During the last semester of my first year in graduate school (spring 2015), I volunteered for the Study Hall that was being put on by the department. I was inspired by that event to get in touch with the professor who organized it, and asked about interest in a Math Club. I was told that it had languished over the years but I was welcome to revive it (he was willing to be the faculty advisor), and he put me in touch with an undergraduate student that he thought would be good to partner up with.
Christina Ebben1 and I met for the first time at a training for club officers for funding requests. I told her that she had no choice in being President (an undergraduate needed to be the face of this!), and kept encouraging and supporting her throughout the year as her Vice President. I had a lot of experience running clubs already and thought it would be better to play a support role than a leadership one. However, because we were a new club and had such a minimal executive board, we ended up working closely on every event.
In the following year (2016-2017), I served as Publicity and Outreach Officer, where I was responsible for collaborating with SIAM (naturally), and flyers for events. In situations where we collaborated externally, I was also a point of contact (such as the fundraiser for Pi Day).
Our goal was to start events that would become staples in the department
The following is a transcription of an email we got regarding our (Ms. Ebben and myself) accomplishments. It stands as a good summary on its own, so I will print it here for posterity:
Hello UCD Math Club!
The Office of Student Life | Student Organizations would like to congratulate you on receiving the Outstanding Student Organization award at The 2016 Milo Awards. The award was presented to a member of the organization during the ceremony, but our team would like to share with you a few blurbs from student nomination packets.
Math Club organizes mathematical activities ranging from the recreational to research-focused, and works to educate its members and the CU Denver community about a variety of mathematically-driven career options. They host versatile events incorporating artistic activities with mathematical motivations (but don’t require any skills/knowledge to accomplish). Examples of such events include their Billiards Event and Pi Day Celebration, both of which provided a fun environment for math-lovers and those that just wanted to have a good time.
They also fundraise for non-profit organizations such as The Pie Code (for girls who code) and collaborate with student organizations such as Biology Club and Pre-Vet Club on events such as the Science Club Mixer. Towards the end of every semester, Math Club hosts a 2-day study hall to help prepare students for their math finals. Feedback from students seeking assistance from Math Club is extremely positive and they continue to be an all-inclusive resource for students.
CU Denver’s Math Club has drastically increased its event programming, which has developed a broader sense of community within the mathematics department that includes and supports students from other majors. Through the Final Exam Study Hall hosted each semester, the math club helps facilitate study groups with faculty/graduate student tutors available for final exam review. Through events such as the Mathematics of Billiards, Pi Day Bash, Poker night, and Erdos Extravaganza, Math Club provides fun, social events that present educational opportunities outside of the classroom.
Additionally, their leadership and organization in philanthropic events this year, such as the departmental food drive and The Pie Code, goes above and beyond typical programming activities. Both the variety of events sponsored this year and also the broader impact that Math Club has had on the mathematics department and CU Denver community warrant Math Club’s recognition as an outstanding student organization this year.
Thank you for your continued efforts and dedication to the CU Denver community! Our team is incredibly proud of the UCD Math Club and look forward to working alongside you throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.
We won the Milo Award! However, our biggest failure was not properly ensuring the future longevity of the organization through recruitment and training of a new generation of officers. This was a difficult lesson in succession planning and something that I was keenly aware of during my time as President of SIAM, where I took proactive steps to ensure the same fate would not be met by that club.