APS CUWiP at MSU
The Department of Physics & Astronomy at Michigan State University (MSU) is proud to be a host site for the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (APS CUWiP). This is a three-day regional conference for undergraduate physics majors. The 2019 conference will start Friday evening, January 18 through Sunday afternoon, January 20, 2019.
The MSU conference will bring together over 150 regional undergraduate women in physics and successful female physicists to focus on supporting women in physics and on their professional development. The meeting will provide ample opportunities for interacting with fellow physicists, including:
- Presentations by professional physicists on their cutting edge research and personal career paths
- Panels featuring career opportunities outside academia
- Workshops and panels offering guidance on how to get involved in summer research, the graduate school application process, transferring from a small college to large physics department, preparing for and applying for jobs in industry, best practices for mental wellbeing, and much more.
- An opportunity for undergraduate attendees to present their research in a poster session
- A tour of National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and the MSU Physics Department labs
There will also be a Pre-Conference Professional Development Workshop, details will be coming soon.
How much does it cost to attend?
Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference, including all lodging and meals. Lodging (for non-local students) and food will be covered by the conference; you do not need to pay for your hotel room or food at the conference. Financial assistance and fee waivers can be obtained on a need-by-need basis; email email@example.com for more information.
MSU is one of 12 regional sites hosting conferences simultaneously across the United States organized through the American Physical Society and its local organizing committees. MSU will host students from institutions in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and parts of Pennsylvania (West of State College).
About APS CUWiP
The goal of APS CUWiP is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas. Past participants have described their experiences attending CUWiP as an enlightening and empowering experience.
A typical program will include research talks by faculty, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, presentations and discussions about women in physics, laboratory tours, student research talks, a student poster session, and several meals during which presenters and students interact with each other.
In 2006, the University of Southern California hosted the first APS CUWiP. The grassroots effort grew quickly, and within just a few years there were six conferences being hosted simultaneously.
How to Apply
Applications will be available from September 3rd, 2018 until October 12th, 2018. In order to apply, head to the APS website: https://www.aps.org/programs/women/workshops/cuwip.cfm. When the application is available you will be asked to fill out a form asking for:
- Contact information
- Institution and Field of Study
- Preferred site to attend APS CUWiP and justification
- Question asking if you have requested travel funding from your department
- Applicant statement on objectives for attending APS CUWiP (100-200 words)
If you are accepted, you will be asked to fill out a registration survey. Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time registration fee of $45. If you cannot afford the registration fee and your department/college is unable to help, you may request a fee waiver to APS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org by submitting a statement attesting to your financial need and verifying that department or university funds are not available. Further details will be provided when you are invited to register for the conference. You must request a fee waiver at least two days in advance of registering (not applying)
We highly recommend applicants contact their department to ask for travel funding. If you have already asked your department and they are unable to provide you with funding, there will be limit travel funding available on a reimbursement basis. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Dr. Fabiola Gianotti
Fabiola Gianotti received a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milano in 1989. Since 1994 she has been a research physicist at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and since August 2013 an honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh. (show more...)
She is also a corresponding member of the Italian Academy of Sciences, foreign associate member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and of the French Academy of Sciences, honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy and Foreign Member of the Royal Society, London.
Dr Gianotti has worked on several CERN experiments, being involved in detector R&D and construction, software development and data analysis. From March 2009 to February 2013 she held the elected position of project leader (”Spokesperson”) of the ATLAS experiment. The ATLAS Collaboration consists of 3000 physicists from some 38 countries. On 4 July 2012 she presented the ATLAS results on the search for the Higgs boson in an historic seminar at CERN. This event marked the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS experiments.
Dr Gianotti is the author or co-author of more than 550 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She has given more than 40 invited plenary talks at the major international conferences in the field. She has been a member of several international committees, such as the Scientific Council of the CNRS (France), the Physics Advisory Committee of the Fermilab Laboratory (USA), the Council of the European Physical Society, the Scientific Council of the DESY Laboratory (Germany), the Scientific Advisory Committee of NIKHEF (Netherlands) and the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki- moon.
She received honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Uppsala, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, McGill University (Montreal), University of Oslo, University of Edinburgh, University of Roma Tor Vergata, University of Chicago and University of Naples.
Dr Gianotti was awarded the honour of “Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’ordine al merito della Repubblica” by the Italian President. She received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2013), the Enrico Fermi Prize of the Italian Physical Society (2013), the Medal of Honour of the Niels Bohr Institute (Copenhagen, 2013), and the Wilhelm Exner Medal (Vienna, 2017). She was included among the “Top 100 most inspirational women” by The Guardian newspaper (UK, 2011), ranked 5th in Time magazine’s Personality of the Year (USA, 2012), included among the “Top 100 most influential women” by Forbes magazine (USA, 2013 and 2017) and considered among the “Leading Global Thinkers of 2013” by Foreign Policy magazine (USA, 2013).
