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AWM Executive Committee

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President: Ami Radunskaya
Ponoma College
Contact: aer04747@pomona.edu

A California native, Professor Radunskaya received her BA from UC Berkeley after ten “gap” years playing the ’cello and composing in the Bay Area. She went on to get a PhD inmathematics from Stanford University, and then was a postdoc at Rice University for three years. She has been a faculty member of the Department of Mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont, California for the last 20 years, specializing in ergodic theory, dynamical systems, and applications to various “real-world” problems. Some current research projects involve mathematical models of cancer immunotherapy, designing strategies for delivery of drugs to the brain, modeling the fate of blood clots and the effect of anti-coagulants, and studying stochastic dynamical systems. Professor Radunskaya believes strongly in the power of collaboration and that everyone can learn to enjoy mathematics. She is a co­director of the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program, which won a Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award from the American Mathematics Society in 2007. She is the editor of a recently released Springer volume Applications of Dynamical Systems in Biology and Medicine which features 9 papers by 53 women authors, the output of the first WhAM! (Women in Applied Mathematics) workshop hosted by the IMA. Radunskaya was awarded an Irvine Fellowship for Excellence in Faculty Mentoring in 2004, she delivered the Falconer Lecture at MathFest in 2010, she received a Wig Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012, and she was featured in the 2014 documentary The Empowerment Project.

President-elect: Ruth Haas
University of Hawaii

Ruth Haas is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She is also Achilles Professor Emerita in Mathematics and Statistics at Smith College where she worked from 1989-2017.  At Smith she co-founded and co-directed the Center for Women in Mathematics which received the 2011 AMS Programs that make a difference award for its post-baccalaureate program.   Ruth Haas was the 2015 recipient of the AWM Humphries Award for Mentoring undergraduate women to continue to Ph.D.s in the mathematical sciences.  She earned her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College, and Ph.D. at Cornell University.   She has more than 30 publications in areas of discrete mathematics including both algebraic combinatorics and graph theory.   She has served on committees of all the major U.S. Mathematical Societies.  She served on the Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics, was chair of the meetings and programs portfolio, and served on several selection committees for the AWM.   

Treasurer: Ellen Kirkman
 Wake Forest University
 Contact: kirkman@wfu.edu

Ellen Kirkman is Professor of Mathematics at Wake Forest University, where she has been a faculty member since 1975; she is the Program Director of the department’s Master’s degree program.  She has spent sabbaticals at the University of Leeds in England, UCSD, and MSRI.  She became interested in mathematics in a high school honors program that used the “new math” curriculum; she received her BA at the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio in 1970 and her Ph.D. in mathematics and MA in statistics from Michigan State University in 1975.  Her professional activities include serving on the AMS Nominations Committee 2009-11, as an MAA Governor 2006-8, on the Joint Data Committee of AMS-ASA-MAA-IMS-SIAM (2000-2007 and 2009-present), directing the CBMS 2010 and 2015 surveys of undergraduate mathematical sciences programs, and involvement in several EDGE programs.  She has received service awards from Wake Forest University and the Southeastern Section of the MAA. She is an associate editor of the Communications in Algebra, and her current research interests focus on the invariant theory of noncommutative algebras. She is a fellow of the AMS.

Clerk: Janet Beery
University of the Redlands
Contact: Janet_Beery@redlands.edu

Janet Beery is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Redlands (Calif.), where she has been a faculty member since 1989, the year she received her Ph.D. in group theory from Dartmouth College. She is now a historian of mathematics, specializing in early modern British mathematics. Since 2009, she has edited Convergence, the MAA’s online journal on the history of mathematics and its use in teaching. She has served the MAA in a number of ways and received its Meritorious Service Award in 2010. From 2002 to 2008 she was a member of the College Board AP Calculus Examination Development Committee, serving as College Board Advisor from 2006 to 2008. 

Newsletter Editor: Anne Leggett
Loyola University of Chicago
Contact: amcdona@luc.edu

Anne Leggett is Professor Emerita of Mathematics, Loyola University Chicago, where she spent the lion’s share of her academic career.  She earned her Ph.D. in recursion theory from Yale, but over the years her professional interests became more and more centered on issues involving women in the mathematical sciences.  She is long-time AWM Newsletter Editor, and with Bettye Anne Case she co-edited (and co-wrote portions of) the prize-winning book Complexities:  Women in Mathematics (Princeton University Press, 2005).  She joined Sarah J. Greenwald and Jill E. Thomley in writing the article “The Association for Women in Mathematics:  How and Why It Was Founded, and Why It’s Still Needed in the 21st Century” which appeared in the September 2015 issue of The Mathematical Intelligencer.  She is working (somewhat sporadically) on a database of women mathematicians who earned doctorates in the mathematical sciences and related subjects from 1960 to 1979; she gave an invited talk on this work at the October 2015 AMS Sectional Meeting held on the Loyola campus. 

