Board of Directors of the Somerville Mathematics Fund

Erica Dakin Voolich (President and founder) is an award-winning middle school mathematics teacher. She won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in Secondary Mathematics (1999), an Edyth May Sliffe Award (1999) and an Above and Beyond Award (Massachusetts Software & Internet Council, 2002). The author of two supplementary mathematics texts: A Peek into Math of the Past: Mathematical Historical Investigations for Middle School and Pre-Algebra Students, (2001) and Investigating with Power Solids, (1997) and numerous articles on teaching mathematics, she has conducted local, national, and international workshops for mathematics teachers. She has also written two books on design in weaving: Parallel Shadow Weave, (with Elizabeth Lang, 1987) and Playing With Blocks: An Exploration of Multiharness Overshot, (1977). She just retired from teaching seventh grade mathematics at the Solomon Schechter Day School (Newton). She has taught previously at Wheelock College, Cambridge Friends School, and in the public schools of Philadelphia and Arlington, Massachusetts. She is a fellow of the Teachers Leadership Academy of Massachusetts. Locally she has served as the Clerk of the Board for RESPOND, Inc (1998-2004), and as the Recording Clerk (2000-2002) and Finance Committee member (1997-2000) of the Fresh Pond Friends Meeting.
Erica Voolich just received the AWM Service Award which recognizes individuals for helping to promote and support women in mathematics through exceptional voluntary service to the Association for Women in Mathematics. The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) presented ten women with the inaugural AWM Service Award at the AWM Reception held during the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, CA, January 9-12, 2013. Erica was one of the ten women who received the award in recognition as a Mathematics Educator, for her work in the Somerville Mathematics Fund, for her role in establishing the Teacher Partnership and long-time service on the Education Committee, which included representing AWM at the CBMS Forum in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Richard Graf (Vice President) is an award winning real estate and urban design professional. He is responsible for development of commercial and residential projects, an adviser to clients on development issues from urban to project scale, with specializations in historic tax credits and adaptive reuse. He was a Visiting Critic (1989-97) at Harvard University, concentrating on the relationship between real estate economics and urban design.


Susan Weiss (Webmaster) is an award-winning mathematics teacher with degrees in mathematics, education, special education, and instruction technology.  Her awards include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in Elementary Mathematics (2000), a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1991), and a Compaq Technology Grant (1999) and inducted into the Mathematics Hall of Fame in Massachusetts (2011).  She has presented workshops in technology and discrete mathematics at local, regional, and national teachers’ conferences and served as an officer for many organizations devoted to education in mathematics and technology. She has taught mathematics in grades K-12, primarily in the lower grades.  Currently she is the Instructional Technology Specialist and Math Support Provider at the Solomon Schechter Day School (Newton).


Michael Voolich
Over the years Michael has taught a variety of topics from philosophy to woodworking to computer aided drafting to US history. His students have won national prizes. He has served on the executive boards of the Boston Chapter of Amigos de Las Americas and the Technology Education Association of Massachusetts. While not much of an athlete himself, he spent years coaching youth baseball.

Patricia Jehlen served on the Somerville School Committee from 1975 until 1990 when she was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature. She served in the House until 2005, when she was elected to the Senate. She currently chairs the committee on Elder Affairs, and is co-chair of the committee on Education. Rep. Jehlen holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She taught history at Brookline High School and supervised student teachers at Simmons College. She is the mother of three SHS graduates, and the grandmother of two students at the Healey School in Somerville.
Monica Fernandes (Auditor) grew up in Somerville, graduating from Somerville High School. She went on to Suffolk University, where she graduated with her BSBA and Masters in Accounting in 2008. She graduated with honors and as a member of the Griffin Honor Society. She is a licensed CPA in MA and works in taxation at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Jay Landers (Treasurer) is a retired field controller for Kraft Foods. Currently he is the treasurer of New England Dollars for Scholars, the regional advisory board for Scholarship America. Currently he is the Treasurer (and was the past President) of Citizen Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield, MA. He has an MBA from Oregon State University He resides at the start bike path in Davis Square with his spouse Jasper.
Chase Duclos-Orsello is a manager of Strategic Projects for Biopharm Process Solutions at EMD Millipore in Bedford. He has held a variety of roles there, most of them dealing with R&D and implementation of EMD Millipore's purification products within the biopharm industry (i.e. lots of experiments and lots of math to analyze them!). He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. He has had a lifelong interest in teaching math and science to children. This included teaching a course for two summers with Citizen Schools in Boston. He currently lives in Somerville with his wife and 11-year old son.
Adam Foster is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, studying atomic physics and supernova remnants. He has lived in Somerville since moving to the USA in 2009. Before moving to the USA, he studied magnetically confined fusion energy at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.
Saraf Nawar is a student at Harvard University studying chemistry and physics, with interests in materials science. She joined SMF in summer 2012. At Harvard, Saraf is involved in activities promoting the participation of women in science, in addition to research. She has been involved with helping to organize NSAWS (National Symposium for the Advancement of Women in Science). In her free time, Saraf enjoys travel and spending time with her family. 
Zbigniew Nitecki is a mathematician working in nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory. He has been on the faculty at Tufts University since 1972; previously he taught at Yale and the City College of New York. Besides papers in research journals, he has written three books: Differentiable Dynamics (MIT Press, 1971: Russian translation 1975, Chinese 1979), Differential Equations, A First Course (with M. Guterman: Saunders,1st ed. 1984, 3rd ed. 1992), and Calculus Deconstructed, A Second Course in First Year Calculus (MAA, 2009).
In 1982-3, he served as the first director of the Geometric Analysis program at the NSF. He is currently on the editorial board of two journals: Real Analysis Exchange and Qualitative Theory of Dynamical Systems.
He was recently appointed Associate Treasurer of the American Mathematical Society starting in February 2012.
He lived in Somerville from 1974 to 1983, and is delighted to be back, since 2007.
Beth Porter serves as Technical Product Manager of Educational Markets for Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc., a private software development company in Cambridge. The firm creates math applications for professional engineers, researchers, and scientists, as well as members of the academic community. Beth taught high school mathematics for a few years after completing her undergraduate and graduate work at Cornell. She remains interested in all levels of math and science education, particularly in terms of what technology can do to help teachers and learners succeed.

Sharon Rewerts, Vibro Dynamics

Advisory Board
Peter Golden, The Golden Group
Richard D Schafer, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, MIT

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