Diversity, Intersectionality, & Bias Panel
Dr. Angela Wilson
Angela Wilson is the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University. (show more...)
From 2016-2018, she was Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Chemistry, where she was responsible for a staff of 40, a $250M budget, and funding priorities in chemistry across the U.S. Prior to this, she was Associate Vice Provost for Faculty at the University of North Texas, Regents Professor, and Founder and Director of UNT’s Center for Advanced Scientific and Computing. She earned her B.S. in chemistry (minors in physics and mathematics) from Eastern Washington University and her Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Minnesota. Her postdoctoral fellowship was at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a Department of Energy laboratory.
Honors include the 2015 Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, the highest award dedicated to women in chemistry; Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science; National Associate of the National Academies; and 2018 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. She is Editor of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry.
She co-leads an international award program for women via the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), has been invited to write articles and give numerous presentations about success strategies for women in science (i.e., Nature Reviews Chemistry). She was keynote speaker at the 2017 National Diversity and Equity Workshop. Topics include success strategies for women, negotiation, navigating conflict, communication strategies, and non-traditional career pathways.
"I am a chemical physicist and I also enjoy time with my kids (12 and 9), playing and coaching soccer, Zumba, playing basketball, and spending time at the gym."
Elizabeth Hogan is a Manufacturing Integration Engineer currently working for First Solar, a photovoltaic manufacturing company, located in Perrysburg, OH. (show more...)
She received a BSc in Physics and German from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 where her undergraduate research focused on nuclear physics. She has worked at First Solar since graduation, first as a development technician running lab and manufacturing line experiments then as a manufacturing engineer maintaining tool sets and monitoring long- and short-term production line performance. While working, Elizabeth completed a MSc in Physics from the University of Toledo in 2015, with a concentration in the professional and scientific aspects of the photovoltaic industry. Both in undergrad and at First Solar she has participated in outreach programs focused on getting youth interested in STEM fields. Outside of work she is wife to a loving husband, mother to a feisty two year old, long-distant friend, book club member, Deutsch enthusiast, and Disney-phile.
"I am a physicist and I am a wife and mother, figuring life out as I go, just like everyone else. I hope to use what I have learned to make the world just a little bit better."
Tasha Summers received her BSc. in Physics from the University of Regina in Canada in 2005. Her first job was as an operator and accelerator physicist in training at the new Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon. (show more...)
In 2009 she moved to Long Island, NY, to work as an operator at the RHIC collider at Brookhaven National Lab. A few years later she transferred to the NSLS-II as a lead operator and user interface developer during construction and commissioning of the new lightsource. In 2016 she moved to Michigan to apply her experience operating and commissioning accelerators and expertise at developing operator interfaces to NSCL’s ReAccelerator and the FRIB facility. Recently she has been studying UX research and design and is excited for her team of developers to apply the techniques to operator interface design.
"I am an operator interface designer and I love music and travelling. My husband (who also works at FRIB) and I use concerts as an excuse to travel to other cities where we enjoy sampling the local food and drink. When not working or travelling we enjoy relaxing at home and binging on Game of Thrones or watching cat videos on YouTube."
How to Write Resumes & CV’s
Skills for Interviews
Pam Micallef has a Master of Arts degree and is a licensed Professional Counselor with over 30 years of business, industry and academic experience in recruiting and career counseling. (show more...)
She currently works for Oakland Community College, and has worked with local and national companies as well as groups and individuals from executive to clerical levels. Her expertise ranges from career exploration and educational planning to job search and networking strategies. Pam is sensitive to the individual backgrounds and needs of her clients, was recently awarded Oakland Community College’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion award in 2018 and was recognized as an Honor Roll Awardee by Birmingham Community House/Race Relations & Diversity Task Force. She has been an annual presenter for the American Association of University Women Back to School Conferences and her career transition workshops have been featured in the Oakland Press.
"I’m a counselor and my heart doesn't just belong to people - it belongs to animals, in particular abandoned dogs. We have rescued four so far, and in particular, my go to breed is German Shepherd's – and not just puppies."
Dr. Jaideep Taggart Singh
Jaideep Taggart Singh applies atomic, molecular, & optical physics techniques to answer fundamental questions in nuclear and particle physics. (show more...)
His group is presently involved in two long term research projects: the development of a single atom microscope for measuring low-yield nuclear reactions relevant for stellar nucleosynthesis and the search for time-reversal symmetry violation using pear-shaped nuclei in atoms and molecules. Jaideep’s teaching projects are to incorporate writing instruction into the senior physics advanced lab course and research-based methods into large lecture courses in order to increase student engagement and active learning. He is also active in outreach and is developing a planetarium show which acts as a virtual tour of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab.
"I am a physicist and I adore used books because they are gems."
Dr. Abigail Stevens
Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing Practices
Abigail Stevens is an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on accreting black holes and neutron stars, which are very compact and have super strong gravitational fields. (show more...)