  Meetings Coordinator: 
 Kathryn Leonard
  Cal State Channel Islands
  Contact: kathryn.leonard@csuci.edu

 Kathryn Leonard is an applied mathematician studying geometric modeling with applications to computer graphics and computer vision. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Occidental College. Previously, she helped build a university as a member of the mathematics faculty at California  State University Channel Islands after completing postdoctoral  work at California Institute of Technology and MSRI. Her awards include a  NSF CAREER grant and the Henry L. Alder Award for University  Teaching from the MAA.  

Media Coordinator: Joanna Wares
University of Richmond

Joanna Wares is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond. She received her B.S., majoring in pure math, from the University of Michigan. Following this, she was a research assistant in the Macroeconomic and Quantitative Studies section of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. During this time, she taught herself basic website development. She then worked as a website developer in the Washington, D.C. area for a few years. An interest in biology sent her back to graduate school at the University of Maryland, where she earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation, focusing on Computational Neuroscience. Afterward, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University where, under the tutelage of Dr. Glenn Webb, she began researching population dynamics, particularly in the fields of epidemiology and oncolytic virotherapy. In addition to these fields of study, her current work also includes the study of mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (funded by the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium). Wares is an Associate Editor of SIAM Undergraduate Research Online and is dedicated to mentoring undergraduates in biomath research. 

At-Large Members:

Talia Fern

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Talia Fernós is an Associate Professor at the University of NC, Greensboro. Her research examines infinite groups from both analytic and geometric perspectives. Originally from Puerto Rico, she moved to a small town in Texas at the age of 14. Culture shock and other circumstances led her to drop out of school shortly after. Nevertheless, she graduated high school second in her class at age 17. She then received her BS from the Evergreen State College in Washington State and later her MS and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2006. For her thesis work on relative property (T) she was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Before joining UNCG in 2011, she had appointments at UCLA, MSRI, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Henri Poincaré Institute (IHP). Since arriving at UNCG, her research has been recognized by internal university grants and awards, as well as by the NSF through a standard research grant, and the IHP and MSRI with visiting scholar positions. Since grad school, Talia has been active in helping women and other underrepresented groups in their pursuit of careers in math. She was a co-founder of the AWM Student Chapter at UIC, as well as the faculty sponsor of the chapter at UNCG. Together with the student chapter at UNCG, she successfully petitioned the AWM to amend the bylaws. The list of protected groups that should be allowed to join the student chapter had not included the term “gender identity and expression.” In 2014 Talia ran “Geek Open Mic: Science and Math Showcase” where topics were presented to a general audience.

Pamela Harris 

Williams College


Pamela E. Harris is a Mexican-American Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. She received her BS from Marquette University and MS and PhD in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research interests are in algebra and combinatorics, particularly as these subjects relate to the representation theory of Lie algebras. Her recent research on vector partition functions and projects in graph theory has been supported through awards from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics.Harris co-organizes research symposia and professional development sessions for the national conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, was a Mathematical Association of America’s Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow from 2012–2013, and is an editor of the e-Mentoring Network blog of the American Mathematical Society. In 2016, she co-founded www.Lathisms.org, an online platform that features prominently the extent of the research and mentoring contributions of Latin@s and Hispanics in Mathematical Sciences. She is also the lead editor for the Special Issue on Motherhood and Mathematics of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.

Farrah Jackson Ward

Elizabeth City State University

Farrah Jackson Ward received her BS in mathematics education from North Carolina A&T State University and MS and PhD degrees in mathematics from North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on mathematics education, specifically using technology in the classroom and virtual mentoring, as well as programs aimed at improving student success. As a graduate student, she was a David and Lucile Packard Fellow and received several awards for her outstanding teaching. Upon graduation she was a Project NExT fellow and worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In 2007 she joined the faculty at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) where she served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for six years. Farrah currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at ECSU where her responsibilities include overseeing University Studies, Retention and Student Support Services.

Gail Letzter
Department of Defense

Gail Letzter received her BA from Harvard University and her PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago. Her first academic appointment was at Wayne State University (1987–1993), where she was awarded tenure and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship served at M.I.T. Letzter worked for one year as a Cryptologic Mathematician at NSA in an effort to solve a two-body-plus-epsilon problem. She restarted her academic career at Virginia Tech in 1996, rising through the ranks to full professor. In addition to being awarded seven research grants from NSA, NSF, and the U.S. Israel Binational Science Foundation, the conference “Special Lie Day” at the University of Amsterdam was arranged in her honor (2005). While a faculty member, Letzter maintained her ties to the classified mathematics community as a consultant and in 2006 took a full-time position as an applied research mathematician at NSA. Letzter was promoted in 2014 to NSA’s Senior Executive Service (Defense Intelligence Senior Level) and today coordinates technical projects in their Mathematics Research Group. She is active in NSA’s Women in Mathematics Society, responsible for a range of mentoring initiatives.

