January 31 Day 329: Eve of a Presidency

Tomorrow I become President of the Mathematical Association of America for a two year term. What an honor! What a crazy time to take on this responsibility.

First, I must publicly thank outgoing president Michael Dorff for his leadership. I realize that this last year in particular was not the presidency for which he had hoped. It’s hard to promote international mathematics connections when travel has stood still for the last eleven months. Yet Michael continually worked to align professional practices with MAA’s core values—especially community and inclusivity. You can read many of his statements on the MAA Math Values blog or in MAA Focus. He has been a wonderful friend and mentor and I am grateful to still have another year working together.

UW Tacoma graduate Benita Beale with Michael Dorff, two years before becoming president, at her PIC Math presentation in Chicago at MathFest 2017.

I noticed that my new headshot and bio have already found their way to the MAA website. My Wikipedia page has been updated. I suppose that means I should take time to update items under my own control. It’s next on my list, I promise.

So my burning question: when is the official changing of the guard? MAA HQ is in Washington DC on eastern time. MAA was incorporated in Illinois on central time. Michael Dorff is in Utah on mountain time. And I am in Washington state on pacific time. I don’t believe anything of critical importance will arise in the next three hours so it probably doesn’t matter. I just ask out of curiosity.

If we go with eastern time, I’m president already.

Thank you to everyone that believes in me. Drop me a line. Let me know what is important to you moving forward. How can MAA support you as we emerge from this pandemic year? as we address inequities in the system? as we promote the understanding of mathematics and its impact on our world? There is plenty to do and I know our community will come together as we work towards MAA’s vision of a society that values the beauty and power of mathematics and fully realizes it potential to promote human flourishing.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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