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Tanya Moore

1 February 2020 2,279 views No Comment

Tanya Moore
Photo by Greg Habiby

Affiliation: Founder and Partner, Intersecting Lines*
Educational Background: PhD, Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley; MSE, Mathematical Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University; BS, Mathematics, Spelman College

As vice president of mission advancement at Goodwill of San Francisco, Tanya Moore determines strategy and direction for the organization’s mission-related initiatives in education and workforce development. Prior to joining Goodwill, her professional career in local government and higher education focused on leading multi-agency collective impact initiatives aiming to reduce health and education inequities and support college to career pathways. Throughout her career, she has remained passionate in her support of women in STEM careers.

Tanya is a co-founder of the Infinite Possibilities Conference, designed to support, promote, and encourage underrepresented minority women in mathematics. She also served for more than 10 years on the board of the nonprofit Building Diversity in Science. She has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise, and O, The Oprah Magazine and was recognized as “STEM Woman of the Year” by California State Assembly Member Nancy Skinner.

Moore’s exploration of a mathematics major started because of Nagambal Shah at Spelman College. As Moore was registering for classes her first semester, she overheard an upperclassman describe Shah as hard but really good. Moore decided to sign up for Shah’s calculus class, a decision that ultimately changed the trajectory of Moore’s life.

Shah saw something in Moore she didn’t value or even see and encouraged her to change her major from psychology to mathematics. She challenged Moore academically and cared for her as she would a daughter. Shah’s rigor and high standards in the classroom were coupled with invitations for a hot meal in her home or a meaningful conversation in her office. Moore was on an educational journey, but also the beginning of her own healing journey, and Shah was an arrow pointing the way forward in school and life.

Even though Moore struggled with her first statistics class (taught by Shah) in her junior year, she found herself gravitating toward probability and statistics in graduate school because of their ability to combine math with issues she cared about, such as health and education. At UC Berkeley, Moore’s adviser, Mark van der Laan, had the gift of seeing and understanding the mathematics behind statistics at a deep level. To Moore, it was inspiring to see how he could navigate this world of theory and simultaneously apply it to solving real-world problems.

As Moore steered her way through graduate school, Shah remained connected to her, providing encouragement, a listening ear, and sound advice. In many ways, Moore thinks so much of what she has done professionally is her way of trying to honor and pay tribute to what she learned and gained from Shah.

*Intersecting Lines is a mission-driven business dedicated to supporting and empowering girls and women who love math.

Moore’s Favorite Quotes
“You may have to travel the road alone, but you don’t have to be lonely.” ~ Nagambal Shah
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe
“When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~ Audre Lorde

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