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Ford Motor Co. names UTA mathematics professor ‘legendary woman’

Monday, October 31, 2016

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: awards, faculty, science

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Minerva Cordero-Epperson, a University of Texas at Arlington Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Science, has been named one of the Ford Motor Company’s Mujeres Legendarias for 2016.

Cordero-Epperson, University of Texas at Arlington Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Science.

Ford honored Cordero-Epperson for excellence in teaching and a decades-long commitment to increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, programs.

A national program, Mujeres Legendarias (legendary women) honors Hispanic women in America who are making a difference in their workplace, home, environment and community.

Cordero-Epperson is one of only four recipients in North Texas honored during a celebration held Oct. 25 at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas.

“I am honored to be among these outstanding women leaders recognized by the Ford Motor Company as a ‘Legendary Woman’,” said Cordero-Epperson. “My passion for creating awareness of the value of a STEM degree and careers is fueled by my interactions with students and parents. I am very grateful to be working at UTA where diversity and the pursuit of excellence embody our commitment to the community."

President Vistasp M. Karbhari said Cordero-Epperson exemplifies the excellence and commitment that define faculty at UTA and congratulated her, on the recognition.

“Dr. Cordero-Epperson is renowned nationally for her efforts to help all students access educational and professional STEM opportunities,” Karbhari said. “She exemplifies what it means to be a leader in academia working in partnership with the community, and we salute her for her untiring efforts.  She and her colleagues in the Department of Mathematics and College of Science are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to encouraging and assisting students to excel in STEM areas.”

The Department of Mathematics is transforming mathematics research and education, serving more than 10,000 students a year and featuring nationally recognized faculty with exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research, mentoring and service. Since 2006, the department has earned four multi-year grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, or GAANN, program to help traditionally underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees. In 2013, the department received the American Mathematical Society’s Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement by a Mathematics Department. The AMS noted UTA’s concerted and highly successful effort over the last decade to build a doctoral program with a composition that reflects the demographics of the country’s increasingly diverse nation.  

Cordero-Epperson joined UTA in 2001, and has served in a number of leadership roles focused on diversity in the sciences such as outreach activities to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in STEM.  She was the principal investigator and director of a National Science Foundation GK-12 program that placed over 40 graduate students in local public schools to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. Nationally, she served as Governor-at-Large for Minority Interests for the Mathematical Association of America, was chair of the MAA Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics, and served as chair of the Human Resource Advisory Committee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently she is a member of the Advisory Council of the Pipelines into Biostatistics Program at Harvard University.

A dedicated teacher, Cordero-Epperson has received several awards for her work including the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas System in 2009. In 2007, she received the Texas Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Earlier this month, the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference awarded Cordero-Epperson the “Great Minds in STEM Education Distinction.”

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

For more on the UTA Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact, see www.uta.edu/strategicplan/

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.