You are here

2020 Award Winner Announced for MAA’s Inclusivity Award

WASHINGTON, DC (July 27th, 2020) The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is pleased to recognize Dr. William Yslas Vélez with its 2020 Inclusivity Award.

Inclusivity Award

In 2019, MAA launched the Inclusivity Award in recognition of the importance of its core value of Inclusivity and building a healthy and vibrant mathematical community where all are welcome and encouraged to flourish. The 2020 award winner is William Yslas Vélez.

Dr. Vélez’s nomination recounts how he invited all first-year minority students at the University of Arizona who had declared a STEM major to meet with him. His strategy was to encourage students to continue their study of mathematics to “just take one more math class.” This award recognizes Dr. Vélez’s extraordinary ability to connect with students. His personal commitment to minority students is evident throughout his personal and professional life. His nomination further expounds by saying “he not only helped dramatically increase the number of minority students and students of color in the mathematics department at his institution but more importantly, let these students know that there is someone personally devoted to their success.” The MAA is proud to recognize Dr. Vélez's devotion to increasing diversity and inclusion in the mathematics community. Dr. Vélez sets the bar high for all of us.

Dr.Vélez responded by saying “I am very grateful to my friends for thinking of me for this recognition. I am so pleased that the MAA has created this award to highlight the importance of inclusivity in mathematics. To quote Rochelle Gutierrez, ‘People need mathematics, but mathematics needs people.’ I think that the mathematics classroom is the most logical place to highlight the relevance of our subject. Enthusiastic teaching would go a long way in attracting students to the continued study of mathematics.”

“The MAA is pleased to be able to recognize Dr. Vélez with the 2020 Inclusivity Award,” said MAA Executive Director Michael Pearson. “And, I am proud to continue to call Bill my colleague.”

More information on the award and how to submit a nomination.

News Date: 
Monday, July 27, 2020