Maryland Awards First Math Doctorates to Black Women
College park, Md.
For the first time, the University of Maryland awarded doctorate degrees in mathematics to three Black women at its December commencement ceremonies. Tasha Inniss received a degree in applied mathematics, Sherry Scott was awarded one in pure mathematics and Kimberly Weems received one in statistics.
“We’ve expanded the boundaries of what is considered to be a mathematician, which is a White male,” says Patrick Fitzpatrick, chairman of the university’s math department.
The department has stepped up efforts to recruit and support women and minorities, Fitzpatrick says. The math department now has 21 Black graduate students, and one-third of its graduate students are women, he says.
Weems says she has drawn strength from the Black women who taught her math. “I have been fortunate to have strong influential women in my life, many of whom are African American,” she says. “I hope that I can be a role model for young girls and inspire them to pursue mathematical careers.”
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com