U.S. Delegation to the Sixth International Conference on Women in Physics*


Skip to the Profile of   Abigail Bogdan | Angela Johnson | Arlisa Richardson | Beth Cunningham | Candace Harris | Chandralekha Singh | Jessica Esquivel | Jolene Johnson | Kelsey Hallinen | Laura McCullough | Sally Seidel | Tennille Presley | Christine Jones | Laura Gladstone | Nicole Quist | Sathya Guruswamy | Marta Dark McNeese | Regina Jorgenson | Mary Chessey |


Abigail Bogdan
Abigail Bogdan
Seton Hill University
abogdan@setonhill.edu

 

Abigail Bogdan is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. She obtained her B.S. in physics from Marietta College in 2011 and her M.S. and Ph.D., both from the Ohio State University, in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Her research is in physics education, focusing particularly on students’ ability to interpret experimental data and on the effect of prior belief on data interpretation. She has also studied undergraduate students’ understanding of units and dimensional analysis as well as graduate students’ understanding of quantum mechanics and of condensed matter physics. Additionally, she collaborated on a project to study and improve the retention of physics students through the first two years of graduate school, specifically at Ohio State. Outside of research, Abby has engaged in educational outreach, working at summer physics and science camps for girls and volunteering at local elementary schools. She also served for several years as a mentor for undergraduate women considering careers in science.

 

Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
acjohnson@smcm.edu

 

Angela Johnson is Professor and chair of the Educational Studies Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Johnson’s research uses feminist, anthropological approaches in the study of girls and women of color in science. She teaches courses in educational equity, assessment, educational policy, and research methods. She graduated in physics from Bryn Mawr College and earned her doctorate in the social foundations of education from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with an emphasis in anthropology. A former high school physics teacher, she has authored numerous articles and book chapters on the experiences of women of color in predominantly white science contexts and on other issues involving equity and excellence in science and science education.

 

Arlisa Richardson
Arlisa Richardson
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
arlph25251@cgc.edu

 

Arlisa L. Richardson is a residential Physics faculty member at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, AZ. Prior to joining Chandler-Gilbert, she served as the Director of Learning Support Services at Estrella Mountain Community College, where she worked collaboratively with faculty and staff to implement and support effective pedagogies in the Learning Support Centers.
Arlisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Grambling State University, a Masters of Science in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Science Education from Arizona State University. Her research examined the impact of team interactions and gender on Freshman Engineering design teams. Her dissertation won the American Society of Engineering Education 2008 Best Paper Award in the PICIII division.
Arlisa has ten years experience as an engineer and more than twelve years experience within the Maricopa Community College district. She takes a student-centered, hands-on inquiry approach to instruction, a methodology informed by both her classroom experience and engineering experience. Her philosophy as a faculty is not to transfer knowledge, but to create environments that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves and to make students into learners who make discoveries and solve problems. Arlisa likes to teach and conduct research in the context of student learning through engagement and welcomes any opportunity to improve the education environment for all students.

 

Beth Cunningham
Beth Cunningham
American Association of Physics Teachers
bcunningham@aapt.org

 

Beth is the Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Kent State University. After receiving her doctorate, Beth was a post-doctoral fellow at the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota. She taught for one year in the physics department at Gettysburg College immediately following her post-doctoral fellowship. In 1989 she joined the physics department at Bucknell University as an assistant professor, attaining full professor in 2002. She was named associate dean of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2000. As a faculty member she involved students actively in her research and ran a Research Experiences for Undergraduate site. In 2006, she was appointed as Provost, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Physics at Illinois Wesleyan University. As provost, Beth initiated a strategic curricular review and revitalized departmental reviews to enhance academic programs. At AAPT since 2011, Beth provides leadership on a number of physics education initiatives including providing professional development opportunities for high school teachers of physics, supporting physics educators in higher education through workshops for new faculty and topical conferences, and the PhysTEC project to increase the number and quality of high school physics teachers. As a long time member of AAPT, she enjoys working closely with many members to improve physics teaching and learning at all levels. She has assisted AAC&U Project Kaleidoscope in developing STEM faculty leaders and CUR to incorporate undergraduate research into the curriculum. Beth’s current interests include the structure and function of phospholipid membranes, physics education research, and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in physics.

