Association for Women in Mathematics Service Award 2015

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) presented Kathryn Leonard, Elebeoba E. May, Irina Mitrea and Christina Sormani with AWM Service Awards at the AWM Reception held during the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, TX, January 9-13, 2015. The AWM Service Award, established by the AWM Executive Committee in November 2012, recognizes individuals for helping to promote and support women in mathematics through exceptional voluntary service to the Association for Women in Mathematics. The award is given annually to a select group of AWM volunteers in recognition of their extensive time and effort devoted to AWM activities during the previous seven years. Presidents (past, present, and -elect) and current officers are not eligible for the award.

From a vast list of volunteers, the 2015 awardees were chosen for their extraordinary work and service to the AWM during recent years.

Kathryn Leonard, California State University Channel Islands, is recognized for her active involvement with the AWM Meetings Committee. In that capacity she chaired the JMM Committee which oversees the AWM activities at the JMM, co- organized the AWM Workshop at JMM 2014, organized the AWM Workshop poster session in 2013 and set up a system for pairing mentors with workshop participants. She was also a PI on the grant funding the AWM 2013 Research Symposium and the AWM Workshop at JMM 2014. In addition, she organized a research collaboration conference for women (WiSh) at IPAM; based on that conference, she edited the first AWM-Springer volume, which will bring $1,000 plus royalties to AWM.

Elebeoba E. (Chi-Chi) May, University of Houston, is recognized for her active involvement with the AWM Meetings Committee for the past three years and for prior work helping the AWM Workshop Director organize the AWM-SIAM workshops at the SIAM Annual meetings. This past year she chaired
the SIAM Committee which oversees the AWM activities at the SIAM Annual Meetings. She was the key organizer of the AWM Workshop poster sessions and career panels at the 2013 and 2014 meetings and is organizing the AWM career mini-symposium at the 2015 SIAM CSE Meeting. She coordinated the poster judging competition for the AWM poster presenters at the 2014 SIAM Annual Meeting and helped select the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) prize winner from among the poster presenters in 2013.

Irina Mitrea, Temple University, is recognized for her service to AWM as a PI on a successful NSF Sonia Kovalevsky Day Grant. Furthermore, her leadership of the team that organized the AWM activities at the 2010, 2012 and 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festivals (USASEF) has been exemplary. She engaged thousands of children in doing mathematics. The activities she designed were fun and challenging! She brought energy, enthusiasm and creativity to designing the events, which has been positively noticed by NSF program officers among many others. Additionally she was an active member of the AWM Executive Committee for four years.

Christina Sormani, City University of New York, Graduate Center and Lehman College, is recognized for her active involvement with the AWM Meetings Committee. In that capacity she has been a member of the JMM Committee which oversees the AWM activities at the JMM. In addition to helping select participants for the AWM Workshop poster sessions, Christina has been the driving force behind the AWM panels held at the JMM in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. With great energy and dedication she suggested topics for the panels, invited the panelists, created a webpage for each panel and moderated the panels. In 2012, the panelists tackled the relevant question of “Maintaining an Active Research Career through Collaboration” and in 2015 the topic was “Breaking the Glass Ceiling Permanently”.