APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics
January 16-18, 2015
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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We are pleased to confirm the participation of the following speakers, panelists, and workshop leaders:

Dr. Crystal Bailey is the Careers Program Manager at the American Physical Society (APS) in College Park, MD. She works on several projects that are geared towards marketing physics and physics career information to high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and physics professionals. Some of her principal projects include the physics InSight slideshow, Future of Physics Days Events for undergraduates at the APS annual meetings, the APS Job Board and Job Fair, APS Webinars, and maintaining resources on the APS Careers Website. She also devotes significant amounts of time to planning career workshops and other professional development related activities to support early-career physicists and helps manage the activities of the APS Committee on Careers and Professional Development. Before coming to the APS, Dr. Bailey did research in nuclear physics at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington in the area of few-body systems. In 2008, she received the Konopinski Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching from the IU Physics Department. She graduated with her Ph.D. from IU in 2009.

Dr. Andrew Baker is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. Since earning his Ph.D. at Caltech, he has used radio, millimeter, and submillimeter-wavelength observations of interstellar matter to probe how galaxy evolution unfolds in the nearby and distant universe. He also serves as director of the Rutgers physics and astronomy REU program.

Dr. Suzanne White Brahmia is the director of the Physics Gateway program and the associate director of the Math and Science Learning Center at Rutgers. Brahmia's background includes a stint as a Peace Corps physics teacher in Gabon and research in solid state physics as a graduate student at Cornell, but her primary interest is researching and practicing the best methods of teaching physics. At Rutgers, she helps run the Math and Science Learning Center and co-founded the Learning Assistant Program. She is a national leader in the study of mathematization in the introductory physics courses. Through her directorship of the university's Extended Analytical Physics course, offered every year to ~150 underprepared engineering physics students, she has developed and implemented methods that increase success for students underrepresented in physics. She served on the Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education of the National Research Council (NRC) and represents New Jersey in the NRC's development and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Shelley Ziemski Brankner is an Application Engineer for low-light cameras at Hamamatsu Corporation, where she helps research scientists understand the workings and benefits of their scientific imaging systems. She received her B.S. from Rutgers College in 1981 and has been working in the Optics and Photonics industry for a variety of optical product companies since that time. During her career, she has been involved with the fabrication and design of non-linear crystals, polarization optics, grating spectrometers, multi-element focusing objectives, F-theta lenses, beam expanders, motorized zoom beam expanders, anamorphic prism pairs, beam steering optics, and currently CCD and CMOS scientific cameras. She is a long-time supporter of the Rutgers Physics department and has served on the Advisory board to the Dean of Rutgers College in 2005-2006. She received her M.S. in Management from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2006 and maintains a Project Management Professional Certification.

Danielle Buggé is a Ph.D student in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University pursuing a degree in Physics Education. At the same time, she continues to work as a high school physics teacher in central New Jersey, teaching Physics, AP Physics, and Environmental Science. Danielle received her bachelor's degree in Physics and Studio Art from Wesleyan University and her Masters in Education, with Physics Teacher Certification, from Rutgers University.

Caitlin Carpenter is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. She received her bachelor's degree from Brown University, where she coordinated the Physics division of the Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE) community.

Dr. Premala "Premi" Chandra is a Professor of Physics at Rutgers University, where she does "blue sky" theoretical research on problems inspired by experimental puzzles observed in materials. In her applied work, she has designed and patented a novel computer memory suitable for high-density information storage and is working on artificial nanostructures to harvest solar energy. Professor Chandra is keenly interested in encouraging women in physics. At Rutgers, she runs regular women's lunches for physics faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students; she has also served on the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics for the APS. Her scientific research is funded by the National Science Foundation and her work has appeared in high-profile journals including Nature and Physical Review Letters. Professor Chandra earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and was a Visiting Fellow at Trinity College (Cambridge University, UK) in Spring 2014. When not doing physics, she tries to keep in good shape and enjoys reading, hiking, concerts, and plays. She lives in Highland Park, New Jersey with her (physicist) husband, and their two sons, now grown up, live nearby.

