The Texas A&M University student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has been recognized nationally with the organization’s 2020 Award in Community Outreach.
Texas A&M’s AWM chapter, housed within the Department of Mathematics and advised by Texas A&M mathematician Laura Matusevich, was recognized for its outstanding work in reaching out to both external and internal mathematical communities through its sponsorship of and participation in numerous activities, from substantial efforts to inspire middle and high school students in pursuing mathematical sciences careers, to hosting the 4th annual Texas Women In Mathematics Symposium 2020.
“We applaud the Texas A&M chapter for its outstanding work in bringing girls and women from the larger community into meaningful contact with mathematics, in highlighting the work of female mathematicians in Texas and, finally, in strengthening the community of women within its own department,” said AWM Student Chapter Awards Coordinator Emek Kose.
AWM’s annual Student Chapter Awards competition spans four categories: scientific excellence, professional development, fundraising/sustainability and community outreach. All 2020 winners were recognized at the annual Student Chapters Virtual Meeting, held November 6, 2020.
“We thank all who participated this year for their attention to their proposals and congratulate them on the strength of the activities they are pursuing to create productive environments for women in mathematics,” Kose said.
Texas A&M’s AWM chapter is an officially recognized student organization that seeks to encourage women to pursue active careers in the mathematical sciences and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women in the mathematical sciences. In particular, the chapter focuses on mentoring and encouraging all students in mathematics — efforts that have been recognized and funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Mathematical Association of America and the Summer Math Foundation.
Members are highly active throughout departmental outreach circles, participating in the annual Mathematics and Statistics Fair, High School Mathematics Contest, Summer Mathematics Research Training (SMaRT) Camp, Summer Educational Enrichment in Math (SEE-Math), weekly Texas A&M Math Circle activities and STEMFest for elementary and middle school Girl Scouts. Within the department itself, the chapter organizes a Peer Mentoring Program that matches first- and second-year graduate students with more advanced male and female students and also sponsors a monthly Women in Math Mentoring Lunch focusing on topics pertaining to professional development encouraging dialogue between female students and female faculty.
“Texas A&M’s AWM Student Chapter is important in facilitating a sense of community among women in the Department of Mathematics through activities that include faculty as well as students,” said Dr. Sarah J. Witherspoon, professor and head of Texas A&M Mathematics. “The chapter is phenomenal at reaching out into the wider community, with members volunteering at many events for school children. I am very happy to see that they have been recognized with this highly deserved award.”