 

Candace Harris
Candace Harris
Florida A&M PhD Candidate, Physics
candace.harris@cepast.famu.edu

 

Candace D. Harris, M.S. earned her B.S. in physics from Spelman College and her M.S. of Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her matriculation at Spelman College, she was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and President of the Society of Physics Students chapter. As an African-American woman attending an all-Black women’s institution, she realized that there are many scientific fields in which African-American women are underrepresented. One of her contributions to the community as a physics graduate student at UMass Amherst was to influence and encourage underrepresented groups to pursue careers in the scientific and technical fields. Her representation in physics academia will further edify the social change that can take place. Ms. Harris believes that no race should be expelled from fully understanding the scientific and technological advancements happening on our planet. She has mentored incoming graduate students in physics and progressing in her doctoral program at FAMU. She was named the first MSIPP NNSA graduate fellow at Y-12 National Security Complex. She has published research in laser ablation and optical damages at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is using these techniques in isotopic analysis for nuclear forensics efforts. Her future plans are to conduct research for the National Nuclear Security Administration in nonproliferation programs such as the monitoring of nuclear reactors and the nuclear weapon stewardship.

 

Chandralekha Singh
Chandralekha Singh
University of Pittsburgh
clsingh@pitt.edu

 

Chandralekha Singh is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. She obtained her Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of California Santa Barbara and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, before joining the University of Pittsburgh. She has been conducting research in physics education for two decades. She is a pioneer in conducting educational research related to the teaching and learning of quantum mechanics. She held the chair-line of the American Physical Society Forum on Education from 2009-2013 and was the chair of the editorial board of Physical Review Special Topics Physics Education Research from 2010-2013. She has co-organized two physics education research conferences in 2006 and 2007 and was the co-chair of the 2010 Gordon Conference on Physics Research and Education. She co-chaired the first conference which brought together physicists, chemists and engineers from various engineering departments to discuss the future of materials science and engineering education in 2008. She was the co-organizer of the first conference on graduate education in physics in 2008 and chaired the second conference on graduate education in physics in 2013. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers.

 

Jessica Esquivel
Jessica Esquivel
Syracuse University, PhD Candidate, Physics
jeesquiv@syr.edu

 

Jessica Esquivel is a 5th yr PhD student in physics at Syracuse University, currently stationed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory working on using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) for muon/pion separation for use on the Charged Current Inclusive Muon Neutrino Cross Section measurement for the MicroBooNE collaboration . She attended St. Mary’s University (STMU) in San Antonio Texas and received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics. All throughout her studies, Jessica has been involved in community outreach specifically geared towards women and minorities. As an undergraduate, she participated in and helped organize quarterly physics demonstrations for the surrounding middle schools in the area which were predominately made up of lower income minorities. These demonstrations were held at STMU to foster excitement in physics as well as in attending college. The physics department also had weekly outings to public libraries and middle schools to demonstrate physics ideas that paired well with what the students were learning in their classes.
Now being stationed at FermiLab she has continued to reach a broader community because of the well established Education Office. She attends various Fermilab run outreach programs discussing her experience and the difficulties of being “other” in a male dominated field as well as being vocal on social media and in person about the hardships women face in STEM and how to combat this. In the one year since she’s moved from Syracuse University to Fermilab, she has worked with the Office of Communication, The Head of Diversity and Inclusion Office and is now a recent officer of Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association (FSPA). With her new title, she will be advocating for science to congress on behalf of Users Executive Committee and will work to organize career oriented events for students and postdocs with an emphasis on minorities. It is important for minority youth to be represented in the STEM field, and she, being a woman of African American and Latino descent finds it necessary to help foster this interest.

 

Jolene Johnson
Jolene Johnson
St. Catherine University
jljohnsonarmstrong@stkate.edu

 

Dr. Jolene L Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Physics at St. Catherine University, an all-women’s college in St. Paul Minnesota. She received her B.A. with majors in honors physics and music from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2005, a Masters in physics from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and a PhD. in Physics from University of Minnesota in 2012. Her research focuses on developing a technique to quantify the number and timing of viruses released from individual cells using microfluidics and fluorescence techniques. Throughout her physics career Dr. Johnson has been active in encouraging women in physics. As a University of Minnesota PhD student she was a coordinator for the Women in Physics and Astronomy group and helped found the annual Life after Undergrad mentoring event. In her position at St. Catherine University she is working to develop an applied physics major that focuses on preparing women for a variety of jobs in physics and engineering. She also has a special interest in increasing diversity in physics and higher education. In her free time she enjoys playing the viola, gardening and being outdoors.

 

Kelsey Hallinen
Kelsey Hallinen
University of Michigan PhD Candidate, Biophysics
khalline@umich.edu

 

Kelsey Hallinen is a PhD candidate in Biophysics at the University of Michigan. Her current work studies biofilm spatial-temporal dynamics in E. faecalis. She received her BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. During her undergraduate career, she spent a summer as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow at her home institution. The following summer, she worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory as part of the DOE Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program. She also began to focus on women and minorities in Physics. She attended and gave a research talk at the 2013 Northeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. During her graduate school career, she has joined groups such as the Society for Women in Physics (SWIP) and the Society for the Advancement of Native Americans and Chicanos in Science (SACNAS). She is the outreach chair for both of these groups, and as such has worked closely with the FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science) group to organize outreach events. During the summer of 2016, she was given the opportunity to speak at the 10th annual q-bio Conference. She has been able to attend the SACNAS National conference for the past two years, and in 2016 was awarded a Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award. She was also chosen as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in 2015.

