Grace Alele-Williams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grace Alele-Williams

OON, FMAN, FNAE
Born
Grace Alele

(1932-12-16)16 December 1932
Warri, Western Region, Nigeria
Died25 March 2022(2022-03-25) (aged 89)
Lagos, Nigeria
EducationPhD (mathematics)
Alma materUniversity College of Ibadan
University of Chicago
Spouse
Babatunde Abraham Williams
(m. 1963; died 2010)
Children5

Grace Alele-Williams OON, FMAN, FNAE (16 December 1932 – 25 March 2022) was a Nigerian professor of mathematics education,[1][2] who made history as the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate,[3][4] and the first Nigerian female vice-chancellor at the University of Benin.[5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Grace Awani Alele was born to Itsekiri parents in Warri, Western Region (present-day Delta State), Nigeria on 16 December 1932.[8][9][10][11] She attended Government School, Warri, Queen's College, Lagos and the University College of Ibadan[12] (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 PhD degree in mathematics education at the University of Chicago (U.S.) in 1963,[12] thereby making her the first Nigerian woman to be awarded a doctorate. Grace Alele was married later that year and became known as Grace Alele-Williams.[11] She returned to Nigeria for a couple of years' postdoctoral work at the University of Ibadan before joining the University of Lagos in 1965.[13]

Career[edit]

Alele-Williams's teaching career started at Queen's School, Ede, Osun State, where she was a mathematics teacher from 1954 to 1957.[3] She left for the University of Vermont to become a graduate assistant and later assistant professor. From 1963 to 1965, 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.[6]

She had a special interest in women's 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.[1] 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.[13] Highlights included writing texts and correspondence courses covering basic concepts in mathematics working in concert with leading mathematicians and educators. such as the book Modern Mathematics Handbook for Teachers published in 1974. 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.[6] 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.[14][15] From 1979 to 1985, she served as chairman of the Lagos State curriculum review committee and Lagos State examinations boards.[13]

Alele-Williams was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Benin in 1985, becoming the first female vice-chancellor of a Nigerian university,[16] and she believes her appointment, which ended in 1992, was "a test case to demonstrate a woman's executive capability".[6]

Alele-Williams was a force for reform in the dark age for Nigeria's higher education in the 1980s. Then, the activities of secret cults, confraternities and societies had spread within the Nigerian universities, especially in University of Benin. A task which many men had failed, she was able to make notable contributions.[1]

After serving as the vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, she joined the board of directors of Chevron-Texaco Nigeria. She was also on the board of HIP asset management company limited, an asset management company in Lagos, Nigeria.[11]

Alele-Williams was a member of governing council, UNESCO Institute of Education.[1] She was also a consultant to the UNESCO and Institute of International Education Planning.[17][13] For a decade (1963–73), she was a member of the African Mathematics Programme, located in Newton, Massachusetts, United States.[6] She was vice-president of the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education and later president of the Nigeria chapter,[15] and the first president of the African Mathematical Union Commission on Women in Mathematics.[18] She also served ten years (1993–2004) as regional vice-president for Africa of the Third World Organization for Women in Science.[19]

Personal life and death[edit]

Alele-Williams married Babatunde Abraham Williams (1932–2010) in December 1963, not long after returning to Nigeria from the United States. Williams was a political scientist who, at the time of their marriage, was a senior lecturer at the University of Ife, Osun State.[11]

Alele-Williams had five children, and, as of 2017, ten grandchildren.[2] She died on 25 March 2022 at the age of 89.[20][21][22] The next day, the University of Benin flew the institution's flag at half-mast to mourn her death.[8][10]

Awards[edit]

Alele-Williams received several 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.[23]

On 28 February 2014, she was one of 100 people to receive the Centenary Award, "a special recognition of unique contributions of Nigerians to the socio-cultural, economic and political development of the country in the last 100 years".[24][25][26]

She is included in a playing of trivia cards featuring notable women mathematicians published by the Association of Women in Mathematics.[27]

Publications[edit]

