Executive Committee

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) is governed by an Executive Committee consisting of the President, President-elect or Past President, Treasurer, Clerk, Newsletter Editor and Associate Editor, Meetings Coordinator, Media Coordinator and eight At-Large Members. Members of  the Executive Committee (EC) are either elected or appointed by the President.

Talitha M. Washington

Clark Atlanta University and Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative

Washington is a professor of mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and the inaugural Director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative. In her role as Director, she oversees and provides strategic direction and coordination of data science education, research, and outreach as well as development and fundraising activities across Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, and the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Her research interests include the applications of differential equations to problems in biology and engineering, as well as the development of nonstandard finite difference schemes to numerically solve dynamical systems. Washington is a former Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Convergence Accelerator. Previously, as a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education, she was instrumental in building and establishing NSF’s first Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program, which funded $85M over two years to 56 HSIs. She previously held positions at Howard University, the University of Evansville, The College of New Rochelle, and Duke University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, and Master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Connecticut. In 2021, Washington became a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the Association for Women in Mathematics, becoming the first person named a Fellow of both of these organizations in the same year.

Raegan Higgins

Texas Tech University

 A Louisiana native, Higgins earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Xavier University of Louisiana and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She is a professor of mathematics at Texas Tech University, where she has been a faculty member since 2008. Her primary research focuses on oscillation criteria for dynamic equations on time scales (nonempty subsets of the real numbers). Recently, Higgins began studying applications of time scales to prostate cancer.

Because of her experiences pursuing a STEM graduate degree at a PWI, Higgins understands the importance of creating supportive environments where underrepresented students can thrive. As a result, she continues to build STEM pipelines for young people through teaching and mentoring.  At Texas Tech, Higgins is the lead PI of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridges Across Texas Alliance, a two-million-dollar National Science Foundation grant focusing on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who earn associate and baccalaureate STEM degrees at the five alliance institutions.

At Texas Tech, she is an Integrated Scholar and a member of their Teaching Academy. Additionally, Higgins is an Assistant Vice Provost of Faculty Success. In her role, Higgins develops initiatives, programs, and opportunities specific to inclusion and equity, mentorship, and professional development, and she helps implement reviews of and changes to current policies and procedures that faculty have identified as barriers to advancement.

Nationally, she is a co-director of the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program, a 2018 Presidential Award for STEM Mentoring recipient, and 2007 AMS Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference recipient. She participated in the EDGE Summer Session in 2002 as a student and later served as a workshop facilitator for several years before moving into her current role. Additionally, Higgins is a co-founder and co-creator of the website Mathematically Gifted and Black, which highlights the contributions and lives of Black mathematicians who have significantly contributed to research, mentoring, and teaching in the mathematical sciences.

Higgins is an AWM Fellow, a recipient of the AWM Gweneth Humphreys Award for Mentoring, a recipient of the AWM Service Award, an associated editor of “La Matematica,” and a recipient of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award.

Mary Shepherd EC

Mary Shepherd

Northwest Missouri State University

Mary Shepherd is Professor of Mathematics at Northwest Missouri State University where she has been since 2001. Currently, she is on sabbatical and is a Visiting Professor at Arizona State University. Her research interests started in differential geometry and have continued into undergraduate mathematics education, particularly in reading mathematics where she has several publications. She has also worked in mathematics as created in needlework where she has chapters in three books. She earned an undergraduate degree in music performance (clarinet) from Missouri State University in 1976, a Masters of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 and a Masters and PhD in Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1996. She initially taught at SUNY–Potsdam from 1996 to 2001. She is a Project NExT fellow (Peach Dot–1997) and helped found the Missouri Section NExT program. She has been Secretary/Treasurer, Chair, and Governor/Section Representative of the Missouri Section of the MAA. She has also served on the EC of the MAA as the Budget and Audit member (2008–2010) and after reorganization of the MAA EC, continued to serve as the appointed person on the Audit Committee of the Board of Governors until 2018. Mary is currently a member of the CTUM Committee of the MAA and was involved with the writing and publication of the Instructional Practices Guide of the MAA. Prior to returning to school to pursue mathematics, she was an accountant at various private companies, most recently at Hertz Rent-A-Car. She passed the CPA exam in 1987.

Alejandra Alvarado

Eastern Illinois University

Alejandra Alvarado is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eastern Illinois University. Her research interests are in number theory, in particular, elliptic curves. She recently spent three years working for the Navy as a research scientist. She is also committed to the increase and advancement of women and underserved students in the mathematical sciences. She has served on the AWM Meetings Portfolio and MathFest Committees.

Dandrielle Lewis

Prarie View A & M University

Jenny Fuselier

High Point University

Lakeshia Legette Jones

Clark Atlanta University


Kimberly Ayers

California State University, San Marcos

Rebecca Garcia

Sam Houston State University and MSRI-UP

Rebecca E. Garcia is a professor of mathematics at Sam Houston State University and Co-Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program (MSRI-UP). She is native Chamorro, born and raised in Guam, and, as far as she knows, is the first Chamorro to earn a doctoral degree in pure mathematics. Her research interests are at the intersection of computational and commutative algebra and combinatorics, with contributions in computational algebraic combinatorics, theory of sandpile groups, and dimension theory of partially ordered sets.

Her record of service reflects her love for her community and a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. She is dedicated to growing the community of indigenous mathematicians through mentoring and research program for undergraduates and through collaborative efforts on IndigenousMathematicians.org, a website and community dedicated to spotlighting the journey and mathematical contributions of indigenous mathematicians including Native Americans, Native Alaskans, Native Hawai`ians, and Native Pacific Islanders.

