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Lovenia Deconge-Watson

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Information about Lovenia Deconge-Watson

Profile image of Lovenia Deconge-Watson

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician
Math Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Gumbo, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Alaska
Favorite Quote:
It too will pass.

Birthplace

Born:
10/4/1933
Birth Location:
Wickliffe, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Mathematician
Math Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Gumbo, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Alaska
Favorite Quote:
It too will pass.

Birthplace

Born:
10/4/1933
Birth Location:
Wickliffe
See how Lovenia Deconge-Watson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mary Lovenia DeConge was born on October 3, 1933, in Wickliffe, Louisiana, to Adina Rodney and Alphonse Frank DeConge. Her family was Creole, and she was bilingual speaking both English and French. In 1943, The DeConge family settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and six years later, at the age of 16, DeConge was called to the Order of the Sisters of the Holy Family. She took her permanent vows as Sister Mary Sylvester DeConge in 1957.

Two years later, DeConge earned her B.A. degree in mathematics and French from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and began to teach high school Mathematics and French at Holy Ghost High School in Opelousas, Louisiana. In 1961, DeConge applied for and received a National Science Foundation Academic Year award to study for a master’s degree in Mathematics and French, which she earned from Louisiana State University in 1962. That year, she began teaching math at Delille Junior College, and from 1964 to 1968, she attended St. Louis University and earned her Ph.D. in mathematics with a minor in French. After receiving her degree, DeConge served as assistant professor of Mathematics at Loyola University of New Orleans, and she transferred to Southern University as Associate Professor of Mathematics in 1971. In 1976, DeConge chose to leave her Order of the Sisters of the Holy Family, and in 1982, she was promoted to Professor of Mathematics at Southern University. One year later, DeConge married Roy Watson, Sr., and became Dr. Lovenia DeConge-Watson.

From 1986 to 1995, DeConge-Watson served as Chair and Professor of Mathematics at Southern University, and from 1993 to 2003, DeConge-Watson served as Director of “Modeling Integrated Mathematical Experiences” (MIME), a National Science Foundation Project at Southern University aimed at improving mathematics and science education at all levels. MIME was funded by a $10,000,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. From 1995 to 1998, DeConge-Watson directed the Center for Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology at Southern University and the A&M College System. A recipient of Southern University’s Outstanding Chair and Department of the Year Award in 1990 and St. Louis University’s Outstanding Graduate of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Award in 1996, DeConge-Watson has served as an interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs in 1998, and as interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2003. She retired in 2004.

Lovenia DeConge-Watson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 9th, 2010.

See how Lovenia Deconge-Watson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lovenia Deconge-Watson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson shares her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her mother's side of the family, part 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her mother's side of the family, part 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her father's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her early childhood memories in New Roads, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her siblings and family gatherings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about the effects of her family's eviction
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson details her experience at St. Augustine Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her teachers at St. Augustine Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her teacher at Corpus Christi School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson remembers her communion and confirmation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her experience at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson discusses dancing and Zydeco music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her experience at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains her decision to enter the convent and her father's disapproval
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains the process of joining a religious order
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson shares the history of the Sisters of the Holy Family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her experience teaching in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about taking her religious vows
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about teaching sixth grade performing arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains her decision to attend Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson discusses her experience with racial prejudice at Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her experience at Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson discusses her experience with racism at Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about teaching at Holy Ghost School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her professors at Louisiana State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains her mathematics vectors course
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains her decision to leave Louisiana State University in 1962
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about teaching at a junior college run by the Sisters of the Holy Family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her experience at St. Louis University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains the history of the nun's habit
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her Ph.D. dissertation on two-dimensional lattices
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about ill while working on her Ph.D.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her publishing papers at New Orleans Loyola University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about being recruited by Southern University in Baton Rouge
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes the Southern University 1972 student riots
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson remembers the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson remembers the assassination of John F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her national teachers' examination preparation book
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson explains her 1976 decision to leave the Sisters of the Holy Family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her work at Rockwell International in Anaheim, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her work at Southern University and her marriage to Roy Watson
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about Southern University's Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program and her involvement with the fiber optics program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson discusses her retirement and her continued affiliation with Southern University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about her leadership role in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson reflects on her role as a mathematics professor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her domestic and international travels
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her travels to Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast with her husband Roy Watson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson talks about the awards she received from Southern University, St. Louis University, and Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her reaction to her Distinguished Alumni Award from Seton Hill University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson advises future generations to learn as much as possible
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lovenia Deconge-Watson describes her photographs