Emeritae Professors of Mathematics Helen Grundman and Rhonda Hughes are among the inaugural class of Association for Women in Mathematics Fellows. The Executive Committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) established the Fellows Program to recognize individuals who have demonstrated “a sustained commitment to the support and advancement of women in the mathematical sciences” consistent with the AWM mission: “to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers … and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.”
Fellows are selected from past AWM presidents, AWM Lifetime Service Award winners, and/or AWM Humphreys Award winners. Fellows of the Inaugural Class are also at least 25 years beyond their terminal degrees and have been active members of AWM for at least 10 years.
Known and well-loved for her sincere and consistent support of students through and beyond graduation, Grundman mentored more than 30 Bryn Mawr undergraduates during her time at the college and encouraged them through their graduate work in mathematics, computer science, and other professional programs. In addition, she served as a research advisor for at least 25 senior, master, and Ph.D. theses. She co-organized the “Distressing Math Collective,” an open club to make math topics more interesting and accessible, as well as to support Bryn Mawr students in mathematics outside the classroom. Recently, she was named the director of the Education and Diversity Department at the American Mathematical Society, and she received AWM’s seventh annual M. Gweneth Humphreys Award this past January.
Hughes began her Bryn Mawr career in 1980, when the Math department was only three faculty members and a handful of majors. When Hughes was honored with the M. Gweneth Humphreys Award in 2010, Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy (then provost) attributed the popularity of the department to Hughes’ “vision and very hard work,” as well as her constant encouragement for students of all backgrounds to embrace higher math. Co-founder of the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program, Hughes spent years not only supporting Mawrters through their undergraduate experience, but establishing nationwide mentoring networks that helped female students transition through graduate school and professional life in mathematics. Hughes has also received the AWM's Presidential Award and the Elizabeth Bingham Award.