Rebecca is an active member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Association for Women in Mathematics, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

Courtney Gibbons

Hamilton College

Courtney Gibbons is an associate professor of mathematics at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. She received her BA in mathematics from Colorado College and her MS and PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her dissertation work was in commutative homological algebra. She continues to explore this area while developing secondary research interests in algebraic statistics and other applications of algebra. While working at Hamilton, she taught a course in a nearby men’s medium-security prison and looks forward to returning post-pandemic.

As a professor at a small liberal arts college, Courtney works with colleagues from many disciplines in many capacities. She has spent several years on the college’s Committee on Academic Policy, which she will chair next year as the committee implements recommendations from the President’s DEI Advisory Council.

Courtney recently completed a three-year term on the AWM’s Policy and Advocacy Committee, serving as chair for most of the 2020–2021 term. In her year as chair, the committee authored roughly a dozen responses and endorsements.

Monica Jackson

American University

Monica Jackson is the Deputy Provost and Dean of Faculty at American University in Washington, DC.  She is also a professor of mathematics and statistics. Dr. Jackson has been at American since 2005. She established  AU’s first Summer Program in Research and Learning, where undergraduate students and faculty from across the country conduct scientific research at AU. She has served as associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, as CAS’s first diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.  She is also a principal investigator for AU’s ADVANCE grant, analyzing gender and racial data and working to increase equity in these areas among STEM faculty.

Her current research interest is in the areas of spatial statistics and disease surveillance with applications to developing, investigating methods for detecting cancer clusters, global clustering patterns, and developing simulation algorithms for spatially correlated data.  Dr. Jackson has spent sabbaticals at the National Cancer Institute, Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA, and Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, where she worked on applying her spatial techniques to a wide variety of medical problems.  She has won numerous awards for her scholarship and service. Those include the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Faculty Fellow, The Delta Kappa Gamma International Educational Society Most Valuable Member, and the Morton Bender Prize for outstanding research. Prior to coming to AU, Dr. Jackson was a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University and an instructor at the University of Maryland. She has a BS and MS from Clark Atlanta University, and a PhD in applied mathematics and scientific computation from the University of Maryland.

Gizem Karaali

Pomona College

Gizem Karaali is professor of mathematics at Pomona College. She is a founding editor of Journal of Humanistic Mathematics and a senior editor of Numeracy, the journal of the National Numeracy Network. Karaali has published over a hundred articles as well as four edited volumes; most recently she edited, with Lily Khadjavi, the 2021 MAA Press book Mathematics and Social Justice: Focusing on Quantitative Reasoning and Statistics, which followed a 2019 book titled Mathematics and Social Justice: Resources for the College Classroom. In the last decade, Karaali received federal grants for her research and teaching (from the National Security Agency and the National Endowment for the Humanities).

Caroline Klivans

Brown University

Caroline J. Klivans received a BA degree in mathematics from Cornell University and a PhD in applied mathematics from MIT. Currently, she is an associate professor in the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. She is also currently a Deputy Director at ICERM, the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics. Before coming to Brown she held positions at MSRI, Cornell and the University of Chicago.

Klivans’ research is in algebraic, geometric and topological combinatorics. She is the author of the book The Mathematics of Chip-Firing (CRC Press publications). She serves on the editorial board of Algebraic Combinatorics and has organized and chaired various scientific conferences including the international conference on Formal Power Series and Algebraic Combinatorics (FPSAC) and American Mathematical Society special sessions. She currently serves as chair of the AMS David P. Robbins prize committee.

Klivans is the 9th annual AWM Alice T. Schafer prize winner. She has previously served on the Schafer prize committee and currently serves on the AWM policy and advocacy committee.

Emille Davie Lawrence

University of San Francisco

Emille Davie Lawrence is Senior Director for the Black Achievement Success and Engagement initiative and associate professor at the University of San Francisco. She earned her B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College and her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Georgia. She has also been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an Assistant Professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her research focuses on topological properties of spatial graphs. She has been recognized for her work in the mathematics community including as the 2021 Association for Women in Mathematics Service Award winner, as a recipient of the 2021 Karen EDGE Fellowship for mid-career mathematicians, and also as a 2022 MAA Euler Book Prize winner.

Rosa Orellana

Dartmouth College

Rosa Orellana is a professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College, where she was awarded the John M. Manley Huntington Award for research, teaching, and mentoring.  She was a first-generation college student with a dream of becoming a teacher.  With the support of many mentors and advisors, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. Before coming to Dartmouth, she was a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California.   Her research is in algebraic combinatorics, in particular combinatorial representation theory. Her research work is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Orellana loves mathematics and believes in supporting and encouraging everybody to discover its beauty. At Dartmouth she mentors and supervises graduate students, postdocs and undergraduate students. In particular, she enjoys introducing undergraduates to the joys of research and has mentored many undergraduate students. In 2013, she was the research director for MSRI-UP REU, leading 18 undergraduates in research projects.   Orellana first became interested in mathematics in seventh grade; therefore, she started an annual Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day at Dartmouth to encourage middle and high school girls discover math beyond the classroom.

Giving back to the community is something that Orellana finds very rewarding. Most recently, she was elected to the AMS council as a member-at-large and served until 2023. Currently, she serves in several committees at the AMS and MAA.

Shanise Walker

Clark Atlanta University

Shanise Walker is an assistant professor of mathematics at the Clark Atlanta University. Her research interests lie in combinatorics where she studies extremal combinatorics and graph partitioning problems. She earned her BS in mathematics from the University of Georgia and her PhD from Iowa State University. Upon graduating from Iowa State University, she was a Project NExT Fellow for the 2018–2019 year. At University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Walker co-organized the annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day event for middle and high school girls and has served on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan Committee. She is also on the editorial board for the Mathematical Association of America Math Values Blog, which highlights diversity, inclusion, and community in mathematics.