Grace Alele-Williams

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Grace Alele-Williams (born December 16, 1932) is an educator who made history as the First Nigerian Female Vice-Chancellor at the University of Benin.[1][2][3] She was also the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree.[4][5] She is a professor of mathematics education.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Grace Alele-Williams Born in Warri, Delta state. She attended Government School, Warri, and Queen's College, Lagos. She attended the University College of Ibadan[8] (now University of Ibadan). She obtained a master's degree in Mathematics while teaching at Queen's School, Ede in Osun State in 1957 and her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at the University of Chicago (U.S.) in 1963.[8] She made history as the first Nigerian woman to be awarded a doctorate degree. She returned to Nigeria for a couple of years' postdoctoral work at the University of Ibadan before joining the University of Lagos in 1965.[9]

Academic career[edit]

Her teaching career started at Queen's School, Ede Osun State, where she was mathematics teacher from 1954 until 1957.[10] She left for the University of Vermont to become a graduate assistant and later assistant professor. Between 1963 and '65, Alele-Williams was a postdoctoral research fellow, department (and institute) of Education, University of Ibadan from where she was appointed a professor of mathematics at the University of Lagos in 1976.[2]

Her interest in mathematics education was originally sparked by her stay in the US, which coincided with the Sputnik phenomenon. Working with the African Mathematics Program in Newton, Massachusetts, under the leadership of MIT professor Ted Martins, she participated in mathematics workshops held in various African cities from 1963 to 1975.[11] Highlights included writing texts and correspondence courses covering basic concepts in mathematics, working in concert with leading mathematicians and educators. She taught at the University of Lagos from 1965 to 1985, and spent a decade directing the Institute of Education, which introduced innovative non degree programmes, with many of the certificate recipients older women working as elementary school teachers.[12]

Grace Alele-Williams was appointed the first female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian university in 1985,[13] Professor Williams believes her appointment at the University of Benin, which ended in 1992, was a test case to demonstrate a women's executive capability. Among her honors are those of Fellow of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria and of the Nigerian Academy of Education; Merit Award Winner of Bendel State in Nigeria; and Regional Vice President for Africa of the Third World Organization for Women in Science" (Science in Africa: Women Leading from Strength AAAS, Washington, 1993, p.174). It may be added that Professor Williams was also the Chairwoman of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics.[14]

She has held and served in various capacities. By serving in various committees and boards, Alele-Williams had made useful contributions in the development of education in Nigeria. She was chairman of the curriculum review committee, former Bendel State 1973–1979.[15][16][17] From 1979 to 1985, she served as chairman of the Lagos State Curriculum Review Committee and Lagos State Examinations Boards.[18]

Alele-Williams was a member of governing council, UNESCO Institute of Education.[6][19] She is also a consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Institute of International Education Planning.[20][21] For a decade (1963–73) she was a member of the African Mathematics Programme, located in Newton, Massachusetts, United States.[2] She was also vice-president of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and later president of the Nigeria chapter.[17] In 1974, Alele-Williams has published a book titled Modern Mathematics Handbook for Teachers. After serving as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, she joined the board of directors of Chevron-Texaco Nigeria. She is also on the board of HIP Asset Management Company Ltd, an Asset Management Company in Lagos, Nigeria.[22] Professor Grace Awani Alele-Williams was a force to reckon with in the dark period for Nigeria's higher education. Then, the activities of secret cults, confraternities and societies had spread within the Nigerian Universities especially in University of Benin. She made valuable impacts, with combination of courage, ingenuity and strategy that the growing tide of cultism was stemmed in the university. A task which many men had failed, she was able to make notable contributions.[23]

She has a special interest in women education. While spending a decade directing the Institute of Education, she introduced innovative non degree programmes, allowing older women working as elementary school teachers to receive certificates. Alele-Williams has always demonstrated concern for the access of female African students to scientific and technological subjects.[24]

Alele Williams was the first president of the African Mathematical Union commission on women in mathematics.[25]

Personal[edit]

Grace Alele-Williams married Babatunde Abraham Williams (b. 1932) December 1963, not long after returning to Nigeria from the United States. Babatunde Williams was a political scientist who, at the time of their marriage, was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ife Osun.[26] As of 2017, she has five children and ten grandchildren.[27]

Awards[edit]

Alele-Williams received many awards and honours. She received the Order of the Niger in 1987, and was elected a Fellow of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education. She won a Merit Award of Bendel State in Nigeria, and served as Regional Vice President for Africa of the Third World Organization for Women in Science and was chair of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics.[citation needed]

On 28 February 2014 she received the Centenary Award.[28]

Publications[edit]

