UK's Association for Women in Mathematics Student Chapter Wins AWM Award

From the Association for Women in Mathematics.

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has over 100 student chapters at colleges and universities across the country and around the world. AWM Student Chapters develop their yearly programming to meet the needs and interests of their chapter. The AWM Student Chapter Awards highlight and celebrate the unique and meaningful programs that Chapters design. AWM’s Student Chapter Awards are for (1) scientific excellence, (2) professional development, (3) fundraising and sustainability, and (4) community outreach. The University of Kentucky AWM Student Chapter is the 2019 recipient of the Association of Women in Mathematics’ Community Outreach Award.

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. They host a number of events each semester. Previously, they have organized panels for new graduate students & those beginning their job search, dinners to meet and converse with math department seminar guests, invited speaker events on issues pertaining to women in STEM fields, and informal social gatherings both on & off campus.

The other 2019 Award Winners are Colorado School of Mines (Professional Development), Florida Atlantic University (Fundraising/Sustainability), and University of Houston (Scientific Excellence).



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