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Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics

Organizing Committee

Faculty and Staff

Lindsay Augustyn is the Outreach and Communications Director for the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, which assists with conference logistics. She oversees conferences and workshops, and focuses on graphic design, such as the creation of brochures, magazines and promotional materials for events. Her background is in newspaper design and editing, as well as the hospitality industry. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in journalism.


Dr. Mikil Foss is in his second year on the NCUWM Organizing Comittee. He is an Associate Professor and conducts research in the broad area of partial integro-differential equations and calculus of variations. More specifically, he is currently interested in peridynamic models for materials and regularity theory for solutions to systems of partial integro-differential equations and multivariable variational problems. He has advised six doctoral students overall, and has either co-directed or directed two REU programs as well. Mikil received the UNL CAS International Travel Award in 2014, the College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 and has also received the Recognition Award for Contribution to Students from the UNL Parents Association multiple times.


Dr. Christine Kelley has been on the NCUWM Organizing Committee since 2008 and is currently Co-Chair. Her research area is coding theory. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2006, she held postdoctoral research positions at the Fields Institute and The Ohio State University. Her research has been supported by an NSF EPSCoR First Award, and an NSA Young Investigator Grant. She has superivsed several undergraduate research projects and three doctoral students. She received the university's Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award in 2010, and a College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012.


Dr. Glenn Ledder has been on the NCUWM Organizing Committee since 2005 and is currently Co-Chair. His research area is mathematical modeling in the physical and biological sciences, and he is also a national leader in efforts to develop undergraduate mathematics curricula for biology students. He has mentored a total of 35 undergraduate research students, including REU Site student groups in the summers of 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, and 2014.


Dr. Mohammad Rammaha is in his second year on the NCUWM Organizing Committee, and has been a member of the UNL Department of Mathematics faculty since 1985. His research interests lie in applied mathematics and analysis; in particular he works with issues concerning nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations. He has advised six doctoral students since arriving at Nebraska, and currently he is advising two doctoral students. In 2003 he received the College Distinguished Teaching Award from UNL and has also received the Recognition Award for Contribution to Students from the UNL Parents Association 11 times.


Stephanie Vendetti is the Events Coordinator for the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education. She coordinates several other events throughout the year administered by the CSMCE. Stephanie holds both a BFA and MFA in ceramics, and she was formerly an art gallery director before joining the CSMCE. This is Stephanie's fourth year on the committee.




Dr. Alex Zupan is new to UNL and to the NCUWM Organizing Committee. His research is in geometry and topology. In particular, he studies 3- and 4-dimensional manifolds and the theory of knots in these dimensions. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and spent the last three years as an NSF Postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin, where he supervised an undergraduate research project.

Graduate Students

Jessalyn Bolkema is a fourth year Ph.D. student at UNL, working in algebraic coding theory under Dr. Judy Walker. She likes graph theory, probability, algebraic geometry, and has some background in electrical engineering. She spends the rest of her time on knitting, bread making, reading, running, houseplant nurturing, and film photography. She is a cellist and studied French. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from Hope College and a M.S. in Mathematics from UNL.


Jessica DeSilva is a third year graduate student studying combinatorics under Dr. Jamie Radcliffe. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a Graduate Student Ambassador for UNL Graduate Studies. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys working out at the UNL recreation center and trying out new restaurants around Lincoln. This is her first year on the NCUWM organizing committee.




Areeba Ikram is currently a fourth year graduate student at UNL studying ordinary differential equations under Dr. Allan Peterson. She graduated from the University of Texas where she studied mathematics. In her spare time, she likes to ride her bike, run, watch movies, and read. This is her second year on the organizing committee for NCUWM.





Nicholas Kass is currently a fourth year graduate student at UNL studying partial differential equations under Dr. Mohammad Rammaha. A former resident of the east coast, he graduated from New Jersey's Montclair State University in 2012 with a major in mathematics after a long career in the computer industry. He enjoys cooking, movies, and is an active volunteer in Southeast Community College's adult education program. This is his second year serving on the NCUWM organizing committee.



Ariel Setniker is currently a third year graduate student at UNL. Over the last summer, she pursued her dream of working in industry by completing an internship with Nebraska Global, a software incubator company. As a former resident of the west coast, she enjoys everything outdoors, gardening, and cooking. This is her first year serving on the NCUWM organizing committee.