Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, November 14th
Talithia Williams, Ph.D., Harvey Mudd College
Associate Dean for Research and Experiential Learning and an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd CollegeDr. Williams is cohost of the PBS series NOVA Wonders, premiering in April 2018, and has delivered speeches nationally and internationally on the value of statistics in quantifying personal health information. She has made it her life’s work to get students, parents, educators and community members more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education.
In 2015, she won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, which honors faculty members whose teaching is effective and extraordinary, and extends its influence beyond the classroom.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Spelman College, a master’s degree in Mathematics from Howard University and her Ph.D. in Statistics from Rice University. Her professional experiences include research appointments at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and the National Security Agency.

Dr. Williams develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data and has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Through her research and work in the community at large, she is helping change the collective mindset regarding STEM in general and math in particular – rebranding the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or male-dominated but instead a logical, productive career path that is crucial to the future of the country. She is active in her faith community and serves with her husband as a Christian marriage mentor couple, all while being the mom of three amazing boys.

Thursday, November 15th
  Jamienne S. Studley, WASC Senior College and University Commission 
President of the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and President Emerita of Public Advocates Inc.Ms. Studley was deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education from 2013 to 2016, at times also acting in the positions of under secretary and assistant secretary for postsecondary education. Her focus included accreditation and accountability, development of the College Scorecard, campus climate issues, and student success strategies. She also served on the federal advisory committee on accreditation, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), from 2008 to 2013 (chair, 2011-13). Earlier Ms. Studley was the department’s deputy and then acting general counsel from 1993 to 1999.

Ms. Studley has served in a number of other higher education roles, including as the first female president of Skidmore College; Associate Dean & Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and scholar in residence, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She has also been professor of practice (public policy), Mills College; adjunct faculty, UC Berkeley and Stanford Law Schools; board member, Association of American Colleges & Universities; and Visiting Committee, Harvard Law School. A graduate of Barnard College (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Ms. Studley also served as National Policy Advisor for Beyond 12 and an independent consultant on institutional effectiveness, accreditation, and leadership.

Her nonprofit leadership experience includes CEO and now President Emerita of Public Advocates Inc. and executive director of the National Association for Law Placement. She serves on the boards of KQED and the Foundation for Student Success. Her past civic and volunteer activities have included chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission and Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund; co-chair, California Civil Rights Coalition; co-founder, Washington Area Women’s Foundation and Collectors of Wood Art, and board member, SF Education Fund, Mills College, American Craft Council, and Museum of Craft and Design (SF).