For thirty-two years Sister Miriam P. (Cooney), CSC, energized and inspired women at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, in her role as a professor in mathematics. To honor her dedication and positive influence, the Sister Miriam Cooney, CSC ’51 Endowed Grant for Undergraduate Student Research in Mathematics was established.
These funds will allow an undergraduate math major to participate with a professor on in-depth research in her field during the summer. The grant includes a stipend, housing on campus, funding for materials and travel costs to collect data off campus and/or attend a conference to present research findings. The recipient of the grant is senior Yufei Zhang, who will conduct research with Professor Ranjan Rohatgi.
“The grant allows faculty to introduce our students to the world of mathematical research and turn our students into our collaborators. Thanks to the donors, a student’s summer job can be actively participating in research with our faculty,” noted Professor Ranjan Rohatgi. “This summer, Yufei and I are studying variations of graceful and harmonious graph labeling.”
The donors of the endowment are Michael and Karen “Kae” Bichimer Sobczyk ’81. Kae’s daughter graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2009.
As a math major, Kae was inspired by Sister Miriam’s passion for the beauty and application of mathematics and the confidence she had in her students. “Her example of a strong woman, leading with confidence and the love of Jesus, positively influenced me during college and into my professional life,” said Kae.
“When my husband and I decided we were ready to ramp up our contribution to Saint Mary’s College, we discussed options with Carrie Mueller of the college’s Development Office. I attended the Saint Mary’s STEM (science, technology, engineering