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September 18, 2007

Math Center Seeks to Multiply Young Women’s Success in the Field

Funding for the center recognized the success of Smith College in graduating women who go on to earn advanced degrees in mathematics, many of whom will return to campus for a conference Sept. 28-30.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—A year after announcing plans for a Center for Women in Mathematics, Smith College welcomed seven women with undergraduate degrees into an intensive yearlong program to prepare them for graduate programs in the field.

Smith’s postbaccalaureate program is the only one for mathematics in the country and is designed to increase the number of women at the top of the field. Functioning much like yearlong preparatory programs for medical schools, the postbaccalaureate students will earn a certificate of completion.

The center’s first class includes Vishwa Banker of San Antonio, Texas; Anna B. Boatwright of Charleston, S.C.; Megan E. Heenehan of Newburyport, Mass.; Jennifer A. Koonz of East Greenbush, N.Y.; Cheryl L. Milton of Jacksonville, Fla.; Samantha M. Oestreicher of Cupertino, Calif.; and Megan E. Sawyer of Denver, Colo.

The women earned their bachelor’s degrees at Smith, Wellesley, Mount Holyoke and Gettysburg colleges, the University of Colorado and Florida A&M University.

Established with part of a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the program provides students full tuition as well as a $12,500 stipend for living expenses.

In awarding the grant, the NSF recognized the college’s success in graduating women who go on to earn advanced degrees in mathematics.

Smith alumnae working in the field of mathematics will return to campus Sept. 28-30 for a conference that will include talks ranging from those on the subject matter to those that concern working in the field. “How to be persuasive while keeping a poker face” and “Life after Smith with math, family and remodeling” are two of those.

For more information on the SMath conference, go online to

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. By linking the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, Smith is developing leaders for society’s challenges.  Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country, enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
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