  1. Dynamics of Curriculum Change in Mathematics - Lagos State Modern Mathematics Project.[29]
  2. Education of Women for National Development.[30]
  3. Report: The Entebbe Mathematics Project.[31]
  4. The Development of Modern Mathematics Curriculum in Africa.[32]
  5. Education and Government in Northern Nigeria.[33]
  6. Education and Status of Nigerian Women.[citation needed]
  7. Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) Education for all, Including Women and Girls in African.[citation needed]
  8. Major Constraints to Women's Access to Higher Education in Africa.[34]
  9. The Politics of Administering a Nigerian University.[35]
  10. Numerical Methods for Initial Value Problems in Ordinary Differential Equations.[citation needed]
  11. The Political Dilemma of Popular Education: An African Case.[36]

Books authored[edit]

  • Presence Africaine. Revue Culturalle Do Monde Noir/ Cultural Review of the Negro World[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nkechi Nwankwo (2006), Women Leadership in Nigeria: Stories of Four Women Role Models, Lagos: Deutchetz Publishers. Review Archived 2012-06-26 at the Wayback Machine by Theresa Onwughalu in the Daily Sun, July 25, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "Biographical sketches of famous African mathematicians: Grace Alele Williams", AMUCHMA Newsletter, African Mathematical Union, Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa, 12.
  3. ^ "Prof. Mrs. Grace Alele Williams OFR, HLR". Hallmarks of Labour Foundation. November 28, 2011. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Grace Alele Williams". www.agnesscott.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  5. ^ "5 women who have made their marks in education". www.pulse.ng. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  6. ^ a b Taire, Morenike (April 14, 2018). "Grace Alele-Williams: Mathematician who dealt with cultism at UNIBEN". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Grace Alele, Role Model,Teacher, Professor, Docror, Vice-chancellor, Warrior, Prominent Nigerian, Nigeria Personality Profiles". www.nigeriagalleria.com. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
  8. ^ a b "Personality of The Week – Grace Alele williams". SilverbirdTV. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  9. ^ "Grace Alele Williams - Black Women in Mathematics". www.math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  10. ^ Larry Riddle, "Grace Alele Williams", Biographies of Women Mathematicians, Agnes Scott College.
  11. ^ "Grace Alele Williams - Black Women in Mathematics". www.math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  12. ^ "AMU CHMA NEWSLETTER #12 (03/27/1994)". www.math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  13. ^ "First Female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria". Hintnaija. 2018-04-12. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  14. ^ "AMU CHMA NEWSLETTER #12 (03/27/1994)". www.math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  15. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams". Heels of Influence. Retrieved 2020-05-29.
  16. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams". Heels of Influence. Retrieved 2020-05-25.
  17. ^ a b admin. "Grace awani ALELE-WILLIAMS – Legacy Way". Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  18. ^ "Grace Alele Williams - Black Women in Mathematics". The State University of New York at Buffalo. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams: Mathematician who dealt with cultism at UNIBEN - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  20. ^ "Women in Higher Education Management" (PDF). Unesco: 7. Retrieved January 13, 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ "Grace Alele Williams; Black Women in Mathematics". The State University of New York at Buffalo. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  22. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams (1932 - )". mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  23. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams: Mathematician who dealt with cultism at UNIBEN - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  24. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams: Mathematician who dealt with cultism at UNIBEN". Vanguard News. 2018-04-14. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  25. ^ Ouedraogo, Pr Marie Françoise (2015-05-30). AWMA: une association au service des femmes mathématiciennes africaines (PDF) (Speech). Femmes et Mathematiques: Mathématiciennes africaines (in French). Institut Henri Poincaré.
  26. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams - Biography". Maths History. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  27. ^ "Grace Alele, Role Model,Teacher, Professor, Doctor, Vice-chancellor, Warrior, Prominent Nigerian, Nigeria Personality Profiles". www.nigeriagalleria.com. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  28. ^ "Grace Alele Williams receives deafening ovation". Encomium Magazine. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  29. ^ Williams, Grace Alele (1974). "Dynamics of Curriculum Change in Mathematics--Lagos State Modern Mathematics Project". West African Journal of Education.
  30. ^ Alele-Williams, G. (1986). "Education of Women for National Development". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  31. ^ Williams, Grace Alele (1971-06-01). "Report: The entebbe mathematics project". International Review of Education. 17 (2): 210–214. Bibcode:1971IREdu..17..210W. doi:10.1007/BF01421114. ISSN 1573-0638. S2CID 144062711.
  32. ^ WILLIAMS, GRACE A. ALELE (1976). "The development of a modern mathematics curriculum in Africa". The Arithmetic Teacher. 23 (4): 254–261. doi:10.5951/AT.23.4.0254. ISSN 0004-136X. JSTOR 41188955.
  33. ^ "Google Scholar". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  34. ^ Alele-Williams, G. (1992). "Major Constraints to Women's Access to Higher Education": 71–76. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. ^ "Celebrating Prof Grace Alele Williams, Nigeria's first female Vice Chancellor". TheDailyNG. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  36. ^ Chukunta, N. K. Onuoha (1978). "Education and National Integration in Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria". African Studies Review. 21 (2): 67–76. doi:10.2307/523662. ISSN 0002-0206.
  37. ^ "Amazon.com : Grace Alele-Williams". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 2021-05-20.

External links[edit]