Local trailblazer honored for her passion for math

HARLINGEN — Congressman Filemon Vela stood in the Hall of Freedom inside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and recognized Deloria Nanze-Davis for her remarkable impact on the community.

Nanze-Davis received this special recognition for the Congressional Record on Jan. 30 in honor of Black History Month.

Vela, D-Brownsville, spoke about her outstanding leadership and mentorship in the Rio Grande Valley.

“We are all thankful for her courage and commitment to the education of our children and young adults,” Vela said in his statement.

The congressman emphasized her commitment to the development of Black History programs in the Valley that helped raise awareness in the community.

“I am so honored that Congressman Vela shared my story with Congress,” Nanze-Davis said.

As the Chair of the Mathematics Department at UTRGV, Nanze-Davis helped lead the nation for several years in graduating more Hispanics with degrees in mathematics than any other university in the country.

Her passion for math started early on and became the skill that helped her contribute to others.

“I come from a family of service,” Nanze-Davis said. “We have always helped in any way we can.”

As a high school student, she was always excited to work on algebra problems and helped others as a tutor.

While in college, she continued to help many students through tutoring to prepare them for college-level math.

Nanze-Davis continues to be a mentor for many students in the community as a tutor at her local Math Laboratory in Harlingen since retiring from UTRGV in 2013.

On certain days of the week and weekends, Nanze-Davis helps local youths strengthen their math skills starting with basic math to calculus.

“I work with all grade levels,” Nanze-Davis said. “I like to encourage my students to do more than just the required assignment so they can have a better understanding of the math process.”