Judy Leavitt Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic affairs at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has earned the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Department of Mathematics for her outstanding professional career and her leadership and contributions to the advancement of mathematics and inclusion.
The UIUC Department of Mathematics Outstanding Achievement Award is given to alumni who have demonstrated the value derived from a mathematics education.
At the national level, Walker serves as a trustee of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and is currently serving as chair of the AMS Board of Trustees.
Additionally, Walker co-founded the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM), a national conference for undergraduate students in mathematics with a focus on women. The NWCUM won the AMS Programs that Make a Difference Award in 2013.
Walker holds professional memberships in AMS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and it was noted by one of her nominators that she is one of the few individuals that could be called up to serve in leadership roles in each of the AMS, MAA, and AWM. She was named a fellow of AMS in 2012, and in 2019, she was named a fellow of AWM.
Among her numerous recognitions and honors, Walker received the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics in 2006, the AWM Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education in 2016 and the UNL Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award in 2014. She was also selected as MAA George Pólya Lecturer from 2009-2011 and has been awarded more than 20 grants, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDES grant which conducted research to study and document the effectiveness of several long-running programs that enabled and encouraged women to participate in mathematics. She has published more than 30 publications and has served as an invited lecturer nearly 100 times.
Walker was recognized at the UIUC Department of Mathematics Awards Program on April 14. She completed both a master's degree and a PhD from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.