She uses spectral-timing analysis to study rapid X-ray variability from the inner regions of these sources to learn how matter behaves in the strong-gravity regime. Abigail is also on the Steering Committee for STROBE-X (a proposed NASA Probe-class X-ray mission), an Affiliated Scientist with NICER (a soft X-ray telescope on the International Space Station), and is heavily involved in the python in astronomy and open science communities.
"I am an astronomer and traveler, intersectional feminist, sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction reader, and tea drinker."
Physics Slam Speakers
Dr. Danny Caballero
Danny Caballero is physics education researcher who studies how tools and science practices affect student learning in physics, and the conditions and environments that support this learning. (show more...)
He earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. Danny worked on opto-microfluidics experiments at the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned an M.S. in physics before shifting his research focus to physics education. He was the first physics education focused Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 2011, working on computational modeling instruction and practice.
Danny then moved to the University of Colorado Boulder as a postdoctoral researcher and helped transform upper-division physics courses. At MSU, he conducts research on how students learn physics through their use of tools such as mathematics and computing. His projects range from the fine-grained (e.g., how students understand particular elements of code) to the course-scale (e.g., how students learn to model systems in electromagnetism) to the very broad (e.g., how does computing affect learning across a degree program?).
"I am a physicist and I was the first in my family to attend college. I enjoy cooking, biking, and spending time with my three daughters."
Dr. Laura Chomiuk
Laura Chomiuk is an associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University, where she researches energetic stellar events like novae, supernovae, and black hole jets at a range of wavelengths, with a particular focus on radio observations. (show more...)
With these observations she can probe the physics of the ejection mechanisms in these explosions, to constrain the circumstellar environments of the exploding stars, and to test models of both the progenitor systems and of the explosions themselves. Laura is also the director of the MSU Observatory, through which she leads a myriad of public outreach efforts. She received her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and previously served as the Jansky Fellow, National Radio Astronomy Observatory Resident at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Michigan State University.
"I am an astronomer and I love my two pet goats. I care deeply about responsible stewardship of our wonderful natural resources here in Michigan."
Dr. Johannes Pollanen
Johannes Pollanen leads the Laboratory for Hybrid Quantum Systems (LHQS) at MSU and holds the Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics. (show more...)
His research group explores the fundamental physics and potential quantum information applications of quantum systems comprised of electrons confined to reduced dimensionality and superconducting circuit based quantum bits (qubits). Recently, his group and collaborators demonstrated a method for controlling the orientation of a class of 2d electronic liquid crystals known as the quantum Hall nematics. Before coming to MSU, Johannes was a postdoctoral scholar of physics at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) at Caltech. He received his PhD from Northwestern University.
"I am an experimental quantum physicist and I enjoy middle and long-distance running. In grad-school, I was really into the marathon distance but more recently I've been focused on shorter distance, mostly 5K and 10K races."
Dr. Tyce DeYoung
Tyce DeYoung is a particle astrophysicist who works with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a cubic-kilometer sized detector at the South Pole. (show more...)
IceCube uses neutrinos to probe the dynamics of astrophysical objects such as blazars, supermassive black holes in distant galaxies which launch kiloparsec-sized jets of relativistic particles into space. DeYoung also uses IceCube data to measure the properties of neutrinos, the least-well understood fundamental particles yet discovered. A graduate of Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin, DeYoung was a faculty member at Penn State University for eight years before coming to MSU. He is interested in the relationship of science and scientists to society, and participates in efforts to improve science teaching at the high school and undergraduate levels and to broaden participation in science.
"I am a physicist and a citizen — I believe that both scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking are crucial elements for building a society that provides peace, prosperity, and opportunity for everyone. Understanding and evaluating evidence is increasingly important for participation in a democratic society, and this is what science is all about. I hope that in the future more people of all backgrounds will choose scientific careers, but also that people in all walks of life will have more interest in science and more understanding of how science is really done."
Dr. Huey-Wen Lin
Huey-Wen Lin is a faculty in the Department Physics and Astronomy & Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. (show more...)
Her research uses high-performance supercomputers to calculate physical quantities at the quark and gluon level (that is, using quantum chromodynamics or QCD). These strong interactions are directly calculated from the Standard Model path integral, using a four-dimensional grid in Euclidean spacetime, a theoretical tool known as lattice gauge theory. She received NSF CAREER Award in 2017 for her research and an outreach project to get kids interested in . Bringing more students to physics and computational science is one of her goals at MSU. She has been a fervent supporter of women and minorities in physics, initiating the Women's Luncheon in her subfield, which now has become an annual event at the international conference.
"I am a computational physicist and a proud mom to two science-hungry young girls."
Dr. Artemis Spyrou
Artemis Spyrou received her PhD in experimental nuclear astrophysics from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2007 and has been at MSU ever since. (show more...)
