YSU student math group earns national recognition

AWM’s Professional Development Award Recipients
Ami Radunskaya, far left, National AWM president, stands with members of YSU’s Association for Women in Mathematics Student Chapter, from left: back row, Monica Busser, Jacquelyn Chapman, Sarah Elizabeth Odidika, Julie Phillips, Natalie Halivik, Mirella Boulus and Lexi Rager; front row, Alanis Chew, Hannah Haynie (holding award), Ashley Amendol, Sarah O'Kane and Christine Langer.

Members of a Youngstown State University women’s mathematics group won national recognition for their efforts to mentor students and promote mathematics on campus in the 2016-17 academic year.

Twelve students representing the YSU Association for Women in Mathematics student chapter accepted the AWM’s inaugural Professional Development Award at the national organization’s MathFest Conference in Chicago July 28.

“We are really proud of the students, and their hard work is making a huge difference,” said club co-adviser Alicia Prieto Langarica, associate professor of Mathematics and Statistics. “When I came to YSU five years ago, we had only four or five female students active in department events and research. This year, YSU took 17 students to Math Fest and 14 were female. “

The YSU-AWM members scheduled a succession of math-centered events on the school calendar throughout the year, including a student-mentoring program, a Women’s History Month Colloquium and a Women in Math Trivia Day. The group also put together an event at the College of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics to encourage a more inclusive environment in STEM programs.

Club officers leading the 2016-17 projects include: Monica Busser, president; Gabbie Van Scoy, vice-president; Emily Hoopes, secretary; Maddie Cope and Alyssa Adams, co-treasurers. Other co-advisers of the group are Angela Spalsbury, professor and chair, and Julie Seitz, director, both of Mathematics and Statistics. Other club members who traveled to Chicago to accept the award are: Jullie Phillips, Alanis Chew, Sarah Elizabeth Odidika, Mirella Boulus, Hannah Haynie,
Jacqueline Chapman, Ashley Amendol, Lexi Rager, Christine Langer and Nathalie Halavick.

The Professional Development Award, developed to recognize a student chapter for its recruitment efforts and development of students’ professional involvement in mathematics, is one of four new student awards the AWM plans to award to student chapters annually.