Dr. Syvillia Averett, assistant professor of mathematics at the College of Coastal Georgia, was named the February 25 Black History Month honoree by the Network of Minorities in Mathematical Sciences. Averett was recognized as "Mathematically Gifted and Black" for her dedication and passion for mathematics education.
The Network of Minorities in Mathematical Sciences is committed to featuring and sharing the accomplishments of African Americans in the mathematical sciences. The Network highlights mathematicians who have made significant contributions in research, mentoring, and teaching; and created the website "Mathematically Gifted and Black" as a place for honorees to share their stories. To mark February's Black History Month, the organization spotlighted 28 Black mathematicians, including Averett.
Averett is originally from Columbus, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 2006. She went on to earn both a master's and doctorate in mathematics from the University of Iowa. Averett started working at the College in 2016 and, in addition to her duties as a professor, currently serves as chair of the Faculty Senate. In her honoree bio, Averett shared that her proudest moments are when her students succeed and achieve their goals. She was a first-generation college student and the first member of her family to earn a doctorate. Averett knows first-hand that the end result of hard work and determination can be success.
Dr. Andrea Wallace, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the College, said the honor was greatly deserved and expressed how fortunate the College is to have Averett. Averett also shared her appreciation for the honor.
"As an organizer of a national conference for underrepresented people in mathematics, I am aware of the value of visibility," Averett said. "The MBG [Mathematically Gifted and Black] series not only highlights us as people of color in math, but also shows that we are using our math in so many different ways. My only hope is that this series, and others like it, will help attract students of all backgrounds to the field."
Averett is a founding member and organizer for the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Symposium (USTARS), which is an annual conference for graduate students in the areas of mathematics. She has a passion for mathematics education, mentoring, and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM.
To read about Averett's honor, visit https://mathematicallygiftedandblack.com/honorees/syvillia-averett/