Artemis initially joined as a postdoc, then Assistant Professor and now Associate Professor of Physics. Since 2015 she is also the Associate Director for Education and Outreach for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. Her research is in the field of Nuclear Astrophysics. As an experimentalist Artemis designs and performs experiments to study nuclear properties that drive astrophysical processes. She runs experiments and collaborate with scientists all over the world. As Associate Director Artemis oversees the education, outreach and diversity activities of the laboratory. This includes ensuring that the lab's students and postdocs receive proper mentoring and that the lab is a welcoming and inclusive workplace. Artemis enjoys participating in outreach activities like giving public talks and presenting physics demos at outreach events.
"I am a physicist and also a mother. Outside of the lab I spend almost all of my time with my two girls, 5 and 9, my husband and my dog. We like hiking, swimming, baking, reading books and watching movies."
PostersOn Sunday, January 20th, APS CUWiP at MSU will have an opportunity for students to showcase their research during a poster session! Though it is not mandatory, students are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to practice presenting their research. We welcome all students to make a poster despite how far along they are in their research projects; students are not expected to have major “results” or scientific discoveries. Please join us in this opportunity! If you would like to discuss your research at MSU's APS CUWiP, you will need to indicate that you will be presenting a poster when you register for the conference in November. Please note that there will be an opportunity to add a poster presentation later (in early December), should you be unsure when you register, and that you do not have to present a poster to be welcome at CUWiP. You will be asked to provide the title of your poster, the area of emphasis, and an abstract. Your title and abstract will be printed in the program so abstracts must be 300 words or less. All posters should be printed prior to the conference; posters should be 36” x 48” in size. We will be providing thumbtacks to hang your poster during the session. If you have any questions or concerns about the poster session, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you.
Note: All times are in the Eastern Time Zone
Conference Check-In Begins (through 6PM)
[Kellogg - North Lobby]
|12:00 - 4:00 PM||
(Optional) Professional Development Workshop
|3:00 - 5:00 PM|
|6:00 - 6:30 PM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|6:30 - 7:45 PM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|7:45 - 8:30 PM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|8:30 - 9:15 PM||
Meet & Greet / Networking Event
[Kellogg Break out rooms]
|8:30 - 9:00 AM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|9:00 - 9:50 AM|
|10:00 - 10:45 AM||
Panel: Diversity, Intersectionality, and Bias
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|10:45 - 11:15 PM||
|11:15 - 12:05 PM|
|12:15 - 1:45 PM||
Lunch with Graduate Students
|1:45 - 2:00 PM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|2:00 - 3:30 PM||
Plenary Broadcast: Fabiola Gianotti
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|3:30 - 4:00 PM||
|4:00 - 4:50 PM|
|4:50 - 5:15 PM||
Bus to Tours
|5:15 - 6:05 PM|
|6:15 - 6:30 PM||
Grand Canonical Ensemble Performs
|6:30 - 8:00 PM||
|8:00 - 9:15 PM||
Ice Cream Bar & Physics Slam
Bus to Kellogg
|8:30 - 9:00 AM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|9:00 - 9:45 AM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|9:55 - 10:45 PM|
|10:45 - 12:00 PM||
Coffee Break & Poster Session
|12:00 - 1:00 PM||
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|1:00 - 2:00 PM||
Box Lunch & Direct action to increase women in physics
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
|2:00 - 2:30 PM||
Closing Remarks & Poster Awards
[Kellogg Big Ten BC]
What to Do With a Physics Degree
Wondering what you can do with a degree in physics? What opportunities are available with only a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD? What does employment look like for each of the different sectors (academia, national lab, industry, etc.) and what range salaries can you expect? This talk is meant to supplement the career panel to give more general information about the options you have with a degree in physics and their impact. It will also you give a chance to ask questions about opportunities within different areas of physics and outside of physics, and how to market your physics degree to get those jobs.
Applying to Grad School & Fellowships
Sit down with professors who have been part of the graduate school application review process as they take you through tips for picking and applying for graduate school. These speakers also have experience with students applying for fellowships and will speak about the opportunities available for you to apply for before enrolling at a graduate school along with helpful hints for those applications. Graduate students will also be on hand to share their experience with these applications.
Applying to (and information about) REUs & Summer Research
Sit down with professors who run MSU’s REU programs! You’ll hear about what REU programs typically offer, along with ways to get involved in other research opportunities and programs. There will also be discussion of tips for your applications and things to keep in mind when choosing where/what to apply to. Graduate students will also be on hand to share their experience with these programs and the application process.
Discussion of LGBTQ+ in Physics
Are you an LGBTQ+ person in physics, or an ally looking to make a meaningful difference? Join us for a discussion with members of the LGBTQ+ community who are at varying career stages in physics. The exact course of the discussion will be driven by the participants, but talking points include sharing experiences as LGBTQ+ physicists, how the field has progressed, where it still needs to go, and what both LGBTQ+ people and allies can do.
Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing Practices
Mental Health can take on many forms and people who work in high stress environments are prone to experience mental health issues. Even worse, studies show that gender minorities experience mental health problems at significantly higher rates. These issues can surface in many forms, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, burnout, homesickness, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. This workshop provides an opportunity to discuss mental wellbeing as pertains to physicists and future researchers in general. The conversation will cover many questions and tips, such as what to do on a regular basis to maintain your mental health, and what actions or activities can help you when you’re in panic-mode. This workshop will be led by a trained psychologist and an astronomy postdoc who advocates for the mental wellbeing of early career researchers.
Impostor Syndrome - What is it and how to handle it
Despite having a good GPA, awards, and other tangible evidence of their abilities, many people experience the fear that they're not as intelligent or capable as other people "think" they are. This is called impostor syndrome and the feeling is especially prevalent in difficult fields, such as physics, and tends to affect minorities--though everyone is susceptible. Come learn about how to identify imposter syndrome and methods to use to try to minimize its effect.
Talking About and Navigating Race in Physics
Have you struggled to figure out how issues of race, ethnicity and equity play out in the context of physics education? This workshop is designed for folks that may feel novice in talking about race and ethnicity to attend, but welcome everyone who is interested in exploring this area as well. We will support participants to examine educational spaces through the lenses of race and ethnicity. Topics to be explored will be guided by participant input and may include, but are not limited to: identity, culture, privilege, microaggressions, implicit bias, and color-blind rhetoric. We will engage in group conversations, self-reflection, and practice responding to issues of race and ethnicity that commonly arise for students in physics.
Work-Life Balance & 2-Body Problem
There is life outside of school and work! Attaining work-life balance is a constant and very personal shuffle, and can be especially challenging if you aren’t the only person in your household. In physics, we jokingly call the issue of moving around with a significant other and/or household in tow the “2-body problem,” and it can be a very large and daunting process to navigate. This workshop combines two topics which may seem different on the surface, but both involve balancing your physics and non-physics life throughout your career. There are no “right answers” we can give, but there will be a panel of people versed with both issues who can offer their experience and advice.
Mentor/Mentee Relationship & Maximizing Your Research Experience
Research experience is an unofficial requirement for graduate school and a good way to develop skills for the job market. This workshop will provide advice for managing your relationship with your research mentor and getting the most out of your research experience. These skills can be applied in other contexts too, including jobs outside of research, since finding yourself a mentor is a good practice no matter what career you decide to go into!
Networking & LinkedIn
Networking is a social skill that can be a boost to any career, whether in academia or in industry. Conferences like this one provide opportunities to network face to face, and professional social media like LinkedIn allows connections to stay alive online. Learn what it means to network, advice for starting conversations, and how to maintain professional relationship throughout your career.
How to Write a Resume & CV 101
Looking at resume templates, figuring out which to choose and what information to include, can feel like an overwhelming task. This workshop will help participants understand resume writing and how to organize education, background and experiences into their own manageable marketing tool. It will also discuss the difference between resumes and CVs.
“Say What?” - Basic Skills for Interviewing
Whether at a job fair pitch, academic program/grad school interview, or job/internship interview, candidates can make the opportunity count if they understand important interviewing fundamentals. This workshop will provide concrete foundation and tasks which will help participants become more comfortable navigating the interview process.
Adapting to Large Universities (from community college and/or small colleges)
Tips on how to survive at a large physics research university at graduate school or transferring in undergrad when coming from a small college. Also discussion on how to transition to working in large study groups and dealing with larger class sizes that have to cater to a range of academic backgrounds.
APS's Professional Skills - Negotiations, Communication, and Leadership
“With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), APS has trained women in physics to host professional skills seminars for students and postdocs at APS-sponsored meetings and at universities and institutions. Professional Skills Development Seminars are highly interactive workshops where participants will learn and practice communication and negotiation skills.” The typical seminar is two hours, but we will try to condense the content without losing the main focus. The goal is to target “professional skills that women need to effectively perform research and thrive in physics, including how to (1) negotiate a graduate, postdoc, or professional position in academia, industry, or at a national lab, (2) interact positively on teams and with a mentor or advisor, (3) think tactically, (4) enhance personal presence, (5) develop alliances, and (6) achieve professional goals.” --Taken from APS Professional Development website
Python Programming for Physics Research
Computation is an integral part of all modern physics research, but it isn’t always taught in standard undergraduate coursework. This workshop will introduce the Python programming language and several modules that are useful for scientific computing both in the lab and for theory. Depending on attendance and background knowledge, each workshop may be split into “beginner” and “advanced” tracks. Students who have never programmed before are welcome to attend and will be given resources and materials for learning Python.
