University of Southern Mississippi Scholar Receives 2019 STEM Educator Ada Lovelace Award

Julie Cwikla, an associate professor of mathematics education and the director of creativity and innovation in STEM at the University of Southern Mississippi, has received the 2019 STEM Educator Ada Lovelace Award. She recently accepted the award at a ceremony in New Orleans. Nearly 90 women from across the Gulf Coast region were nominated for the awards. Dr. Cwikla was the only Mississippi educator to be nominated.

The mission of the Ada Lovelace Awards is to expose the inequities that exist in the industry and celebrate the achievements that have been reached by women despite the many obstacles they have faced in their careers. The awards are named in honor of Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815 – 1852), who was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognize that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and published the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. As a result, she is sometimes regarded as the first to recognize the full potential of a “computing machine” and one of the first computer programmers.

Dr. Cwikla was honored for her efforts at advancing STEM opportunities for her students. Throughout her career, she has helped bring millions of research dollars to Mississippi engaging undergraduate students, graduate students, K-12 children, teachers, schools, families, and even research faculty at institutions across the region. Recently, her new book, Good to Great Grant Writing: Secrets to Successwas released and became a #1 New Release in Scientific Research. The book is targeted toward researchers, scientists, post-docs, graduate students, educators, and nonprofits that want to take their grant writing game to the next level.

“It is an incredible honor. The list of nominees is impressive to the say the least. I had no idea I would win,” Dr. Cwikla said of her award. “I was overwhelmed by the talent in the room from Texas to Florida. It was an amazing evening and only inspires me to do more.”

Dr. Cwikla is a graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut, where she double majored in mathematics and chemistry. She holds a master’s degree in applied mathematics from New York University and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Delaware.

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