Association for women in Mathematics

Villanova Student Group

On December 1, Association for Women in Mathematics leaders, regional members, and Villanova University student chapter members traveled to Washington DC to bring the organization’s legislative agenda to Capitol Hill. As part of the AWM Hill Visits program, launched in 2015, AWM members from academia and industry worked with groups of students to visit with over twenty legislative offices during the day. Visiting legislators from the members’ home states, as well as other legislators with connections to AWM members and priorities, the groups talked about issues affecting women in STEM and lobbied for support of several bills.

The top legislative priority was the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act of 2016, which would require the National Science Foundation to award competitive grants to activities that would increase participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM, and will need to be reintroduced in the new congress. AWM members also spoke in support of the Computer Science for All Initiative, the INSPIRE Women Act, directing NASA to support STEM initiatives for women and girls, and the Federal Funding Accountability for Sexual Harassers Act, which would amend the Higher Education Act to require that sexual harassment by Principal Investigators to be reported to funding agencies, and that harassment reports be considered when awarding federal funding.

The groups met with several legislators, from both the House and Senate. Dr. Michelle Snider, Dr. Adele Merritt, Villanova Juniors Madison Taylor and Alexandra Golia, and many others met with Representative Jackie Speier (D, CA), sponsor of the Accountability Act. Snider and Taylor were joined by AWM President Dr. Kristen Lauter, AWM President Elect Dr. Ami Radunskaya, and Villanova Seniors Katie Robbins and Patrick Saulino for a meeting with Representative Leonard Lance (D, NJ). All nine Villanova students, Dr. Kathryn Haymaker, and the AWM leaders all met with Senator Robert Casey (D, PA) for a constituent coffee. Dr. Haymaker and Dr. Beth Malmskog met with Representative Dwight Evans (D, PA). Many other meetings were held with legislators’ education and science/research specialists, including staff working for Tim Kaine, Richard Durbin, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken. Though the majority of the visits were with Democratic lawmakers, the offices of Representatives Pat Meehan (R, PA) and Charles Dent (R, PA) also agreed to meet with AWM members Dr. Betty Mayfield, Haymaker, and Malmskog, and expressed interest in the AWM priorities. Overall, many offices were supportive of the legislation and expressed their interest in meeting with students in particular.

The students came away with a sense of hope for the future of women in mathematics. Katie Robbins said, “It was a privilege to attend this trip and meet both non-student members of AWM as well as individuals from Capitol Hill. I felt as though our advocacy was well received by those we spoke with, and I am hopeful for the future of women in STEM fields.” Villanova Junior Shantel Silva said, “sometimes it feels as though there is a big disconnect between the nation’s government and its constituents; spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.” Non-student mathematicians were also inspired. Dr. Snider said that meeting with Representative Speier in particular “gave me so much hope, meeting women who are in positions of power who feel strongly about fighting for our rights.”

The students were also happy to have the opportunity to form strong connections with women mathematicians in both academia and industry. “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences,” according to Villanova Junior Tasha Boland. Boland and Silva’s group included Sophomore Madison Davis, Dr Evelyn Sander, and Dr. Karoline Pershell. Pershell’s experience as a former AMS/AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow was very valuable as the group worked to plan and carry out the most effective visit possible. Dr. Gail Letzter, Dr. Karen Saxe, and Dr. Julie Sutton, members of the AWM Policy and Advocacy Committee, were also instrumental in organizing this visit and the larger AWM Hill Visits program.

 

Villanova Freshman Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience as it allowed her “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” Donofrio and fellow Freshman Kristen Austin teamed with Dr. Talitha Washington to meet with several congressional offices. “It was a wonderful experience to spend a day with such strong female mathematician role models and fight for something I am so passionate about. This is definitely an experience I will never forget,” Austin said.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

The Villanova chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics visited Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 1 to lobby some of the top legislators of the United States government to increase support for the bills involving women in STEM. This trip combined women from academia and industry with the students to speak to legislators from the students’ home towns. The ten students that travelled the three hours to DC echoed the same message: hope for the future of women in mathematics. As junior, Shantel Silva states, “spending a day on the Hill gave me a little bit of hope that as citizens, we do have the possibility to affect what happens on the Hill.”

In addition to making change, the students had the opportunity to form strong connections with the women who are both in academia and industry within the field of mathematics. These women, who are also members of the Association for Women in Mathematics, have dealt with discrimination and persevered. As junior, Tasha Boland states, “It was wonderful to be able to meet women who have been successful in their mathematics careers and learn from their experiences.”

Freshman, Megan Donofrio was appreciative of the experience and for being able “to speak with members of congress about my background and passion for math and other STEM fields.” The students felt this experience allowed them to tell others about how much they love what they are studying. Through their passions, they hope to make change within the mathematics community and move towards a world where there is more diversity and inclusion.

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics & Statistics
SAC Room 305
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085 
Tel: 610.519.4850
Fax: 610.519.6928
Email: math@villanova.edu

Chair:
Dr. Douglas Norton

Staff:
Marie O'Brien, 610.519.4809
Lorraine McGraw, 610.519.4850

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