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Etta Z. Falconer Lecture Series

Etta Z. Falconer Lecture Series at Spelman CollegeThe Etta Z. Falconer Mathematics Lecture Series honors and celebrates the memory and legacy of Etta Z. Falconer, Ph.D., Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College until her retirement in 2002.

Dr. Falconer earned her doctorate degree from Emory University with a dissertation titled, “Quasigroups Invariant Under Isotopy,” directed by Trevor Evans. She began teaching at Spelman in 1965 and served the College with distinction for 37 years, contributing vision, leadership and tireless energy. 

Falconer Devoted Her Life to the Education of Future Mathematicians

Etta Z. Falconer Lecture Series at SpelmanAmong her many official roles, Dr. Falconer served as chair of the Department of Mathematics, chairperson of the Division of Natural Sciences, associate provost for science programs and policy, and interim provost of the College.

In these and other professional roles beyond the College, she initiated and led many special projects which have increased the participation of women, African Americans and other under-represented groups in mathematics, science and engineering careers. Her work continues to have far-reaching impact today.

In 1995, Dr. Falconer was awarded the Association for Women in Mathematics' Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education. In response to receiving the award, Falconer said:

blue-quote-leftI have devoted my entire life to increasing the number of highly qualified African Americans in mathematics and mathematics related careers. High expectations, the building of self confidence, and the creation of a nurturing environment have been essential components for the success of these students. They have fully justified my beliefs. Perhaps the most rewarding moments have come when younger faculty have undertaken the same goal and have surpassedblue-quote-right my efforts -- reaching out to the broader community to help minorities and women achieve in mathematics. 

At Spelman, Dr. Falconer's legacy includes a significant impact on the dual degree engineering program, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Scholars Program, and the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) Program, as well as several science departments. The science building is named Albro-Falconer-Manley Science Center in her honor.

The Twelfth Annual Etta Z. Falconer Mathematics Lecture at Spelman

Thursday, April 21, 2016, at 5 p.m.

Erica N. Walker, Ed.D., professor of mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University will present a lecture, “Reimagining Spaces for Mathematics Learning: Lessons from the Past and Present," on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at 5 p.m. in the NASA Auditorium in the Albro-Facolner Science Center at Spelman College.

A former public high school mathematics teacher from Atlanta,  Dr. Walker earned her doctorate in education from Harvard University. Her research focuses on social and cultural factors as well as educational policies and practices that facilitate mathematics engagement, learning, and performance, especially for underserved students. She collaborates with teachers, schools, districts, and organizations to promote mathematics excellence and equity for young people.

Her work has been published in the American Education Research Journal, Educational Leadership, and the Urban Review. Dr. Walker is also the author of two books: Building Mathematics Learning Communities: Improving Outcomes in Urban High Schools (published by Teachers College Press in 2012) and Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence, published by SUNY Press in 2014.

Drawing from a study exploring the formative experiences of Black mathematicians as well as a selection of historical and contemporary photographs, she will discuss the power of informal and formal “mathematical spaces” beyond classrooms to capture young people’s interest and facilitate significant mathematics learning. In particular, she will  focus on the mathematics content knowledge the spaces afford as well as the social and cultural characteristics of these spaces that facilitate mathematics socialization and engagement. In addition, she will discuss the implications of this work for schools, communities, and organizations to promote rich mathematics learning for young people.



Give To Spelman Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics relies on the support from alumnae and friends who share in our commitment to excellence. Individual and corporate gifts enable the department to enhance its programs and attract and retain STEM student scholars. To make a secure gift to the Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Scholarship for Mathematics at Spelman College, use the button below, click the OTHER box and type "Falconer Scholarship" in the gift designation box.  

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Cassandra Joseph, Leadership Gifts Officer 
Work: 404-270-5057 | Cell: 404-798-6296