Dr. Andrew Davis, his wife Lori and their six-year-old daughter moved to St. Louis after living in Europe for three years, splitting time between Munich and Edinburgh. "We got to vacation and travel a lot," he says. "We went to Italy and visited Rome, the Vatican, Venice...the only thing our daughter remembered about the trip was the gelato." As she grew, though, she was able to appreciate more, and recently wrote that she misses the castles in Scotland.
Dr. Davis is a native of Gainesville, Florida. He attended Brigham Young University for his undergraduate studies in astronomy. "I have extended family in Utah, and I liked their focus on undergraduate research," he says. "I got to play with the telescopes there, which is something only grad students normally get to do."
He and Lori actually met in their first class (a French course) on their first day at BYU, but it wasn't until they reconnected a few years later that they became a couple. She's a music teacher and part-time editor for Lexis Nexis, and they've now been married for 11 years.
After BYU, Dr. Davis continued his studies at Yale. New Haven had more of an urban feel than Provo, Utah, he says. "They have some phenomenal restaurants there that we still miss," he laughs.
From New Haven, it was off to Europe for an opportunity to participate in astronomy research abroad. "We sold everything — the furniture, the car, all of it — and packed 11 suitcases to take with us to the airport." He says the opportunity to travel was one of their favorite parts of living abroad, and that they were very impressed with Munich, one of their home bases. "It was beautiful. Very clean, and very Catholic," he says. The Davis family is picured above during their time in Germany. He added that Scotland also offered a lot of fun opportunities, with Edinburgh having a very international feel.
After finishing his doctorate, Dr. Davis planned to teach at the collegiate level, but after seeing how many undergraduate students weren't coming into college with a sense of "real-world math," he decided to pursue high school teaching jobs. "I'd been putting my resume out there, and one day I got a call from (Dr.) Bernie (Kilcullen)," he says of Priory. "I came to visit and actually stayed in the monastery. I loved the atmosphere and the hospitality." He says the Benedictine goal of well-rounded education also appealed to him. "We're here to teach math, but also to aid in moral and physical development. School here is about more than just a grade in a classroom."
Dr. Davis says his family is enjoying St. Louis, and they have been to the Zoo and many of the local parks. They also have a list of museums they want to visit when the weather gets less conducive to outdoor activity. Outside of work, he enjoys playing the piano and singing (musical theater and opera), and dabbles in compuiter programming, an interest he picked up during his astronomy research.