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William A. Hawkins

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Information about William A. Hawkins

Profile image of William A. Hawkins

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Program Director
Math Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Rice (Curried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Ignorance is never bliss.

Birthplace

Born:
9/15/1947
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Program Director
Math Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Rice (Curried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Ignorance is never bliss.

Birthplace

Born:
9/15/1947
Birth Location:
Washington
See how William A. Hawkins is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Program director and math professor William Anthony Hawkins, Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. in 1947. His father, William Anthony Hawkins, Sr., was a postal worker; his mother, Amanda L. Hawkins, a dental hygienist. After graduating from Archbishop Carroll High School in 1964, Hawkins briefly attended Merrimack College before transferring to Howard University. While there, he studied under Dr. Louise Raphael, Professor James Joseph, and Dr. Arthur Thorpe (physics) and went on to graduate with his B.S. degree in mathematics in 1968. In 1970, Hawkins received his M.S. degree in physics from Howard University and his M.A. degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship while attending the University of Michigan where he studied under Dr. James S. Milne and graduated from there with his Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 1982.

Hawkins has dedicated over forty-three years to the education of minority students. In 1968, Hawkins was hired as a teacher at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., soon discovering his passion for teaching. In 1970, Hawkins was appointed as an instructor at Federal City College (University of the District of Columbia). He went on to serve as chair of the mathematics department of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) for five years. In 1990, Hawkins took leave from his position as associate professor at UDC and became director of the Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement (SUMMA) Program at the Mathematical Association of America. SUMMA has raised more than $4 million to increase the representation of minorities in mathematics, science, and engineering and to improve the mathematics education of minorities. In 1995, Hawkins returned to UDC as an associate professor in the mathematics department while simultaneously directing the SUMMA program.

Hawkins authored Attracting Minorities into Teaching Mathematics 1994, and Constructing a Secure Pipeline for Minority Students 1995. Hawkins is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the National Association of Mathematicians, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He received the 2006 Benjamin Banneker Legacy Award from the Banneker Institute of Science & Technology, and the 2013 Gung and Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America.

William Anthony Hawkins, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2013.

See how William A. Hawkins is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Hawkins' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Hawkins lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Hawkins describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Hawkins describes his mother's growing up in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about his mother's church, education and employment in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Hawkins describes his father's family background - part one
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his father's family background - part two
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about how his parents met and were married
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Hawkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about his father's service in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about his parents' education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about his paternal aunt, Sarah Bray
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Hawkins describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about his father's employment at the U.S. Post Office
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about the neighborhoods he lived in and the schools he attended in Washington, District of Columbia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his experience in school, and his interests and activities as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William Hawkins talks about how Washington, D.C. was while he was growing up, and its evolution over the years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William Hawkins talks about his experience in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the 1960 presidential elections and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Hawkins describes his experience in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Hawkins describes his experience at Merrimack College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Hawkins describes being in a car accident in Washington, D.C. and his decision to attend Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Hawkins describes his experience at Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his involvement with the SNCC in the summer of 1966, meeting Stokely Carmichael, and returning to Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about graduating from Howard University in 1968
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Hawkins talks about getting a deferment on the draft, and his decision to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement with the National Technical Association (NTA)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about pursuing his master's degree in physics at Howard University and his master's degree in math at the University of Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about mathematicians, Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Evelyn Boyd Granville, Marjorie Lee Browne, and David Blackwell
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement in political activism at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about the Ishango Society of Mathematics and Abdulalim Shabazz
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about his mentors at the University of Michigan - part one
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about his mentors at the University of Michigan - part two
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his doctoral dissertation in the area of algebraic geometry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about his interest in teaching
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement in the Mathematical Association of America (MAA)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about the need for a public university such as the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about the demographics of the faculty at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Hawkins discusses historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the department of mathematics there
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William Hawkins reflects upon the higher education system in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about his involvement with the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) and its SUMMA Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about pre-college programs for underrepresented minorities in mathematics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) National Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (NREUP)
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Hawkins talks about the importance and impact of summer undergraduate research programs and summer programs in math and science
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Hawkins talks about the administrative process for running the National Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (NREUP)
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Hawkins discusses minority Ph.D.s in mathematics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William Hawkins talks about HistoryMaker Luther Williams and other minorities at the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William Hawkins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William Hawkins describes his experience at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference march in Grenada, Mississippi in 1966
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Hawkins talks about the importance of access to math and science
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Hawkins talks about the importance of being able to read and comprehend information
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Hawkins reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Hawkins reflects upon undergraduate education and its role in facilitating economic equality
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Hawkins talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Hawkins reflects upon religion and science, and the importance of fairness
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William Hawkins talks about his parents and his mother's apprehension towards his visit to the South during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William Hawkins talks about how he would like to be remembered