AWM 2019 Student Chapter Awards
AWM sponsored its annual Student Chapter Awards. Awards were given in four categories: scientific excellence, professional development, fundraising/sustainability and community outreach. We thank all who participated in this year’s competition for the attention to their proposals and congratulate them on the strength of the activities they are pursuing to create a productive environments for women in mathematics. The four chapter winners were recognized at MathFest, July 31 – August 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
University of Kentucky
Winner of the Community Outreach Category
The AWM Student Chapter at the University of Kentucky is receiving this award in recognition of its outstanding work in developing the Appalachian Initiative for Mathematics and for its concerted effort at integrating often isolated undergraduate women into the larger university mathematical community. A goal of the Appalachian Initiative is to increase diversity by reaching out to neighboring schools without graduate programs to give their students first-hand information about graduate school and research mathematics. The initiative serves to create a larger, more cohesive environment for the nearby cohort of undergraduates and faculty, while also providing the University of Kentucky’s graduate students with opportunities to present their own research projects to undergraduate audiences, to act as mentors, and to establish relationships with faculty at different institutions. This past year, the chapter organized a monthly event called the Inclusive Community Lunches that focused on discussing topics related to Inclusion and Diversity and has captured the interest of students and faculty beyond the Mathematics Department. To increase the chapter’s undergraduate outreach, its members have worked very closely with the department’s Math Club, which has encouraged undergraduate participation in their hosted events, including some organized specifically to promote professional development among math majors and increase their contact with the graduate students, their lives, and their mathematics. We applaud the chapter’s outreach to the surrounding higher education mathematical community and to its own undergraduates who can be encouraged by the model it represents for them of a possible future in the profession.
Florida Atlantic University
Winner of the Fundraising/Sustainability Category
The AWM Student Chapter at Florida Atlantic University is receiving this award for a second consecutive year, this time in recognition of its winning a Postdoctoral Ambassadorship from the Women and Mathematics Program (WAM) at the Institute for Advanced Study, made possible by the generous financial support of Lisa Simonyi. Augmenting this with contributions from the FAU Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science Office of the Dean, they raised $4,500 to fund the very first Florida Women in Mathematics Day and follow-up activities. FWIMD was a one-day conference designed to promote women in mathematics, including a half-day immersion experience for girls interested in mathematics. The conference featured research talks, networking opportunities, mentoring across all levels, a career panel, and a hands-on mathematics activity for local high school students. The funds were used to reimburse travel and lodging for female mathematicians in the region and the keynote speaker, for promotional items, food and refreshments for the participants, and for supplies for the high school activity. With the remaining funds, they were able to support their mentoring program, Dare to BEE, and to cultivate relationships with local high schools and others in the mathematical community. Their initiative and energy in developing programs to promote young women in mathematics and finding the resources to support them deserve another occasion for congratulations.
Colorado School of Mines
Winner of the Professional Development Category
The AWM Student Chapter at the Colorado School of Mines is receiving this award in recognition of the breadth and success of its program to develop students’ professional involvement in mathematics. The chapter does this throughworkshops, panels, discussions, and social events on a bi-weekly schedule, providing opportunities for students interested in a career in mathematics and a space for students to feel comfortable in discussing topics related to women in mathematics. Their goal is to not only expose students to a variety of different career options, mathematical paths, and general professional advice, but also to empower them with the professional skills and confidence they will need as they move into the next stages of their careers.
Workshops topics include negotiation, sexism and sexual harassment, job skills and professional communication, resume writing, and presentation skills. Among its regular panel presentations are a teaching panel, an REU/Internship Panel, a graduate school panel, and a Mathematics Research and Collaboration Panel. It also provides opportunities for general discussions on topics such as “Amplification & Women in the Workplace” and “Gender Stereotypes”. The activities of this chapter in moving women forward in their professional lives in the mathematical sciences provide multiple examples for others of us to follow. We are very pleased to recognize them for their extensive and exceptionally impressive work.
University of Houston
Winner of the Scientific Excellence Category
The AWM Student Chapter at the University of Houston is receiving this award for organizing and presenting the highly distinguished 3rd Annual Texas Women in Mathematics Symposium (TWIMS). This is a regional conference that has rotated around universities in the Texas-area since 2016. This past year it hosted an inclusive group of over 70 attendees. Conference activities included 19 research talks (including a plenary talk by Professor Suncica Canic), 8 poster presenters, a salary negotiation workshop, a career panel of academics and industrial professionals, and breakout sessions on applying for graduate school, selecting an advisor, work/life balance, maternity leave in academia, and ideas for AWM student chapter activities. TWIMS 2018 was financially supported by UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UH Department of Mathematics, and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Tensor Women and Mathematics Grant. It is, and will continue to be a major event for women in mathematics in Texas, and the University of Houston has done exceptional work in promoting and prolonging its critical influence in the mathematical culture of the region. We congratulate them for their excellent example of how to sustain and encourage a community of women in mathematics.