Ricco Wright (Ed.D., Mathematics Education)
Published in Convocation
Life before TC
Wright grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Tulsa, OK, and became the first member of his family to graduate from high school. He enrolled at Langston University, an historically black institution, hoping to play basketball. When he didn’t make the team, he was initially crushed, but under the mentorship of Langston’s president, Ernest L. Holloway, he soon became immersed in his studies and involved with campus organizations.
“Dr. Holloway took students on trips when he met with regents and other people around the state. He was approachable, and he listened to people and understood their ambitions and what they needed to achieve them. It was because of him that I decided I wanted to be a college president someday, too -- or maybe a U.S. Senator, though being a Democrat from Oklahoma, that doesn’t seem too likely. I decided to take the academic route to that goal.”
At TC, where he enrolled with the benefit of a Bill Gates Scholarship, Wright served for a time as President of the Student Senate, pushing for significant improvements in on-campus amenities for students. On the academic side, he traveled to Australia and other countries while earning his doctorate in math education. Working with faculty members Bruce Vogeli, Henry Pollak and Megan Laverty, he ultimately merged his interests in mathematics and philosophy, writing his dissertation is on the power of relational thinking as a math problem-solving and teaching tool.
Wright’s mother, a hairdresser who pushed him hard to succeed, passed away two years ago, but he felt she was present at his doctoral hooding, which took place on the exact anniversary of her death.
Wright returned home to Tulsa 10 years to the day he arrived in New York City. This fall, he’ll take up duties as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at his alma mater, Langston University.