Michelle J. Breaux

Profile image of Michelle.Breaux
Mathematics Faculty
Primary Department:
 Phone: 623.935.8351
 Location: EST N 271
Monday - Thursday:
8:30 am-9:30 am
Office Hours Additional Information 
I also have Student Drop In Hours Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. All Student Drop In Hours for the Fall 2020 semester will be held on Zoom at the link http://bit.ly/MichelleDropInHours


B.S. in Industrial Engineering
Stanford University
M.S. in Mathematics
Claremont Graduate University

About Michelle
I have been at EMCC since August 2007 and currently teach primarily mathematics with some introductory engineering thrown into the mix from time to time.  Prior to teaching, I worked for Verizon Communications gaining experience as a telecommunications network engineer, an engineering project manager, and as a supervisor of facilities administration in the Outside Plant Construction department.  I also worked as an intern in the Optoelectroncis Division at Hewlett-Packard in San Jose, California between my junior and senior years of college.

General Teaching Philosophy
My classes embrace creativity and require critical thinking, collaboration, and active student engagement on a daily basis.  Students in my classes learn by doing.  I challenge students to discover and construct their own learning, to think for themselves, and to work together to understand concepts in the classroom as well as outside the classroom.  I help my students connect the math they learn to the real world through projects and examples. Though many students struggle with math, I firmly believe that all students can succeed in mathematics if they are willing to put in the hard work required to understand and master the concepts. 

The classes I teach are:

  • MAT141/146: College Mathematics
  • MAT206: Elements of Statistics
  • MAT221: Calculus I (Learning Community with Physics 121)
  • MAT256: Investigating Quantity: Number, Operations and Numeration Systems (previously Math for Elementary School Teachers I)
  • MAT257: Investigating Geometry, Probability and Statistics (previously Math for Elementary School Teachers II)
  • MAT217/MAT218: Mathematical Analysis for Business
  • MAT298AB/ECE104: EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service)
  • ECE102: Engineering Analysis Tools and Techniques
  • ECE103: Engineering Problem Solving and Design
  • ECE105: MATLAB Programming


Academic Interests 
My areas of academic interest include: utilizing creativity & Design Thinking as problem solving tools, methods for instilling creative confidence in myself and others, incorporating creativity and design thinking into the classroom, and using cooperative and active learning in the classroom
College Service 
2018-present EMCC Guided Pathways Steering Team member
2018-present Honors Faculty Advisory Board member
2017-present EMCC Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) mentor
2013-2017, Engage Estrella Mentor
2015-2017, West Valley Improving Teaching Quality (ITQ) Grant Faculty Leader and Team Member
2014-2017, EMCC Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Facilitator/Faculty Developer
2013-2014, Faculty Participant in the Peer Mentor Program
2010-2016, Developmental Education PLC/Committee
2010-2014, West Valley Think Tank Math Planning/Math Summit Group Member
2009-2011, Student Academic Achievement Committee (SAAC) Co-Chair
District Service 
2018-present Engineering Instructional Council Representative for EMCC
2017, District PAR Taskforce
2018, District Fields of Interest Team
AMATYC (American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges)
SWE (Society of Women Engineers)
ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education)
AATM (Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics)
ASA (American Statistical Association)
Conference Presentations 

Developing Critical Thinking Skills Adjunct Workshop at EMCC, September 22, 2018

Creative Stoking, Mindfulness, and Brain Breaks Adjunct Workshop with Sarah Lockhart & Lyle Bartelt at EMCC Spring 2018

Failing Foward workshop on failure at Estrella Mountain Community College with colleague Erin Blomstrand, January 2018

Nontraditional Faculty Panelist, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Regional Conference, February 2018

Re-design the educational structure and/or experience so that 60% of Arizona adults, ages 25–64, have either a professional certificate or a college degree by 2030, Design Thinking Summit Facilitator for West Valley Educators, June 2017

“Show What You Know!” - Using Thinking Strategies to Demonstrate Understanding, co-presenter at Improving Teaching Quality K-12 Educator Professional Development Conference, February 2017

When Am I Ever Going to Use This? co-presenter at Improving Teaching Quality K-12 Educator Professional Development Conference, February 2017

Awards and Recognitions 

2019 winner of the Estrella Shines Faculty Award, given to a faculty member who champions innovation, promotes student success, and exemplifies the Institution’s Core Values.

2009-2010 winner of the NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Award for employees who demonstrate the importance of teaching and leadership excellence in higher education.

Recent Professional Development Activities 

Mastery Grading Conference, June 2020

Build Math Minds Virtual Math Summit August 2018 & 2020

Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics (AATM) Annual Conference 2019

The Teaching Professor Annual Conference, 2018 & 2019

Exploding Dots with James Tanton at Global Math Week Kickoff, October 2018

Mindset Mathematics Workshop with Jo Boaler, September 2018

GeoGebra does THAT? Using GeoGebra in Statistics and AP Statistics, October 2, 2018

Maricopa Math Modules Training, July-August 2018

How Understanding Probability Helps Us Make Better Decisions presentation by Stanford Professor Mehran Sahami in April 2018

Course Design Institute at Estrella Mountain Community College, May 2018

What Mathematicians Do Now that Machines Can "Do the Math" presentation by Stanford Professor Keith Devlin, October 2018

Breaking Codes and Finding Patterns presentation by Stanford Professor Susan Holmes, October 2018