 

Laura McCullough
Laura McCullough
University of Wisconsin-Stout
lauramccphd@gmail.com

 

Laura McCullough has been studying issues regarding women and physics for over twenty years. She has a BA and MS in physics, and a PhD in Science Education. Her research is widely varied, including classroom issues as well as cultural issues that affect women’s participation in physics. She has given numerous talks on gender issues across the US, and has published on a variety of issues on gender and science. Laura’s current job is Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She loves traveling with her author husband Kelly McCullough, though she always appreciates returning home to their cats.

 

Sally Seidel
Sally Seidel
The University of New Mexico
seidel@unm.edu

 

Sally Seidel received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Michigan for a search for nucleon decay using the IMB water Cherenkov detector. As a research scientist with the University of Toronto on the ARGUS Experiment, she participated in the construction of a drift chamber optimized for B physics and published a study of charmed baryon decay. Sally is currently a member of the University of New Mexico physics faculty. On the CDF experiment, she co-led the upgrade tracker sensor design team and carried out a study of multi-jet final states. She then co-led the group developing silicon pixel sensors for the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. On ATLAS her analysis team focuses on searches for new physics using multi-lepton final states. Her earlier ATLAS work included discovery of the excited heavy meson Bc(2S). The Seidel group is also developing technologies for tracking at future colliders including the upgraded ATLAS pixel detector. She has served on the DOE High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, the Fermilab Users Executive Committee, and the Fermi Research Alliance Board of Directors and has held the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the APS Topical Group on Hadronic Physics and Member-at-large of the Executive Committee of the Division of Particles and Fields. She is Past Chair of the APS Four Corners Section. She has served as chair of the DPF Instrumentation Award Committee. Seidel has held fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Vietnam Education Foundation, the Royal Institute of Technology, and the European Union. She has served as a National Advisor to the DPF Instrumentation Task Force and is the recipient of awards from the NSF Major Research Instrumentation and Career Advancement programs as well as the DOE Advanced Detector Research program. She currently serves as an editor of the journal Advances in High Energy Physics. Sally holds the position of Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for the term 2016-2018.

 

Tennille Presley
Tennille Presley
Winston Salem State University
presleyt@wssu.edu

 

Tennille D. Presley, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor of Physics at Winston Salem State University (WSSU). She obtained her B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Physics from North Carolina A & T State University, and acquired her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biophysics from The Ohio State University. While at The Ohio State University, she became the first African American to graduate from the Biophysics program, received the Young Investigator Award and the Best Advanced Research Award.
Following her Ph.D., Dr. Presley completed her post-doctoral training at Wake Forest University in the Department of Physics and the Translational Science Center. Since joining WSSU in 2010, she has been the recipient of the Research Initiation Program for two years, the Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future Program Grant funded by the National Science Foundation and the Co-Director for the Provost’s Scholars Science Immersion Program. Furthermore, she has been a part of the National Institutes of Health Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Blood Disorders.
Most recently, Dr. Presley was Visiting Faculty at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a recipient of the Buckeyes Under 40 Award. She has published more than a dozen articles in free radical research, and is the author of Biophysics of the Senses. Her current research involves investigating the effect of thermodynamics on free radicals and proteins in a state of vascular dysfunction.

 

Christine Jones
Christine Jones
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
cjones@cfa.harvard.edu

 

Christine Jones is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and President of the American Astronomical Society. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees in astronomy from Harvard University. For her PhD, she identified and studied X-ray binary systems in our galaxy using both X-ray and optical observations. Her current scientific interests are focused on understanding the structure and growth of clusters of galaxies and the effects of feedback from the supermassive black holes which lie at the centers of galaxies. For this research, she uses Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observations. From 1990 to 2010, Jones was a member of the Chandra X-ray Center where she led the Chandra calibration team. From its inception until 2014, she also was the PI and Director of the NSF-supported Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Research Experiences for Undergraduates which each summer hosts 10 undergraduates, at least half of whom have been women.

 

Laura Gladstone
Laura Gladstone
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
gladston@mit.edu

 

Dr. Laura Gladstone is a postdoc at MIT. She works on the CUORE experiment studying the hypothetical rare nuclear process of neutrinoless double beta decay. If observed, this process will show that neutrinos are their own antiparticles, and help explain the preponderance of matter over antimater in the universe. CUORE searches for this decay in tellurium crystals cooled to less than 10 mK, the coldest cubic meter in the known universe. Dr. Gladstone earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014, studying atmospheric neutrino oscillations in the IceCube DeepCore detector. She also studied the shadow that the Moon casts in cosmic ray muons in IceCube, which helps validate the absolute pointing and resolution of the detector. While earning her B.A. in Physics from Columbia, Gladstone worked on the MiniBooNE experiment at Fermilab, which investigated neutrino oscillations for potential anomalies.

