Stereotype Threat, Imposter Syndrome, etc. Panel
10:00-11:00 am | Meier Hall Auditorium
Dr. José-Marie Griffiths is President of Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. She has previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, as the Dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chief Information Officer at the University of Michigan, Vice Chancellor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Vice President for King Research, Inc. She has a B.Sc. with honors in Physics, a Ph.D. in Information Science and a Post Doctorate in Computer Science and Statistics, all from University College London, London, England.
Dr. Griffiths has spent over 30 years in research, teaching, public service, corporate leadership and higher education administration. She has been awarded presidential appointments from two United States Presidents, including The National Science Board, the U.S. President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information. She has had appointments to multiple projects as lead or key personnel for over 28 United States federal agencies, departments and offices. Dr. Griffiths has carried out projects and/or advisory roles with over 20 major corporations on projects in science and technology, as well as seven major international organizations, including NATO and the United Nations. She is the recipient of over 20 significant awards in science, technology, teaching and the advancement of women in these fields, and has made presentations, done accreditation reviews and/or been a participant in projects in over 35 countries.
Ted Hodapp is the Director of Education and Diversity at APS. He directs the Bridge Program, a new NSF-funded effort by APS to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who receive doctoral degrees in physics. Before coming to the APS, he served as Program Director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of
Undergraduate Education, working with programs in curriculum development and implementation, teacher preparation, scholarships, and the National Science Digital Library. Prior to coming to the NSF, Ted was professor and chair of the Hamline University Physics Department in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dr. Barbara Billington has been in academia since her pre-K days. Although she never thought she would be a teacher as a child, she found her passion for education while killing countless millions of bacteria and yeast at the University of Chicago and working with scientists of all ages and levels of experience. After a detour in a fruit fly lab, she earned her life science teaching licensure and taught for seven years as a high school biology teacher in Minnesota. It was during this time that gender disparities in school science classrooms became evident. Subsequently, after a few years of supervising student teachers and organizing the Minnesota State Science Bowl competitions, she returned to graduate school to study gender equity in science education. Now as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development she currently teaches new and beginning science teachers and elementary teachers about science teaching... with a focus on student-centered, culturally relevant, gender-equitable, inquiry-based instruction with a critical feminist pedagogical lens. In addition to her teaching, Barbara is currently working with Twin Cities Public Television's SciGirls team on a grant to teach Gender-Equitable Teaching Strategies (GETS) with in-service teachers and school counselors.
4:30-5:30 pm | Meier Hall Auditorium
Lakeisha Walker has 13 years in the process engineering field. Originally in BWXT Y-12’s Enriched Uranium Operations and now as a Scientific Associate within the Neutron Scattering Sciences Directorate of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her knowledge includes technical understanding of mechanical equipment, motion
control and analysis software, and technical writing. Her most recent position also includes an aspect of customer service in scheduling, training, and hosting experimental users. She was nominated for “Outstanding Female in Research” in 2007 (ORNL). Her position as a member of the Neutron Imaging Team at the HFIR placed her in direct contact with users from the automotive industry as well as geological, archeological, and forensic science fields.
Within the last year she has transitioned to both the BioSANS and IMAGINE instruments which have introduced her to the world pharmaceutical and bio fuels research.
Mrs. Walker is involved in education outreach. She was an invited ORNL Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) participant 2008-2010, as well as, a mentor to multiple students (summer, spring, and fall) from the SULI and HERE programs. This resulted in an “Outstanding Mentor Award” in 2008 (ORNL). She has also
participated in recruiting trips, local elementary middle and high school outreach, as well as college panel discussions; all facilitated by ORNL.
Mrs. Walker is a wife of 16 years, mother of three, and a follower of Yeshua. Her hobbies are reading, jigsaw puzzles, crafting, and dancing.
Dr. Susan Coppersmith is the Robert E. Fassnacht and a Vilas Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has worked on a broad range of problems in the area of complex systems, and has made substantial contributions to the understanding of subjects including glasses, granular materials, the nonlinear dynamics of
magnetic flux lattices in type-II superconductors, and quantum computing.