Dr. Jolie Cizewski is a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, did postdoctoral work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and was previously on the faculty at Yale University. Her research focus is in experimental nuclear physics, where she probes the properties of atomic nuclei far from stability. She currently directs the Center for Radioactive Ion Beam Studies for Stewardship Science, supported by the Department of Energy/NNSA. For 15 years she served Rutgers in various leadership positions in graduate education, including Acting Dean of the Graduate School with responsibility for all Ph.D. degrees on the New Brunswick campus. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and AAAS. She has mentored about 15 graduate students and about 15 postdoctoral scholars. Professor Cizewski has been profiled on Physics Central and was the APS November 2012 Woman Physicist of the Month.

Dr. Kimberly Cook-Chennault is an is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and Stanford University, respectively, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she worked at Ford Motor Company, Visteon, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. As a product engineer with Ford and Visteon, she designed automotive components and established design criteria for impending product platforms. While at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, she created dynamic and structural finite element numerical models of containers used to store and transport explosive materials, and validated the predictions of these models with experiments. Dr. Cook-Chennault's work in hybrid energy design is interdisciplinary and allows for the effective use of her industrial, corporate, and research experiences. She serves as director of the Rutgers green energy technology REU program.

Dr. Kelle Cruz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hunter College, as well as a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the study of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs using optical and infrared spectroscopy. She is the founder of the AstroBetter website, which provides "Tips and Tricks for Professional Astronomers" and hosts a variety of community-supported wiki pages.

Dr. Giorgio DiMauro is the Director of the Center for Global Education at Rutgers University, part of the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers), and an affiliated faculty member in the Program of Russian and Eastern European Languages and Literatures. He oversees all Rutgers-approved programs abroad and works to integrate international opportunities into the curriculum across Rutgers's 32 schools and colleges.

Dr. Linda Dake is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Physics Department at Utica College. She received her M.S degree in Chemistry from Washington State University, her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maine at Orono, did postdoctoral work at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO, and was previously on the faculty at Susquehanna University in central PA. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Dake worked as a Research Scientist at Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, WA. Dr. Dake's research area is thin films, materials, and surface science, where she is currently examining the protective nature of self-assembled monolayers on silver mirrors.

Janna Ferguson is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Rutgers University and has been a Fellowship Advisor at GradFund, an office of the Graduate School-New Brunswick that helps graduate students find and apply for external funding, since 2011. Her research is focused on the international political economy of migrant remittances.

Lisa Fishenfeld is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. She studies theoretical astrophysics with Prof. Chuck Keeton, focusing on the detailed modelling of gravitationally lensed images of astronomical objects. Before coming to Rutgers, she earned her undergraduate degree from Columbia University.

Julia Gonski is a Ph.D. student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the high energy experimental group at Harvard. A New Jersey native, she graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University in 2014. While at Rutgers, Julia worked on Large Hadron Collider physics with Prof. Eva Halkiadakis, writing a senior thesis on the search for stealth supersymmetry at CMS. Currently, her work involves the study of micromega chambers as an upgrade to the ATLAS muon detector.

Dr. Gabriela González is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University (LSU), where there is a large group of people working on the detection of gravitational waves, both in theory and experiment. LSU is only 30 miles away from one of the two gravitational wave detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project. González earned her Ph.D. from Syracuse University, has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) since 1997, and in 2011 was elected as its spokesperson. Her group is involved with the characterization of the noise in the LIGO detectors, with the calibration of the detectors, and with the analysis of the data. In analyzing the data, she searches for the waves produced by binary systems of compact stars in the last orbits of their cosmic dance, before they coalesce into single black holes.

Emily Grace is a Ph.D. student at Princeton University and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. She received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 2010, with a double major in Physics and Mathematics. She currently works on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), a telescope located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. ACT aims to characterize the small-scale temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background to study the history and evolution of the universe. Emily works to develop the detector technologies and data analysis algorithms necessary for these studies.

Shannon Greco is the Science Education Program Leader at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. She is an education outreach professional with over ten years' experience developing, implementing, and evaluating successful hands-on science and engineering education programs for informal science, K-12 students and teachers, and public awareness. Ms. Greco holds a Master of Science in Science Education degree, and her work focuses on increasing participation of women and minorities in STEM, program evaluation, and inquiry and project-based learning. She also has two boys under 3 and has not slept in on a weekend in a very long time.

