2021 Winner: Dr. Lynda R. Wiest
In recognition of her outstanding contributions to math education, the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) presents the 2021 Louise Hay Award to Dr. Lynda Wiest from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Dr. Wiest has contributed impactfully to advancing mathematics education in K-12 across a variety of school settings. She has created innovative courses and summer programs, addressing gender equity and diversity issues.
Dr. Wiest is the founder and the director of the highly influential Northern Nevada Girls Math and Technology Program (NNGMTP) since 1998. Every summer for more than two decades, the program hosts girls entering the seventh and eighth grades from Nevada’s rural and urban areas at the University of Nevada, Reno. The summer camp boosts the girls’ interest in mathematics, advances their mathematics education and problem-solving skills, and it presents participants with university campus experience. As one nominator wrote, “Dr. Wiest’s mentorship and guidance reached all levels of this program. This was clear by the number of return instructors, assistants, volunteers, and girls who wished to continue participating in the NNGMTP.” Many of these students have chosen to pursue degrees in Math and Engineering.
I am deeply honored to be among the individuals chosen over the years for the Louise Hay Award. In the same way that Louise Hay paved a path for us, for several decades I have sought to continue a tradition of encouraging and supporting girls and young women in mathematics. Some ways I have done this are through my research and writing; girls mathematics programs I have conducted (e.g., the Northern Nevada Girls Math & Technology Program I started in 1998); education to teachers, parents, and others about girls/women and mathematics; and individual mentoring and encouragement to young girls through adult women. I am very grateful to have received this award for my work, which I will continue to perform as long as I can, with confidence that this chain of “sources of inspiration and opportunities” (in Louise’s words) that started long before me will continue with future generations.