Sunday’s Lunch Presentation: Direct action to increase women in physics
The STEP UP 4 Women project is tackling the issue by designing research-based curriculum/classroom strategies for high school teachers to encourage women to study undergraduate physics. STEP UP 4 Women seeks to increase the number of women earning degrees in physics by dramatically increasing the number of women majoring in physics in college, closing the gap between the those that take physics in high school (~50%) and those that enter college intending to declare a physics major (~20%). Unlike other sciences, post-secondary participation in physics falls dramatically, with high school, in most cases, being the last time we can inform and recruit large numbers of women into the field. If half of high school physics teachers recruit one additional female student to a physics major, the incoming college gap will be closed. --Taken from APS STEP UP 4 Women webpage
Pre-Conference Professional Development WorkshopAPS CUWiP at Michigan State is proud to offer a Pre-Conference Professional Development Skills (PDS) Workshop on Friday, January 18th from 12-4 pm. It is free and open to all conference attendees. Register for this additional workshop as part of your CUWiP registration.
The American Physical Society has trained women in physics to host professional skills seminars for students at APS-sponsored meetings. The Michigan State CUWiP’s Pre-Conference PDS Workshop is a highly interactive, friendly forum where participants will learn and practice communication and negotiation skills.
The Professional Skills Development Workshop is designed to provide women physicists with professional training in effective negotiation and communication skills, as well as a special opportunity for networking. This workshop will be conducted by APS professional facilitators.
Registration for this workshop is required for a guaranteed a spot. Register as part of your general CUWiP registration. Please note that there will be time on Friday to attend one of the labs tours and the pre-conference workshop.
Participants in the pre-conference workshop should arrive at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center before 11:30 to check-in and drop off their luggage. Participants will then be shuttled to and from the workshop site.
Direct action to increase women in physics: How you can help change the physics communityWhile nearly half of the students taking physics in high school are women, only 20% of the students interested in physics majors in college are women. How can you help to change this pattern? Together with a team of high school physics teachers, physics education researchers have developed two high school physics class lessons and a guide for everyday actions that have been shown to increase the interest of high school women in physics careers. Join us to learn about this exciting program to help high school teachers encourage women to pursue physics careers and how you can help change the way high school students view their future in physics. Learn more at stepup4women.org.
Lodging and most conference facilities for the Mid-Michigan CUWiP will be at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. There are several ways to reach the Kellogg Center, which is located at 219 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824.
The Kellogg Center is located at 219 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 (if you have an older GPS, you may need to use the old address, 55 S. Harrison Rd).
Parking passes are available with advance notification. If you are coming by car, we ask that you try to carpool with other attendees from your home institution.
By Train or Bus
The Kellogg Center has a shuttle that services the Amtrak/Greyhound station. To schedule shuttle service, please call (517) 432-4000. Shuttle service must be arranged with 24 hours notice.
There are two airports from which you can reach the Kellogg Center without renting a car: Lansing and Detroit. We recommend using the Lansing Airport if at all feasible.
If the Lansing Airport is not a feasible destination, the Michigan Flyer bus service can get you from the Detroit Airport to East Lansing. This service must be booked in advance. When scheduling your departure on the Michigan Flyer, remember you should arrive at the Detroit Airport at least 2 hours before your flight's scheduled departure time. You must also know which terminal your flight is departing from.
When arriving in East Lansing on the Michigan Flyer, you will be dropped off at the Marriott (333 Albert St). A Kellogg Center shuttle is available to take you from this stop to the CUWiP conference center. To schedule shuttle service, please call (517) 432-4000. Shuttle service must be arranged with 24 hours notice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
About APS CUWiP
Application and Registration
It is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. If conferences are oversubscribed, priority will be given to applicants who:
- Are undergraduate physics or engineering physics majors
- Have never attended an APS CUWiP
- Are applying to attend the conference that is geographically closest to their expected location January 18-20, 2019
Please refer to the APS CUWiP map. If you do not apply to the site that you will be geographically closest to at the time of the conference, your application may be denied.
Cost and Funding
Travel and Hotel
- They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun.... And yes, it can in fact be used in the singular.
- Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.) Ze is pronounced like "zee" can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like "here" and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
- Just my name please! (Xena ate Xena's food because Xena was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.
- Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.) These are often used as offensive slurs.
Phone: 517-884-5531 (Kimberly Crosslan)
Biomedical and Physical Sciences
567 Wilson Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824
Meet MSU's Local Organizing Committee
Chairs & Faculty Advisor
Jessie Micallef is a third-year graduate student at Michigan State University (MSU) getting a dual PhD in Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. (show more...)
She works on the particle physics experiment IceCube under Dr. Tyce DeYoung studying neutrino oscillations. She is very excited to be planning her second CUWiP conference and attended one for the fifth time!
"I'm a physicist, and I'm also a filmmaker. I majored in physics and film in undergrad, because I loved doing both! I've worked on everything from short films, an HBO documentary, music videos, and silent films."
Claire Kopenhafer is a second-year graduate student at MSU pursuing a dual PhD in Astronomy and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. (show more...)
She uses supercomputers and simulations to study galaxy formation with Dr. Brian O'Shea. She is very excited that Michigan State is hosting CUWiP, which has been her dream since late undergrad.
"I'm a physicist, and I also study medieval sword fighting. I like training and sparring with my friends, but I also like playing video games at home with my cat."