Dr. Eva Halkiadakis is an Associate Professor of Physics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is an experimental particle physicist and is a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. Her recent research focuses on searching for new physics at the LHC, with a special emphasis on searches for new physics in "multi-jet" signatures. Professor Halkiadakis is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2008, the Fermilab LHC Physics Center Fellowship in 2011 and 2012, and the Rutgers Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence in 2012. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2001 and was subsequently a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Rochester before joining the Rutgers faculty in 2006.

Alice Huang is an undergraduate junior physics major at Rutgers University. She is a recipient of the Noemie B. Koller department scholarship and completed a medical physics REU at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center this past summer. She is currently working under Professor Ronald Gilman on the "Proton Radius Puzzle."

Dr. Kathryn Johnston earned her Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Cruz, and following an initial appointment at Wesleyan University is now a faculty member in the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University, where she serves as chair. Johnston investigates the formation of galaxies by looking at our own Milky Way, together with nearby galaxies in the Local Group, using techniques that include numerical simulations of the Milky Way's cannibalistic behavior towards its smaller neighbors.

Katsumi Kishida is an international student adviser at the Center for Global Services at Rutgers University. Growing up in both Japan and the United States, she knew early on that she wanted to work with the international community as a career. She has been passionately helping international students since her undergraduate days in Japan. At Rutgers University, she works mostly with international graduate students in the STEM field. Her primary job responsibility is to help her students understand and follow the rules and regulations pertaining to their immigration status as well as promoting cross-cultural experiences in and around campus.

Samantha Lee is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University, where she also serves as a fellowship adviser helping students effectively integrate graduate studies and research to write competitive grant, fellowship, and scholarship applications. Her research focuses on evaluating Trichoderma volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as potential biofertilizer, and discovering possible mechanisms behind plant growth promotion.

Christopher Lytle is the Assistant Director of the Center for Global Education at Rutgers University, part of the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers). Christopher obtained his B.S. in Business and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Boston. He has been at Rutgers for 6.5 years and manages the daily operations of the Center for Global Education unit.

Dr. Luz J. Martínez-Miranda received her B.S. and M.S. in physics from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Río Piedras and her Ph.D. from MIT. She received her B.Mus. in music performance from the Conservatorio de Música of Puerto Rico. She did her postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. She is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park. Prof. Martínez-Miranda's research involves the study of the interaction, both local and long-range, of ordered (smectic) liquid crystals with different nanoparticles. She has been a visiting professor at the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University, at the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal, CNRS, in France, and at the University of Chile in Santiago. At present, Dr. Martínez-Miranda is the president of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. She has served in the CSWP and the COM of the APS and on the board for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). She is a fellow of the AAAS and the APS, and the winner of the 2014 Edward A. Bouchet Prize of the APS for her research in liquid crystals.

Dr. Rhiannon Meharchand is a Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. She received her B.S. degree from Florida State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and was a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. An experimental nuclear physicist by training, her research has involved studying the structure of light unstable isotopes and measuring fission properties of actinides. She co-edited the book Blazing the Trail: Essays by Leading Women in Science (Amazon CreateSpace, 2013) and was jointly named APS Woman Physicist of the Month for October/November 2013.

Urmi Otiv is the Director of the Center for Global Services at Rutgers University, whose mission is to coordinate cultural programs and immigration-related services for more than 5,000 international students, scholars, faculty, and their dependents, and serve the broader campus community in an administrative and advisory capacity. She has previously taught courses in philosophy, Hinduism, and logic and critical thinking at University of Mumbai in India and at Oklahoma State University. She earned a master's degree in philosophy and psychology from University of Mumbai and a second master's degree in education from Rutgers University.

Dr. Shruti Panwalkar completed her Ph.D. in high energy physics in May 2014 at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. For her thesis, she analyzed proton-proton collisons data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) to search for signs of the Extended Higgs Sector. She currently works as a data scientist at American Express, where she gets to work with big data tools to help build models to target prospective customers online.

