#63 Self-Advocacy Advice for Underrepresented Math Students with Shanise Walker

allison loves math podcast Jan 17, 2022
Self-Advocacy Advice for Underrepresented Math Students with Shanise Walker

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"Do you want to be great or do you want to be comfortable?"

Advocate for your needs. Be proactive. Build a support system. Take risks. Push yourself to do great things. In today's interview, Shanise Walker, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, shares inspiring and practical advice for math students about how to advocate for themselves and set themselves up for success in math.

Shanise is a first-generation college student, who earned B.S. in Mathematics from UGA and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Iowa State University.  Her research interests lie in extremal combinatorics and graph theory and she is active in service to the mathematical profession related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). 


Allison and Shanise discuss:

  • How Shanise fell in love with Math [3.15]
  • How and why to be proactive and have a plan [5.54]
  • Shanise's blog post in the American Mathematical Society [10.18]
  • Who you need in a strong support system [16.20]
  • Advice for students at all different levels of their mathematics education[21.55]


  • Almost the worst thing someone can tell you is NO
  • Do I want to be great or do I want to be comfortable? To be great you need to be willing to take risks. 
  • Take a wide variety of mathematics courses.

Check out Shanise's blog:  How challenging experiences led me to pursue a PhD in mathematics

Connect with Shanise Walker: [email protected]


Check out Allison's Books:

  • Raise your Math Grade: Get this FREE short book, which is a toughen-up math manifesto mixed with you-can-do-it enthusiasm. It is an open educational resource, meaning you can share it freely with friends, students, and colleagues. 
  • Crush Math Now:  Order this best-selling Amazon book! It is a study guide packed with all the advice Allison has given students over the years on math mindset, study skills, and test-taking strategies.
  • Love Math Journal: Get this growth mindset journal to help 4th-8th grade students to succeed in and love math. This journal is co-authored by Allison and Nicole Thomson, who had been on Episode# 44 Using Gratitude to Help Students Overcome Math Anxiety.
  • Crush Hypothesis TestingThe five-step method to make hypothesis testing easier and understandable. I wrote this book with Math Professor Jennifer Flenner and you can read the first two chapters of Crush Hypothesis Testing for free at www.allisonlovesmath.com/free.

Connect with Allison