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MAA Announces the 2022 Recipient of the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Distinguished Service Award

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2022) - The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) is pleased to announceBarbara Faires as the 2022 recipient of the most prestigious award for distinguished service to mathematics.

Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes service to mathematics that has been widely acknowledged as extraordinarily successful. The contribution of this individual influences the field of mathematics or mathematical education in a significant and positive way on a national scale. This award consists of a cash prize of $5,000, a citation, and recognition from the American mathematical community. 

Barbara Faires was selected for this award for many reasons including her extensive service in mathematics for more than 40 years. Barbara most notably served as MAA Secretary for 8 years, not only assisting many presidents but also shaping the Association itself, to strengthen it into a thriving and updated organization.

Barbara Faires earned her BS in mathematics and business at East Carolina University in her home state of North Carolina and her MS in mathematics at the University of South Carolina. It was there she met the mathematical force, Douglas Faires, who she married in 1969 and with whom she authored a calculus book published in 1983. They moved to Youngstown, Ohio where Barbara taught part time at Youngstown State University.   

She earned her doctorate at Kent State University, working in vector measures with Joe Diestel. Following a two-year appointment at Carnegie Mellon University, Barbara joined the faculty at Westminster College in 1976. She chaired the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and served 5 years as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, during which she established the Westminster Faculty Forum where faculty members share their current research and scholarship. She coordinated the college’s Diversity Symposium, taught in the first-year program, advised modeling teams, and, back in the spring of 1977, took a group of students to the Allegheny Mountain Section meeting to assist her in running a puzzle session for all students.  

It was at the 1980 version of this session that Barbara met Dick Anderson, MAA President, who appointed her to the Committee on Sections, leading to many wonderful years of involvement with the MAA. Barbara chaired the Committee on Sections as well as the Finance, Audit, and Budget Committees and served as First Vice President and, most recently, as Secretary from 2010 to 2018.  Barbara lives in Boston, a short walk from daughter Erika (Matt) and grandchildren Kieran Douglas, Molly, and Fiona. 

“Barbara truly has a big-tent approach. She exemplified MAA's core value of community before we had even established our core values! She always took the time to listen to the perspectives of MAA members before taking substantive actions and recognized that without taking the time to listen, we would lose the value of the deep well of experience and wisdom that exists across our diverse membership,”  “Barbara made it a point to know our members, and took the time to stop and greet folks at meetings. And it was always clear that she cared about us as people, regardless of where we worked or our roles in the MAA."

Michael Pearson