Dr. Vashti Sawtelle
Dr. Vashti Sawtelle is an assistant professor at MSU. She is a physics education researcher who studies how learning environments support (or inhibit) students from diverse backgrounds in their learning physics. (show more...)
She works hard to support women in physics and help them find the career paths that suit them, and is excited to welcome CUWiP participants to MSU!
"I'm a physicist, and I'm also a runner, gardener, and mother. When I'm at home you will regularly find me working in my garden to grow delicious tomatoes and peas, or pushing a stroller as I train for the next 10k!"
Dr. Rachel Henderson
Dr. Rachel Henderson is a postdoctoral researcher at MSU, working in the Physics Education Research Lab (PERL). (show more...)
Her research focus is on developing formal structures to support transformed physics laboratories while developing assessment tools and practices for understanding student learning in these laboratory courses. She is excited to play a role in providing a fantastic opportunity for young female physicists.
"I'm a physicist, and I'm also a softball player. I played all 4 years in college and continue to try and play when given the opportunity. I have also had the pleasure to coach young female student-athletes within the community college environment."
Dr. Stephanie Lyons
Dr. Stephanie Lyons is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU. (show more...)
She is a nuclear experimentalist who investigates stellar reactions that create the various elements we have in the universe and how they contribute to stellar evolution. She is passionate about supporting women and minorities in physics and is thrilled to be helping organize CUWiP.
" I am a physicist, and I am also an avid baker. I enjoy trying new recipes I find online or through cooking shows like The Great British Bake-Off. (Mary Berry is just the best!!)"
Dr. Andrea Richard
Dr. Andrea Richard is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU. (show more...)
As a nuclear experimentalist, she studies nuclei of interest for basic nuclear science, nuclear astrophysics, and nuclear security. This is her first CUWiP conference and she is excited to bring physics research, support, and mentorship to young women and minorities in physics.
"I am a physicist, and I am also a book lover and language enthusiast. I enjoy reading various genres from the classics to modern literature, and like the challenge of learning new languages."
Dr. Mallory Smith
Dr. Mallory Smith is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. (show more...)
As an experimentalist, she studies nuclear astrophysics and nuclear structure. Her work focuses on understanding the behavior of neutron-rich nuclei. She is passionate about physics education and mentorship, and excited to be a part of this years CUWiP organizing committee. She attended her first CUWiP as an undergraduate and found it to be an informative and invaluable experience.
"I'm a physicist and I really like fire. Bonfires, flameworking, pyrotechnics are some of the most enjoyable moments, ever. But since it's usually hard to play with fire, I dabble in other areas. I am eclectic curiosity seeker who pursues adventures and new hobbies - too many to list!"
Graduate & Undergraduate Students
Nicholas "Nik” Breslin is a second-year graduate student at Michigan State University getting a PhD in Physics. (show more...)
He works in ultrafast condensed-matter physics studying under Dr. Chong-Yu Ruan studying ultrafast thermal and optical phase transitions. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation of physicists and is excited to be a part of this years CUWiP local organizing committee.
" I am a physicist, and a giant geek. I am mostly a homebody, but love going to conventions to share my love of video games, tabletop games, fantasy & sci-fi films, and anime. Although most days I just like to hang out at home with my wife and my cat."
Devyn Cantu is a fourth-year graduate student at MSU getting a PhD in Physics. (show more...)
She works on the astroparticle physics experiment IceCube under Dr. Tyce DeYoung studying high energy neutrinos that originate from outside of our galaxy. She loves to encourage women to chase whatever they are passionate about and is excited to be a part of the CUWiP organizing committee.
"I am a physicist, and I am also a pilot. Flying is my biggest passion in life, with or without a plane! I got my pilot's license in high school, I am working on obtaining my skydiving license, and I am in pursuit of my ultimate dream job of being an astronaut!"
April Garrity is an incoming first year graduate student from South Carolina and is pursuing her PhD in Physics at MSU. (show more...)
She is currently working with Dr. Hendrik Schatz in the testing and development of SECAR. Being a participant of CUWiP once before, she is looking forward to getting involved with the conference from the other side!
"I'm a physicist, and I'm also a musician! I play the guitar, cello, piano and love to sing; I actually almost majored in music! Naturally, I spend a lot of my free time writing music and playing covers of my favorite songs."
Caley Harris is a third-year physics graduate student at Michigan State University. (show more...)
She performs experimental nuclear astrophysics research at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and is interested in the origin of the elements. After attending CUWiP twice as an undergraduate student, she is very excited to play a part in hosting this year. She is passionate about encouraging more young women to become physicists!
"I'm a physicist, and I'm also a (mostly) self-taught artist. I enjoy taking on new projects that involve learning new skills, such as weaving, watercolor, screen printing, and graphic design. I also enjoy spending time with my two pets, Pico the guinea pig and Kubo the cat, and am an avid squirrel enthusiast and an amatuer gardener!"
