Executive director of Association for Women in Mathematics named

Janette Fletcher

Math professor Magnhild Lien has been named executive director of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) starting January.

As a faculty member, she served as the department chair of mathematics from 1998 to 2006.

“I’m excited about my new position,” Lien said. “It was an advertised position that I interviewed for last summer and in fall, I did some training.”

The AWM is a national association with over 3,000 members that encourages women and girls to study mathematics and be recognized.

Lien’s position as executive director comes with many responsibilities: she’s the organizer that recruits committees to work on programs, follows up with the volunteers and recruits more members and fundraisers.

“I’ve been a volunteer with AWM so I knew about the job details beforehand,” Lien said. “There are joint mathematics meetings held every year in January for new students who hold a doctorate in mathematics. I’ve been involved with this workshop for several years.”

To qualify, one must hold a doctorate degree, have administrative skills and a proven record in effective leadership.

“I had management experience,  and I’m a member of Mathematical Association of America,” Lien said. “I’ve worked on various committees. I like what the association stands for because it supports, recognizes, and encourages young girls to be involved. The association had the main focus I was interested in.”

Jerry Stinner, dean of College of Science and Mathematics, speaks very highly of Lien’s new position.

“It’s an honor because she proved herself and she’s an effective mentor,” Stinner said. “She is capable of leading organizations. She has had a long standing interest in actively recruiting women into mathematics.”

A colleague of Lien, who has worked with her for 25 years, also had words of praise.

“She works to support women in mathematics, and gives presentations at local mathematics meetings, so I wasn’t surprised she taken the role,” Mark Schilling, professor of mathematics, said. “She’s a good friend, fair minded, thorough, competent and very professional.”

Lien said her current position as executive director is a demanding job.

“I’m doing more administrative work but I’m contributing more to mathematics as an executive director than teaching,” Lien said.