  • "Dynamics of Curriculum Change in Mathematics" – Lagos State Modern Mathematics Project[28]
  • "Education of Women for National Development"[29]
  • "Report: The Entebbe Mathematics Project"[30]
  • "The development of a modern mathematics curriculum in Africa"[31]
  • "Education and Government in Northern Nigeria"[32]
  • "Education and Status of Nigerian Women"[33]
  • "Major Constraints to Women's Access to Higher Education in Africa"[34]
  • "The Politics of Administering a Nigerian University"[35]
  • "The Political Dilemma of Popular Education: An African Case"[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Taire, Morenike (14 April 2018). "Grace Alele-Williams: Mathematician who dealt with cultism at UNIBEN". Vanguard News. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Grace Alele, Role Model, Teacher, Professor, Doctor, Vice-chancellor, Warrior, Prominent Nigerian, Nigeria Personality Profiles". www.nigeriagalleria.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b Riddle, Larry (16 February 2022). "Grace Alele Williams". Biographies of Women Mathematicians. Agnes Scott College. Archived from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  4. ^ "5 women who have made their marks in education". www.pulse.ng. 8 March 2018. Archived from the original on 1 July 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  5. ^ Nkechi Nwankwo (2006), Women Leadership in Nigeria: Stories of Four Women Role Models, Lagos: Deutchetz Publishers. Review Archived 26 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine by Theresa Onwughalu in the Daily Sun, 25 July 2006.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Biographical sketches of famous African mathematicians: Grace Alele Williams", AMUCHMA Newsletter #12, African Mathematical Union, Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa, 27 March 1994, archived from the original on 24 February 2020, retrieved 23 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Prof. Mrs Grace Alele Williams OFR, HLR". Hallmarks of Labour Foundation. 28 November 2011. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "UNIBEN flies flag at half-mast to mourn Alele-Williams". Vanguard News. 26 March 2022. Archived from the original on 26 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022. The University of Benin (UNIBEN) on Saturday ordered the flying of the institution's flag at half-mast to mourn the death of the first female vice-chancellor in Nigeria, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams. Alele-Williams, who was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Benin in 1985 died on Friday in Lagos at the age of 89 years. ... Prof. Alele-Williams, Nigeria's first female professor of Mathematics Education was born on Dec. 16, 1932 in Delta to an Itsekiri mother and Owan father from Sobe, Edo.
  9. ^ Howell, Karin-Therese; Neudauer, Nancy Ann (2022). "Grace Alele-Williams Nigerian Mathematician of Many Firsts - Breaking Down Barriers and Opening Paths" (PDF). Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 69: 439–455.
  10. ^ a b Ahon, Festus; Ojiego, Nnamdi; Aliu, Ozioruva (27 March 2022). "ALELE – WILLIAMS: More tributes as Okowa, Obaseki mourn". Vanguard News. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022. the UNIBEN have ordered that the institution's flag be mounted at half-mast to mourn the death of the late professor. Alele-Williams, who passed on Friday evening in Lagos at the age of 89 years, was born in Warri, Delta State.
  11. ^ a b c d O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. "Grace Alele-Williams – Biography". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Personality of The Week – Grace Alele williams". SilverbirdTV. 20 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 July 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d "Grace Alele Williams - Black Women in Mathematics". www.math.buffalo.edu. Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Grace Alele-Williams". Heels of Influence. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  15. ^ a b admin. "Grace awani ALELE-WILLIAMS – Legacy Way". Archived from the original on 28 November 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  16. ^ "First Female Vice Chancellor in Nigeria". Hintnaija. 12 April 2018. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Women in Higher Education Management" (PDF). Unesco: 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2014. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ Ouedraogo, Pr Marie Françoise (30 May 2015). AWMA: une association au service des femmes mathématiciennes africaines (PDF) (Speech). Femmes et Mathematiques: Mathématiciennes africaines (in French). Institut Henri Poincaré. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Executive Board". owsd.net. OWSD. Archived from the original on 20 June 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  20. ^ Egbejule, Michael (26 March 2022). "First female VC, Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, dies at 89". The Guardian Nigeria. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  21. ^ Millz, Bayo (25 March 2022). "Just In: First female VC, Prof Alele-Williams allegedly dies at 89". TheNewsGuru. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  22. ^ Akintade, Adefemola (25 March 2022). "Nigeria's first female Vice-Chancellor Grace Alele-Williams is dead". Peoples Gazette. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Buhari felicitates first woman Nigerian Professor, Alele-Willaims, at 89". The Nation Newspaper. 15 December 2021. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  24. ^ "100 Nigerians get Centenary Awards Friday (tonight) [Full List]". Premium Times Nigeria. 28 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 March 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022. The full list of the awardees, including those who have rejected the honour is reproduced below along with the categories: ... C. PIONEERS IN PROFESSIONAL CALLINGS/CAREERS ... 30. Professor Grace Alele-Williams
  25. ^ Akpan, Mike (24 March 2014). "Demeaning Centenary Awards". Realnews Magazine. Archived from the original on 17 January 2022. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Grace Alele Williams receives deafening ovation". Encomium Magazine. 28 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  27. ^ "Mathematicians of EvenQuads Deck 1". awm-math.org. Archived from the original on 19 June 2022. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  28. ^ Williams, Grace Alele (1974). "Dynamics of Curriculum Change in Mathematics—Lagos State Modern Mathematics Project". West African Journal of Education. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  29. ^ Alele-Williams, G. (1986). "Education of Women for National Development". Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2019. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  30. ^ Williams, Grace Alele (1 June 1971). "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.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Williams, Grace Alele (1973). "Education and Government in Northern Nigeria". Présence Africaine. 87 (3): 156. doi:10.3917/presa.087.0156.. In: Lema, Anza A; Williams, Grace Alele; Simiyu, Vincent G. (1973). Presence Africaine. Revue Culturelle du Monde Noir / Cultural Review of the Negro World. Nouvelle Serie Bilingual / New Bilingual Series. No. 87, 3e Trimestre / 3rd Quarterly, 1973. Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  33. ^ In Nigerian women and development (1988), edited by Ogunṣhẹyẹ, F. Adetowun; Domenico, Catherine D.; Dennis, Carolyne; Awosika, Keziah; Akinkoye, Olu. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press. ISBN 9789781212192, pages 171–179
  34. ^ Alele-Williams, G. (1992). "Major Constraints to Women's Access to Higher Education": 71–76. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  35. ^ "Celebrating Prof Grace Alele Williams, Nigeria's first female Vice Chancellor". TheDailyNG. 11 February 2020. Archived from the original on 31 January 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  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. JSTOR 523662. S2CID 143632871. Archived from the original on 30 January 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]