Dr. Amita Raval is a Product Manager for premium databases at Knovel, a subsidiary of the STM publishing giant Elsevier. Knovel is a cloud-based application that integrates technical information with analytical and search tools to drive innovation and to deliver design solutions for engineers. By training, Dr. Raval is an experimental particle physicist, having gained her experience in two large collaborations, CMS at the LHC at CERN and ZEUS at HERA at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg. Until recently, she was an Associate Research Scientist in the Physics Department at Princeton University, where she conducted research on the CMS experiment and taught physics to students of engineering, mathematics, and the physical and life sciences. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2005 from the Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Hamburg in Germany and was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University. Prior to that, Dr. Raval was a lecturer in physics at the University of South Carolina. She has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a M.Sc. in neutrino physics. Her scientific interests have included QCD, electroweak, and Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) physics; links to articles she has written about what it's like to work at CERN can be found here and here.

Dr. Meral Reyhan is a medical physics resident at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, where she is receiving training as a radiation oncology physicist. Before joining the Department of Radiation Oncology at CINJ, she graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Ph.D. in biomedical physics. At UCLA, her research focused on developing novel magnetic resonance imaging pulse sequences and image processing algorithms to quantify left ventricular twist and torsion. Her research was awarded fellowships from the American Heart Association and the University of California.

Kiersten Ruisard is a graduate student in physics at the University of Maryland, where she does research in beam physics within the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP). She is a 2012 graduate of Rutgers and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Dr. Sevil Salur is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. Since earning her Ph.D. at Yale University, she has studied experimental high-energy nuclear physics and investigated the properties of strongly interacting, very hot and dense matter produced in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, NY. She is a member of the CMS Collaboration at the LHC and the STAR Collaboration at RHIC. The CMS experiment at the LHC is a general multi-purpose detector designed to explore physics at the large (TeV) energy scales. The STAR experiment is one of the two large-scale experiments at RHIC and is designed to measure the particles that are produced in the collisions of protons and gold ions. In the course of her experimental work, Salur explores how matter originally formed.

Dr. Elina Simon has been a research and development physicist at Alcatel-Lucent since 2001. She is currently working on optical networks in the WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) Optics Product Division. She was formerly at Bell Labs working on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology. She earned her Ph.D. in Physics from the Instituto Balseiro in Bariloche, Argentina.

Sara Simon is a Ph.D. student in experimental cosmology at Princeton University and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011 with degrees in physics and astronomy and received the Outstanding Physics Graduate award. Sara currently works on the Atacama B-mode Search, a high-altitude telescope located in the Atacama Desert in Chile that is searching for the echoes of inflation from the early universe, and the development and testing of future detector technologies for targeted use in the upcoming Advanced ACTPol experiment.

Maryam Taherinejad is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. She studies theoretical condensed matter physics with Prof. David Vanderbilt, focusing on topological phases of matter and electronic structure. She is interested in pursuing a career in physics and materials science research. Before coming to Rutgers, she earned her bachelor's degree in physics at Shiraz University in Iran.

Brittany Taylor is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, where she is developing and characterizing stem-cell-based therapeutic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. At Rutgers, she is an NSF Graduate STEM Fellow for K-12 Education, and has served as a member of the Council of Black Graduates and a graduate mentor for the Douglass Project, which focuses on advancing women in STEM fields. She received her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia in 2010.

Kathryne Sparks Woodle received her B.A. in Physics from Grinnell College in 2007 and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Physics at Penn State University. She primarily works on detecting very high-energy emission from gamma-ray bursts with the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory. HAWC is an extensive air shower detector built at 4100m in Sierra Negra, Mexico. Woodle was the President of Penn State Physics and Astronomy for Women and has participated in numerous educational outreach activities. She was the United States Student Delegate to the 5th International Conference for Women in Physics last August and chaired the local organizing committee for the 2014 APS CUWiP at Penn State.

Anna Wright is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. She received her B.S. in Astrophysics from Rice University in 2014, completing a senior thesis on measuring magnetic fields in protostellar jets. Currently, she is studying delayed star formation in dwarf galaxies with Prof. Alyson Brooks.

Meng Ye is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers. She studies theoretical and computational condensed matter physics with Prof. David Vanderbilt, and her current research is on the study of magnetoelectric effect and multiferroics. She received her bachelor's degree in physics at University of Science and Technology of China.


The 2015 CUWiP meetings are supported in part by the National Science Foundation (PHY-1346627) and by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DE-SC0011076). Further details are available on the APS conference website.