Gweneth Humphreys Award

2023 Winner: Erika Tatiana Camacho

The Association for Women in Mathematics is pleased to present the 2023 M. Gweneth Humphreys Award to Erika Tatiana Camacho, Fulbright Research Scholar at the Institut de la Vision-Sorbonne Université and Professor of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences  at Arizona State University, for impactful and multidimensional  mentoring activities that have enabled the success of generations of talented scientists and mathematicians, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, family educational history, or gender. 


Dr. Erika Tatiana Camacho’s impact through mentoring is multidimensional. She has co-directed two undergraduate summer research programs: the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute (AMSSI) from 2005 to 2007 which she also co-founded, and the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) from 2011 to 2013. Her efforts at AMSSI and MTBI over the years have contributed to over 80 alumni earning their doctorates, the majority being from underrepresented groups. She incorporates students into her own research – she has refereed publications with fifteen undergraduate co-authors – and spends countless hours mentoring students and faculty one-on-one. Her reach does not end at the University level, as she also finds time to speak to middle school and high school students about their education.

Camacho currently holds positions as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Institut de la Vision-Sorbonne Université and as Professor in the School of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences at Arizona State University. On July 29, 2022 she ended an impressive three-year rotation at NSF where she created and contributed to impactful initiatives dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion as Co-lead of the HSI Program and Program Officer of the ADVANCE, Racial Equity in STEM Education, and HSI Program. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University and is an accomplished researcher in the field of Mathematical Biology.

In addition to her one-on-one work with students, Dr. Camacho has facilitated changes to the mathematical profession to promote inclusion. As a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Diversity Committee, she co-founded the Workshop Celebrating Diversity that has been held at the SIAM Annual Conference each year since 2008. She has also served as a member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Math Task Force and Board of Directors as well as the AMS Council and NIMBioS Advisory Board. Her efforts have led to significant grant support for students, women, early career faculty, and mentees to further their mathematical aspirations.

Erika Tatiana Camacho’s efforts have truly enabled the success of generations of talented scientists and mathematicians, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, family educational history, or gender. The AWM is pleased to honor Dr. Camacho for her exceptional success in mentoring and her impact on the mathematical profession.


Thank you for this honor that validates the intentional and thoughtful mentoring in mathematics we have received and given over the years. I would like to thank the mentors who have influenced my career path and the hundreds of students and mentees that I have had over the years  and who have allowed me to be part of their journey. It has been a true pleasure to get to know my mentees, affect their lives, and see them rise to become great scientists. In the process of mentoring I have transformed the lives of many of them but they all have also greatly transformed my life as I have learned so much from them.  

For me, mentoring is very personal. I have been a benefactor of it but I also did not have good mentoring at many steps along the way.  During my career path, there have been so many times that I was ready to walk away and I would have done it if it wasn’t for the very few mentors and friends that encouraged me to stay.  I went through a prolonged period where a supposed key mentor mentored me selfishly in ways that would promote him at the expense of my success and advancement.  It was over these painful years that I realized the importance of selfless mentoring and that not all mentors do this. When I started to mentor, it was because I wanted to be the mentor at key places and critical stages of an individual’s academic path, where I, myself, didn’t have a good mentor and felt lost and powerless.

Mentoring is an invisible work that often goes unnoticed.  Building the scientific capacity to advance science requires developing the human capital and the workforce to carry the scientific enterprise as much as the intellectual aspect of it.  Many times we forget that we need to develop the scientists to move forward theories and instead we focus only on the science innovation part and forget that we need a substantial number of scientists ready to undertake complex problems. Most importantly, we need to have all the different perspectives and experiences on the table to be able to tackle a complex problem from every angle and arrive at an optimal solution.  I really thank the AWM for recognizing this important work of individuals that work tirelessly and selflessly to mentor. Only through efforts that recognize excellent mentoring are we going to make mentoring and the creation of scientists a key aspect of advancing science.