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Math Students and Faculty Earn Numerous Honors, Awards, in 2016-17

July 21, 2017

This article appeared in the Fall 2016-Spring 2017 Bryn Mawr Math Alumnae Newsletter.

In 1997, the last year of Mary Patterson McPherson’s presidency at Bryn Mawr, the Trustees established the McPherson Fund for Excellence to celebrate the Bryn Mawr values that McPherson has personified, particularly her commitment to the entire College community. The McPherson Awards inspire and honor outstanding faculty and staff members, graduate students, and undergraduates. This year the graduate student and faculty recipients came from the Department of Mathematics! Math Ph.D. student Samantha Pezzimenti won the McPherson Award for Excellence at the 2017 Convocation on May 12, while Professor Lisa Traynor was presented the faculty McPherson Award for Excellence at the 2017 Commencement on May 13. Professor Traynor is the first math faculty member to obtain this award. Recipients are recognized for excellence and service to the community, either within or beyond the boundaries of this institution.

Rose Kaplan-Kelly ’17 won the 2017 Mary Louise Cookson Prize in Mathematics in recognition of her exceptional service that has contributed to the life of the department. This prize was established in 2007 in honor of Mary Louise Cookson’s extraordinary contributions to mathematics at Bryn Mawr College.

A.B./M.A. student in mathematics Boyang Su ’18 was awarded the Maria L. Eastman Brooke Hall Memorial Scholarship, which was established in 1901 in memory of Maria L. Eastman, principal of Brooke Hall School for Girls, Media, Pennsylvania, by gifts from alumnae of the school. It is awarded annually to the member of the junior class with the highest general average, and is held during the senior year.

Math Ph.D. student Hannah Schwartz was awarded the Doris Sill Carland Teaching Fellowship in recognition for excellence in teaching.

Emeritus Helen Herrmann Professor Rhonda Hughes was honored at a special session of The Association for Women in Mathematics Research Symposium at UCLA on April 8 and 9 in 2017.

Ruoyun (Leila) Lei ’17 (left), an A.B./M.A. student in mathematics, and Westley Mildenhall ’17 (below), a math major and Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, both received the Charlotte Angas Scott Prize in Mathematics.


Kewei Qu ’17, a double major in computer science and mathematics, and Yichen Wang ’17 (below), a math major and economics minor, received the Anna Pell Wheeler Prize in Mathematics.

Kara Breeden ’18, a double major in computer science and mathematics, made the 2017 Centennial Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll in recognition of her academic performance and her performance on the basketball court.

Math major Emily Shinault ’18 was awarded the Thomas Raeburn White Scholarship established by Amos and Dorothy Peaslee in honor of Thomas Raeburn White, Trustee of the College from 1907-1959. This scholarship provides funding for summer language instruction, usually abroad.

Professor Victor Donnay received a $120,000 National Science Foundation grant that will be used to support the School District of Philadelphia’s new Green Futures sustainability plan. The project will create a model for master teacher development in education for sustainability that prepares teachers to teach STEM content using themes from sustainability. The teachers will learn to incorporate hands-on pedagogies that put learning into action by providing opportunities for students to address authentic sustainability challenges in their own schools and communities.

Assistant Professor Erica Graham received a grant from The Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges. This grant will support a two-day workshop titled “Strategic Optimization: Focusing Undergraduate Research to Maximize Scholarship in Applied Mathematics.” The workshop will help faculty create a portfolio of accessible and structured undergraduate research projects. These projects will advance current faculty research and develop a repository of modules that faculty may use to provide their undergraduate researchers with important background knowledge.

Assistant Professor Djordje Milićević recently received a National Science Foundation grant to support his research on “Arithmetic Manifolds, Automorphic Forms, Exponential Sums, and L-Functions” for 2015-2018.

Math major and economics minor Tianyi He '17 and math major Julia Lin '17 (left) were the senior recipients of the Gail Ann Schweiter Prize awarded to science or mathematics majors who have demonstrated excellence in both their major field and in musical performance.

Math major and education minor Manroocha Singh ’18 won the Gail Ann Schweiter Prize, which is awarded to a junior or senior science or mathematics major who has shown excellence both in her major field and in music.

Haley Varnum ’19, a member of the College’s Cross Country and Indoor Track and Field Teams, made the 2016 Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll and 2017 Centennial Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll in recognition for her performance in the classroom and on the field. Haley is a double major in mathematics and chemistry.

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