Throughout her career, she has been active in recruiting, encouraging, and helping women, mostly through non-gendered outreach activities and mentoring. In college she was the president of the Columbia Society of Physics Students. In grad school she frequently gave public talks about her research, and helped organize brunches for fellow women students to chat informally with prospective incoming students. She blogged about travel to the South Pole during the construction of the IceCube experiment, and continued blogging as a contributing member of Quantum Diaries. As a postdoc she is a founding member of the CUORE outreach group, making materials for the outreach efforts of the roughly 130 member collaboration.

 

Nicole Quist
Nicole Quist
Oregon State University
quistn@oregonstate.edu

 

Nicole Quist is a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University (OSU) studying the optoelectronic properties of organic materials. She received her bachelor's degree in physics from Brigham Young University in 2006. Nicole was exposed to science and technology at a young age due to her attendance at a girls middle school that focused on math and science and being surrounded by computers because of her father's career. These experiences and the support of her teachers, particularly in middle school, encouraged her to pursue science later in life. The recognition of these opportunities has motivated Nicole to provide similar opportunities to other women and minorities by working in outreach, working on developing educational tools and by working with the woman in physics group at OSU. Specifically, as an undergraduate, Nicole was an officer of the local chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), a group that provided significant physics outreach. She was also a summer intern with national SPS, where she developed outreach tools. As a graduate student, she is an officer of the OSU Women in Physics group and worked extensively on planning and executing the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics held at OSU last year.

 

Sathya Guruswamy
Sathya Guruswamy
University of California Santa Barbara
sathya.guruswamy@ccs.ucsb.edu

 

Sathya Guruswamy earned her Ph.D in Theoretical Particle Physics from the University of Rochester, New York. She currently holds a joint appointment as a Lecturer at the College of Creative Studies and at the Department of Physics, at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she is involved in all aspects of undergraduate education which includes recruiting and mentoring students, besides teaching. She has taught a variety of courses at all undergraduate class-levels and has developed several new courses at the College of Creative Studies. She served as the Program Coordinator for the College of Creative Physics program for many years, providing leadership in recruiting, admissions and curricular matters. At the campus level, she has served on campus-wide Senate committees related to undergraduate education, including the Undergraduate Council, and the Committee on International Education. She has a deep interest in contributing to the recruitment and retention of talent in Physics, particularly under-represented groups, including women, under-represented minorities and first-generation college students.

 

Marta Dark McNeese
Marta Dark McNeese
Spelman College
mldark@spelman.edu

 

Marta Dark McNeese is an Associate Professor of Physics at Spelman College. She received the Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, working in Laser Biomedical Research Center. She completed a postdoctoral appointment at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Her research interests are in laser interactions with biological tissues and electro-optical effects in biomolecules. She has advised more than 30 undergraduate research students in experimental and computational biophysics research. She is a member of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers. She has also co-chaired the Chemical and Biological Physics section of the National Society of Black Physicists. She has a passion for educational outreach, having volunteered for AAAS STEM Talks, participating in a video conference visit with a Washington, DC high school physics class, and sharing the physics of light, color and sound with local Atlanta elementary school students.

 

Regina Jorgenson
Regina Jorgenson
Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
rjorgenson@mariamitchell.org

 

After completing her B.S. degree in Physics at the University of Puget Sound, Regina won a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship that supported her in a year-long adventure travelling around the world and investigating the effects of culture on science through the eyes of women astronomers. Regina asked, and investigated, why there are so few women in physics and astronomy and how culture can inform the quest to better the situation. Regina then spent three years as the Assistant Director of Astronomy of the Maria Mitchell Association in Nantucket, MA, until she left to pursue graduate studies in California. Regina earned her Ph.D. in Physics at UC San Diego, specializing in studies of galaxy formation and evolution. She continued this work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge and then won a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship that she took to the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai’i. There she used the largest optical telescopes in the world to obtain the first spectral images of normal galaxies in the early Universe. Regina spent 1.5 years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Willamette University in Oregon, before beginning her current position as the Director of Astronomy of the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association, where she pursues her three passions - research, mentoring undergraduate students, and public outreach and education - all with a focus on promoting increased access to STEM careers for traditionally underrepresented groups.

 

Mary Chessey
Mary Chessey
University of California Davis
mkchessey@ucdavis.edu

 

Mary Chessey is a doctoral candidate in the Physics Department at the University of California Davis completing physics education research focused on the experiences of upper division physics transfer students. Mary is concurrently a master's student in the School of Education specializing in educational assessment and measurement of physics graduate students.