Letzter is recognized for contributions to the representation theory of quantum groups. She is credited with the now standard Hopf algebraic approach to quantum symmetric pairs. While employed by the government, Letzter filled a four-year term as the Lie algebra editor for the Proceedings of the AMS. She continues to give invited lectures at academic conferences and has been selected to participate in the upcoming collaborative WINART (Women in Non-commutative Algebra and Representation Theory) conference, to be held in Banff. 

Kavita Ramanan
Brown University

Kavita Ramanan is Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Chair at Brown University and served as the Director of Graduate Studies from 2011–2014. Prior to joining Brown University, she was a Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, Member of Technical Staff at the Mathematical Sciences Research Center at Bell Laboratories   in New Jersey, and a Visiting Scientist at the Technion in Haifa, Israel. Kavita Ramanan’s field of research  is in probability theory, stochastic processes and their applications. She is a  recipient of the Stella Dafermos Award,   the Simon Ostrach Fellowship, and the 2006 Erlang Prize from the INFORMS Applied Probability Society.  She was elected fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics (IMS) in 2013, was a recipient of an IMS Medallion in 2015, and was invited to join the 2018 Class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). She has served on several committees including the Nomination Committees of the AMS, IMS and Bernoulli Society, and currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of ICERM (Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics). She was a member of the Lucent Technologies Graduate Program for Women committee (2000–2002), participated in the Science Grant program at Bell Labs and the COMPASS program at CMU. She is an Area Editor of Mathematics of Operations Research and has served on various other editorial boards, including those of Annals of Probability, Annals of Applied Probability,  Stochastic Analysis and its Applications, QUESTA and SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics. She has given various plenary talks worldwide, including most recently, the Annual Conference of the Heilbronn Institute in Bristol in 2016, the Hanna Neumann lecture of the Australian Mathematical Society in 2016, an Invited Address at the AMS NYC regional meeting in 2017,  and the CFM-Imperial Distinguished Lectures at Imperial College, London, UK, in 2017.

Ivelisse Rubio

University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Ivelisse Rubio has PhD in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University and is Professor at the Computer Science Department of University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Her research interests are in the area of finite fields and their applications. She has directed undergraduate research projects in computational mathematics of numerous minority students and has been involved in many activities to promote undergraduate research in mathematics. She co-founded and co-directed the REU Summer Institute in Mathematics for Undergraduates (SIMU) (1998-2002) and the REU MSRI-UP (2007-2015).  In 2006 SIMU received the American Mathematical Society's award to "Programs that make a difference", being this the first time that this award was given by the AMS. For their work related to the mathematics activities at the SACNAS conference she and Ricardo Cortez received a 2006 SACNAS Presidential Service Award. In 2010 she received the Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award for Mentoring and Commitment to Diversity. She has served in several committees of the AMS, AWM, MAA, MSRI and SACNAS, was a member of the Editorial Board of the American Mathematical Monthly, and is currently a member of the US National Committee for Mathematics. 

 Talithia Williams
  Harvey Mudd College

Dr. Talithia Williams is an associate professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. In her present capacity as a faculty member, she exemplifies the role of teacher and scholar through outstanding research, with a passion for integrating and motivating the educational process with real world statistical applications. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (Spelman College), masters’ degrees in both mathematics (Howard University) and statistics (Rice University), and a PhD in statistics (Rice University). Her professional experiences include research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the National Security Agency (NSA), and NASA. Williams develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data with environmental applications. She has been recognized for the development of a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. She recently gave a TED talk (currently over 1 million views) titled “Own Your Body’s Data,” which explores how each of us can begin to collect data about ourselves that can provide insight into our personal health. She is also active in her faith community, serving as a Trustee on the Pomona First Baptist Board of Trustees and with her husband as a Christian marriage mentor couple. She’s the exhausted mom of three amazing boys, ages 3, 5, and 7 (triple prime!!!). 

Carol Woodward
Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Dr. Carol Woodward has been a computational mathematician in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) since June of 1996. Prior to that time, she attended Rice University where she received her PhD and Louisiana State University where she graduated with a BS in mathematics. She completed high school at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts, a two-year residential high school that emphasizes advanced study in mathematics, sciences, humanities, and arts.

Carol Woodward serves as co-chair for the Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences. She has served AWM as a member of the AWM-SIAM workshop committee and has participated in many AWM workshops as both a mentor and mentee. She served as Numerical Methods Group Leader and Postdoctoral Program Manager in CASC. She is a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Council and Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on the Geosciences. She has also held offices in the SIAM activity group on Computational Science and Engineering. Woodward serves on the editorial boards for SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Advances in Water Resources, and ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software and has served on numerous organizing committees for national and international meetings. Her research interests include numerical methods for nonlinear partial differential equations, nonlinear and linear solvers, time integration methods, verification of scientific codes, and parallel computing.