Jessica Maldonado is a third-year graduate student at MSU pursuing a PhD in Astronomy. (show more...)
She uses radio telescopes to observe the aftermath of supernova explosions and then uses models to determine the original star system that existed before the explosion. As a third generation child of Mexican immigrants, diversity in physics has been at the forefront of her career and she is very passionate about offsetting the statistics. Having participated in a few CUWiPs on the west coast, she hopes to give back to the community and empower other young women physicists!
"I'm a physicist, and I love all things food, especially tacos. I like finding new places to eat, frequenting Starbucks and dancing. I also like watching English soccer, NFL, and recently NHL as the Las Vegas Golden Knights are my hometown heroes!"
Teresa Panurach is a non-traditional first-year graduate student at MSU pursuing her astronomy PhD under the guidance of Jay Strader and Laura Chomiuk. (show more...)
She is interested in characterizing the most compact objects in our galaxy, such as black holes and neutron stars. She is excited to be organizing CUWiP and being a resource to underrepresented minorities within the physics community.
"I am a physicist, and I am also a dog lover. My pug is my best friend. We do everything together including napping and hiking. I also enjoy cooking and playing video games!"
Terri Poxon-Pearson is a fifth-year physics graduate student at Michigan State University. (show more...)
She is a nuclear theorist who studies nuclear reactions that are important in stellar explosions and neutron stars. She attended CUWiP as an undergraduate and found it to be very empowering (and helped me get a great research opportunity!) She's very excited to help facilitate this awesome conference experience for more female physicist!
"I'm a physicist, and I also love spending time outside. I love to camp and hike and run (very slowly) outdoors. I have also been exploring Michigan on summer days on the back of my motorcycle! I might even try snowshoeing this winter!"
Brean Prefontaine is a second year graduate student at MSU getting a PhD in physics. (show more...)
She works in the Physics Education Research Lab (PERL) focusing on informal spaces and how people interact with physics outside of a classroom with her advisor Dr. Kathleen Hinko. She loves helping encourage anyone to be a part of the physics community and is excited to be working with all of the other organizers to make this conference happen.
"I am a physicist, and I am also a figure skating coach. I have been skating since I was seven years old and I now love coaching and sharing my passion with younger skaters. If I am not at school, I can usually be found at the rink!"
Daniel Puentes is a second-year graduate student at Michigan State University pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Physics. (show more...)
He works at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) with the Low Energy Beam and Ion Trap (LEBIT) Group under advisor Dr. Georg Bollen. The group focuses on performing high precision mass measurements of radioactive nuclei that are important for nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics theory. Daniel has enjoyed having the opportunity to help with the advertising subcommittee establish and reach out to a variety of different universities in the area about this impactful conference.
"I am a physicist, and I participate in activities to engage the general audience in science! One of the ways I do this is by regularly giving tours of the NSCL to different groups about what we do at this lab. Over the past years, I also have traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with the staffers of different congressional representatives and senators to advocate for continued support in science research as well."
Taryn Stefanski is a fourth year undergraduate student graduating in May 2019. (show more...)
She currently works with Professor Johannes Pollanen in the Laboratory for Hybrid Quantum Systems conducting research on superconducting circuit qubits. She is really excited to attend and help organize this year’s CUWiP after having attended her first last January.
"I’m a physicist, and I also love to express my creative side through painting, dance, and singing (mostly just for my friends before they tell me to be quiet). I also really love memes and One Direction."
Erin White is an incoming first year graduate student from Cincinnati at MSU pursuing her PhD in Physics. (show more...)
She is currently a part of Dr. Jaideep Singh's research group working on the EDM^3 project and the two photon project. Having participated in and enjoyed the experience of the CUWiP conference last year in Toledo, she is excited to be helping organize it this year.
"I'm a physicist, and I also love dogs a pathetic amount, enjoy hiking, going to concerts, and sarcasm. I also really like doing DIY projects with friends and making art in general."
Laura Wood is a second-year graduate student at MSU, doing physics education research (PER) with Dr. Vashti Sawtelle. (show more...)
She is most interested in PER because of the opportunities to expand the physics community to be more diverse and equitable. Having participated in CUWiP twice before, she's very excited to help others have just as great of an experience!
"I'm a physicist, and I also love music, even though I didn't care about it until eighth grade when I first heard and sang Hysteria by Muse on Guitar Hero. I sing, play saxophone, dabble in ukulele, and basically make Spotify playlists like it's my hobby. My favorite thing is finding a new musical obsession."
Abhilash is a Physics PhD Candidate here at MSU and has designed this website. (show more...)
When the APS CUWiP LOC at MSU approached me to build a website, I was excited to be able to put my abilities toward such a great cause. I'm glad to support the team here, if you see something broken feel free to send me an email nairabhi -at- msu.edu.
"I'm a physicist, and I also love telling stories of resilience and growth through my research. I really enjoy all things related to computers including web-development, data science, and have a fondness for technology that is broken or old."