AWM 2022 Student Chapter Awards
AWM sponsored its annual Student Chapter Awards, with awards given in four categories: community outreach, fundraising/sustainability, professional development, and scientific excellence. 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 productive environments for women in mathematics. The chapter winners were recognized at Ice Cream Social on Friday, August 5th at MAA MathFest 2022 in Philadelphia, PA.
University of California, Riverside
Winner of the Community Outreach Category
The AWM Student Chapter of the University of California at Riverside receives this award in recognition of their varied, thoughtful, and original community outreach activities. The chapter’s efforts focused on connecting mathematics to the arts, K-12 outreach, and working with other campus entities. Highlights included the virtual conference Women in MathArt: Research, Creativity, and Teaching; a collaboration with the campus poetry club to explore mathematical poetry; participation in the campus Dia de los Muertos celebration by sharing entries for women mathematicians who have passed away; a platonic solids event for middle school girls through a STEM role-models program; and work with the education department to help prepare for a high school Sonia Kovalevsky Day. The chapter’s efforts show a strong commitment to building community among their members, at their institution, and with the broader community.
University of Alabama
Winner of the Fundraising/Sustainability Category
The AWM student chapter at the University of Alabama is honored in this category for their efforts to increase their membership, their innovation and success in collecting funds for chapter activities, and for the diversity of events offered throughout the year. Their use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to increase visibility and advertise their events was extremely impressive, especially their new monthly Member Stoplights featuring members from various groups (undergraduate, first year graduate, second year graduate, etc). The chapter also created an AWM t-shirt, which was sold to raise money, and received funding from their department and refreshment grants from their university. These efforts allowed them to have regular panels and talks that brought excellent professional development and scientific events to the department. In fact, the chapter has been engaged in a great diversity of innovative activities throughout the year to help with advertising and retention: they organized a talk at the Graduate Recruiting Expo in 2019 to recruit new graduate students; they helped organize AWM Coffee Chats as professional development events and the more research-oriented AWM Talk Series; and they help organize the Workshop to Forge the Yellowhammer Network of Alabama Women in the Mathematical Sciences featuring Dr. Irina Mitrea as keynote speaker. Overall, the chapter has done excellent work that reflects the AWM mission and can be sustained going forward.
Wake Forest University
Winner of the Professional Development Category
The AWM Student Chapter at Wake Forest University is being recognized for their professional development activities. At the center of the chapter’s professional development efforts are innovative mentorship chains: groups of undergraduates, graduate students, and professors who have similar research interests and meet during the year for coffee or other social gatherings. The chapter also holds two types of professional activities throughout the year: Panel Discussions and Brown Bag Lunches. The Panel Discussions are often on career and job-oriented topics, such as an alumni job panel and an internship panel, and Brown Bag lunches are informal practice talks by students.
In 2021 the chapter organized a conference entitled Launch Point, which supported students in pursuing future careers in industry or academia. This conference included panel discussions, student talks, and plenary talks by Dr. Pamela E. Harris and Dr. Candice Price. The chapter’s weekly newsletter not only serves to advertise activities but also highlights opportunities in mathematics. The Selection Committee commends the chapter for having recorded the effectiveness of their newsletter by keeping track of how many people are on their newsletter subscription list and what percentage of people receiving their emails open their emails.
Winner of the Scientific Excellence Category
The AWM Student Chapter at Rice University is receiving this award for organizing the Texas Women in Mathematics Symposium 2022 (TWIMS) and a joint Colloquium that sparked the successful program Math Nights. TWIMS is a weekend conference highlighting the accomplishments of women mathematicians and providing networking opportunities and visibility for early career mathematicians. The conference was held in dual-delivery format, which was made possible due to many volunteers. There were 2 plenary lectures by Dr. Pallavi Dani and Dr. Cristina Villalobos, a career advancement panel, and a workshop on combating Imposter Syndrome, led by a coach from the Doerr Institute, Wende Gaikema. The joint Colloquium was given by Amanda Glazer, who presented her undergraduate thesis study, the National Mathematics Survey, discussing the difficulties and barriers that women in math face. Following such discussion, the chapter started Math Nights, regular events where students meet and study together. The goal of such an environment was to build a supporting community. The chapter also organized many professional development events, such as panels on REUs and proof-writing techniques. Congratulations to the AWM Student Chapter at Rice University for their excellent example of how to sustain scientific excellence, even during a pandemic.