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Mathematical Association of America Honors Members with Service Awards

Dr. Mary Gray, MAA Certificate of Merit Recipient

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2021) Mathematical Association of America (MAA) members receive service awards for their contribution to the field of mathematics and to the Association. We are pleased to announce the 2021 award recipients for the Meritorious Service Award and Certificate of Merit.

Meritorious Service

The Certificate of Meritorious Service is to be presented for service at the national level or for service to a Section of the Association. The 2021 Meritorious Service Award winners include Doug Ensley, Brian and Mariah Birgen, Abraham Mantell, Jennifer Galovich, Nancy Neudauer, and April Ström. Mary Gray will receive the Certificate of Merit.

About the award winners

Doug Ensley- Dr. Doug Ensley is a Professor of Mathematics at Shippensburg University, and served as Deputy Executive Director of the MAA from 2016 to 2018. “It is an indescribable honor for me to join the list of EPaDel recipients of this award. Our section has a sense of community that practically glows when we get together, and it’s been like that since Louise Berard gave me my first EPaDel job in 1994.”

Mariah and Brian Birgen- Dr. Mariah Birgen was hired as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Wartburg College in 1997 where she has been ever since. While this was going on Dr. Brian Birgen was a postdoc at Purdue University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Iowa until he was hired as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Wartburg College in 2001. “We are honored to be recognized by the Iowa Section. We have both enjoyed our time working with other members and getting to know them. We have found the Iowa Section to be a vibrant, diverse, and deliberately welcoming community with innovative ideas and collegiality.”

Abraham Mantell- Dr. Abraham Mantell is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Information Technology at Nassau Community College, where he began his full-time appointment in 1993. Abe is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in mathematics at Hofstra University, having started there in 1996. “I am honored to be a recipient of the MAA’s Meritorious Service Award. My service over the last 20+ years has largely been driven by the desire to not only promote mathematics on a local level, but to also encourage students and colleagues to get involved with professional organizations.”

Jennifer Galovich- Dr. Jennifer Galovich is Professor Emerita of Mathematics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota. What a delightful surprise! I am pleased and honored and wish to thank the North Central Section for nominating me for this 2021 Meritorious Service Award. My association with the MAA began when I was in college – My calculus prof (Dr. John Leadley) mentioned it in class one day and I thought – well, I plan on being a mathematician, and I guess this is what one does! So I signed up – that was more than fifty years ago, and I have thrived from my MAA connections ever since.

Nancy Ann Neudauer- Dr. Nancy Ann Neudauer is the Thomas and Joyce Holce Professor of Science at Pacific University. I am surprised, delighted, and honored to be nominated for this award by my colleagues in the Pacific Northwest section. And I am humbled to be amongst those who have won the award. My involvement with the MAA has been one of my most rewarding professional experiences. I was motivated by a professional duty and a desire to give back – I had not anticipated that the more profound impact would be on me. 

April Ström- Dr. April Ström has taught mathematics at the community college level for over 23 years. In addition to serving as the MAA Vice President, she is also currently a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction and serves as the AMATYC Southwest Vice President. “I am truly honored to have been selected for this award! I would like to express my gratitude to the MAA Southwest Section for this nomination.”

Certificate of Merit

In 1983, the Committee for the Award for Distinguished Service proposed that the 1984 MAA Award for Distinguished Service “be presented jointly to Mary W. Gray and Alice T. Schafer.” This award was intended, in part, to recognize their work on the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and its accomplishments. MAA leadership demurred, however, and decided not to give the award to Gray and Schafer. Fourteen years later, Schafer was awarded the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service. Recently, while reviewing documents in the MAA archive, the details of the 1983 incident came to light. In response, MAA would like to recognize the accomplishments of Mary Gray and rectify this omission.

"Trained as a mathematician and converted to a statistician and lawyer, early in my career I asked myself how I could use my skills and knowledge in the broad arena of social justice." Gray continued," Through organizing with others and seeking opportunities to apply the methods of the mathematical sciences I have tried to broaden the outreach of the profession and to work for equity for my colleagues and potential colleagues and for broader society. It is gratifying to know that my efforts have been appreciated by the professional society of which I have been a member for the longest time."

"The individuals we honor represent the spirit of community that is at the heart of MAA." Michael Pearson, Executive Director of the MAA. “I am proud to call them my colleagues and friends.”

About MAA

The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. We accelerate the understanding of our world through mathematics because mathematics drives society and shapes our lives. Learn more at