pathway. While finishing my graduate studies, I taught a class at WCU, which confirmed my passion for teaching math in higher education.

The goals I have for my students are to learn for complete understanding and enjoy the learning process. One of the best parts about teaching math is being able to teach critical thinking. I aim to encourage my students through mathematical challenges in a way that empowers them to grow into lifelong learners.

With my time away from the classroom, you can find me exploring with my friends and family. I love to hike and explore the outdoors. My husband Adam and I lead a wilderness ministry through our church to build community through our love of the outdoors. I also enjoy traveling abroad. I have currently been to eleven countries outside of the United States and look forward to visiting many more.