Williams Receives Diversity Mentor Award

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Harvey Mudd College mathematician Talithia Williams is one of The Claremont Colleges Faculty Diversity award winners. The Claremont Colleges Diversity Working Group presented awards to Williams, Fernando Lozano (Pomona College), Sara Olson (Pomona College) and Suyapa G. Portillo Villeda (Pitzer College) on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Balch Auditorium on the Scripps campus.

The Claremont Colleges Diversity Mentor Award, given this year to Williams and Lozano, honors an individual’s active support of students, staff and colleagues from marginalized identities and backgrounds, and their work to ensure the success of the entire community. The Diversity Teaching Award, presented to Olson and Villeda, recognizes those who regularly and effectively address issues or concerns related to diversity and inclusion through their classroom practices and curriculum.

Williams, a Harvey Mudd faculty member since 2008, is associate dean for research and experiential learning and an associate professor of mathematics. She is renowned for her popular TED Talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” in which she takes sophisticated numerical concepts and makes them understandable to a wide audience. She is cohost of the PBS series NOVA Wonders, premiering in April 2018, and has delivered speeches nationally and internationally on the value of statistics in quantifying personal health information. She has made it her life’s work to get students, parents, educators and community members more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education.

In 2015, Williams won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, which honors faculty members whose teaching is effective and extraordinary, and extends its influence beyond the classroom.