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Math Master: Sylvia T. Bozeman, MA’70, Honored with National Medal of Science Committee Appointment

Nov. 30, 2016, 4:41 PM

Sylvia Bozeman enrolled in Vanderbilt’s graduate program in mathematics in 1968, one year after the program was integrated, and went on to become the first African American woman to earn a master’s degree in math from the university. Today she is a professor, emerita, of Spelman College in Atlanta—a career mathematics professor, and a mentor and advocate for women of color.

In July her tireless efforts to encourage women from underrepresented groups to pursue graduate degrees in mathematics were recognized by President Obama when he appointed her to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. The 12-member committee is responsible for identifying nominees for the president’s consideration in selecting recipients for the prestigious award.

“This is a great honor, and it encourages me to help develop the next generation of mathematicians,” Bozeman says.