Dr. Coppersmith has served as Chair of the UW-Madison physics department, as a member of the NORDITA advisory board, as a member of the Mathematical and Physical Science Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and as a Trustee at the Aspen Center for Physics. She has served as Chair of the Division of Condensed Matter Physics of the American Physical Society, as Chair of the Section on Physics of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Gordon Research Conferences, and as Chair of the External Advisory Board of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Coppersmith is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the
National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Hannah Jang-Condell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University
of Wyoming. She received her PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University in 2004, studying the role of radiative
transfer in planet-forming disks around young stars. Her research addresses questions about the origins of planetary
systems. She carried out postdoctoral work at the Carnegie Institution for Science, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight
Center, the University of Maryland, and the Space Telescope Science Institute before joining the faculty at the University
of Wyoming in 2011. Dr. Jang-Condell is a passionate advocate for women in STEM, having served on the
American Astronomical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy from 2006-2011, during which
time she founded the Women in Astronomy Blog (http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com).
Amanda Towry attended, and achieved her BS in Physics at, New Mexico State University as a Crimson Scholar.
Amanda was a professional physics and math tutor and taught undergraduate physics lab courses at NMSU-A for 3
years before attending graduate school. She completed graduate courses in space physics at Baylor University and at
the University of Texas at San Antonio before getting into the teaching field. Now, after realizing that teaching is her
super power, Amanda is completing her masters in physics education at University of Nebraska Kearney, with plans to
achieve an EdD. Amanda has completed all of this in spite of being a single mother who admits that she only ever got
interested in Physics as a career path because it was the only subject she struggled with and had to work judiciously
at to reach her high achievements. Amanda taught high school in Texas for 3 years before moving to South Dakota
with her 10 year old daughter who recently admitted she also MIGHT want to be a physicist one day (fingers crossed).
Amanda maintains membership in many professional physics and teaching organizations, has received multiple NASA REU grants for
summer research in previous years with multiple published articles and conference reads, and is a lifelong inductee of Sigma Pi Sigma,
the National Physics Honor Society.
Amanda’s favorite piece of advice to give to anyone interested in teaching as a career is “They often say that those who can’t do, teach;
well, I say that those who can’t teach WELL, do. Because you HAVE to be able to DO in order to TEACH.” In her spare time, Amanda
enjoys long and compelling mathematics/physics problems, intense anime marathons, and the occasional astronomy/physics documentary
and liquid nitrogen.
Grad Student/Post-Bachelor Panel
12:15-1:30 pm | EO Building
Elizabeth Boulton is in her fourth year of graduate student at Yale University. After her first
physics class in high school, she was hooked. She went on to be a physics major at Smith College
in Western Massachusetts. After college, she embarked on a journey to Germany, where she
completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship project in atomic physics. Upon returning to the US,
Elizabeth started a PhD program in physics. Her PhD thesis work focuses on two experiments
that both utilize two-phase xenon detectors.
One experiment is the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) Experiment, based at the Sanford Underground
Research Facility (SRUF) in Lead, SD. This is a dark matter direct detection experiment. Dark Matter
makes up ~27% of the Universe, but it only slightly interacts with normal matter. LUX uses a high-tech tank
filled with 300 kg of liquid xenon. When a particle (DM or other) enters the detector, light is produced from the
interaction with a xenon atom. The tank of xenon has PMTs (photomultiplier tubes) surrounding it that can detect
that small amount of light. By analyzing the resulting light signals, one can tell if the incoming particle is DM.
The other experiment that Elizabeth is involved with is the Compton-imaging Detector in Xenon (CoDeX). This
experiment utilizes the same type of detector to look for special nuclear material.
Meg Millhouse is currently a graduate student at Montana State University. She graduated from
Reed College in Portland, Oregon where she spent her senior year doing research for her thesis on
neutrino tomography. After having spent a summer at Montana State University doing solar physics,
she returned to pursue her doctorate. Her work now focuses on gravitational wave data analysis,
and she has spent the last few months analyzing data from the first observational run of advanced
LIGO— the recently upgraded ground-based interferometric gravitational wave detector.
Emily Dvorak, third year graduate student at SDSM&T working towards a PhD in particle physics.
Currently her research focuses on the IceCube Neutrino Experiment located at the South Pole,
where she is trying to study the charmed component of cosmic rays. Along with her research she
focuses on outreach for the IceCube experiment as well as the physics program at SDSM&T. Advice
for future female students: never turn down an opportunity!
Megan Stark currently serve as a LUX-Zeplin (LZ) Lab Technician for the physics department at
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD. I work on the cleanliness and
screening of materials for the LZ dark matter detector that will be housed at Sanford Underground
Research Facility in Lead, SD. I graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, MA in 2013 with a
bachelors degree in physics and am currently applying to graduate schools.