Cindy Bishop: Mathematics and Marathons
April 28, 2015
On April 20, Bishop was in the field of more than 30,000 runners for the 119th Boston Marathon that was also attended by more than a million spectators. While they may not all have been specifically watching Bishop, they still got to see her complete her fourth career marathon, despite the fact that she never actually planned on being there.
“Every time I run a marathon, I swear I’ll never run another one,” Bishop said. “But I have a group of friends that I run with, and they decided we were all going to qualify for Boston together.”
The group began training in 2014 for the Dallas Marathon in December with the goal of posting times fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but the Dallas race was cancelled due to inclement weather. The next step was to train for six more weeks to run in the Houston Marathon in January with the same goal of qualifying for Boston.
“Five of us started training, but only two of us ended up running in Houston because of injuries,” Bishop said. “Then my other friend got injured, so I ended up being the last man standing even though none of it was my idea. But once I qualified for Boston, I had to put my name in. How could I not?”
“It was worth it, though,” she added. “It was everything that everyone says it is. I just wish some of my friends would’ve been able to go with me.”
See more about Bishop’s Boston Marathon experience in the video included on this page.
A member of the ASU faculty since 2005, Bishop also never thought she would teach in college. The San Angelo native and Lake View High School graduate earned her ASU bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1999 and her master’s degree in kinesiology in 2002, anticipating a career in high school teaching and coaching.
“I got the ASU position and I’ve never regretted it. It’s more of the pure part of teaching…”
As an undergraduate (then Cindy Farris), she was a top performer for the ASU track and field team and cross country team. She earned All-America status in the 10,000-meter run in 1999 and still ranks in the top five all-time at ASU in that event. She also still holds the school-record time in the 5,000 meters, ranks in the top 10 in the 3,000 meters, and was a five-time Academic All-American for the Rambelles track and cross country teams.
After earning her master’s degree, Bishop spent two years coaching and teaching math back at Lake View High, but realized she enjoyed the teaching aspect much more and went to just teaching math for the next two years.
“I thought I would teach high school forever,” Bishop said, “but high school does have its challenges. I didn’t think I could teach math at ASU without a master’s degree in mathematics, but a friend who had previously looked into an ASU faculty job told me that I could. That opened my eyes to the possibility, so I watched the job openings, and when one came open, I knew that is what I wanted to do, to teach in college.”
However, the condition for getting the teaching job in the ASU Mathematics Department was that she had to earn a mathematics master’s degree within four years. So she went the online route and got that master’s degree from Texas A&M University in 2009.
“I got the ASU position and I’ve never regretted it,” Bishop said. “It’s more of the pure part of teaching without having to deal with all the discipline issues and other challenges that high school teachers have.”
Bishop teaches freshman mathematics and specializes in math for elementary teachers. She is married to Shaun Bishop, who works at Hirschfeld Steel and helped build the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers football stadiums. They have two children, 12-year-old daughter Kelsey and 9-year-old son Ryan.
And Bishop plans to keep on running.