Etta Falconer


Talithia Williams, a statistics professor at Harvey Mudd College submitted this picture and remembrance from Spelman College.  Talithia is on the left, Dr. Falconer is in the middle and Ebonii Bell (now a Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon) is on the right.

Dr. Etta Falconer joined the Spelman College faculty in 1965.  She was the 11th African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics and mentored numerous African American women, myself included.  I first met her during a pre-freshman summer science program at Spelman.  She was the first African American woman I had ever met that had a Ph.D. in any field.  Her passion for mathematics was contagious!  She inspired me to go to graduate school in mathematics and ultimately get a Ph.D. in Statistics.

These days Talithia, a dynamic speaker, is often asked to give talks about her statistical work related to glaucoma.  She now gets to be a role model like her mentor, Dr. Falconer.

Related links:

Wikipedia page

Mathematical Association of America (MAA) biography

Citation and response for Louise Hay Award

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