Dr Katherine Aidala is an associate professor of physics and the chair of the physics department and engineering committee at Mount Holyoke College, a liberal arts college in western Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in applied physics and psychology at Yale University, and received her PhD in applied physics from Harvard University in 2006. She received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2010, was named a Cottrell Scholar from 2009, and received the NSF CAREER award in 2010. She teaches a seminar course on Gender in Science, and is the founder and host of SciTech Café, holding monthly events that bring scientists into an informal setting to discuss their work with the general public.
Dr. Kate Kirby is the Executive Officer at The American Physical Society. Dr. Kirby earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard/Radcliffe College and her PhD from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory she was appointed as Research Physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. From 1988 to 2001, she served as an Associate Director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, heading the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division. From 2001-2007, she served as Director of the Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard and Smithsonian. In July, 2009 she was appointed Executive Officer of the American Physical Society. Kate served in that capacity until February 2015, when the APS Board of Directors voted to select her as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APS, effective February 2, 2015.
Dr. Kirby’s research interests lie in theoretical atomic and molecular physics, particularly the calculation of atomic and molecular processes important in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. She is a Fellow of both APS and AAAS.
Dr. Desiré Whitmore began her career preparation as a community college student, where she fell in love with chemistry and physics. After transferring to UCLA and finishing her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, she went on to graduate school at UC Irvine to earn her master’s and doctorate degrees in chemical and material physics. Desiré is an accomplished scientist in ultrafast optical spectroscopy, attosecond spectroscopy and optical measurements of nanomaterials. She is currently a science curriculum developer for the Learning Design Group, where she is developing a digital science and engineering curriculum for middle school students nationwide.
As a student working full-time, she also conducted frequent exhibits, demonstrations and talks to K-12 students, parents and educators in Southern California. The eldest of 8 children, and the first person in her family to attain higher education, she serves as a role model for her siblings, community and others. She is and has always been dedicated to mentoring and educating youth, especially those that are underserved in the current education system. She is a founding member and the current mentorship chair of the Council for the Advancement of Black Engineers (CABE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of black engineering PhDs. Her current goal is to become a part of the California science education policy-making process, so that she can influence the decisions that the state makes concerning science and engineering education.
A California girl through and though, Desiré loves the outdoors and can often be found on some hiking trail or at the beach with her puppy, Stella. Currently located in Berkeley, CA, Desiré enjoys the plethora of culture and cuisine found in the Bay Area. She is interested in music (many genres, but mostly jazz and classic rock), cooking, bowling, sewing, softball, and both laser and automobile maintenance.
Renee Michelle Goertzen is the Education Programs Manager at the American Physical Society. As part of the Department of Education and Diversity, she works with the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), a project to improve the education of future physics teachers. The PhysTEC project has received over $13M toward its efforts and has more than doubled the number of physics teachers graduating from supported sites. The project also organizes an annual conference, which is the nation’s largest conference on physics teacher preparation. She is also the staff liaison for the APS Topical Group on Physics Education Research and helps organize the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics.
Goertzen earned a Ph.D. in Physics Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studied teaching assistants and their use of research-based curriculum. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Florida International University. Her research interests are professional development for physics teachers, graduate students, and faculty and developing community among physics learners and instructors, using methodologies such as case studies, video analysis, and interviews.
Dr. Jami Valentine earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from Florida A & M University and has a master’s degree in physics from Brown University. In 2006 Jami became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the Johns Hopkins University. At Hopkins she studied the spin properties of rare earth metals for applications in magneto–electronic materials and devices.
Dr. Valentine joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July 2006. She examines semiconductor patent applications including phase-change memory, nanoscale memory and spintronic devices. She became a primary examiner in 2012, and full time tele-commutes to her Washington DC area office from sunny Orlando FL.
In her spare time, she maintains a database of African American women with PhDs Physics and related fields at AAWIP.com. The goal of the website is to honor the women who paved the way, to inspire future physicists, and to connect with all people interested in promoting diversity in Physics and other STEM fields.
Mary Battershell Whalen has been teaching physics for over 20 years. She earned her BS in physics at Penn State and her MEd in Math, Science, and Technology Education from the Ohio State University. She started her teaching career with Teach For America in Arkansas. She taught Modeling Instruction in High School Physics summer courses for teachers for 7 years. She is active in the American Association of Physics Teachers and is an AP Physics reader. Currently she teaches physics and AP physics at Olentangy High School near Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Stiner-Jones is Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs and Assistant Professor of Practice in Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. As Assistant Dean her responsibilities include leadership of graduate affairs and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral trainees for the College of Engineering. She also oversees the strategic recruitment of graduate students with a focus on increasing diversity. In her Assistant Professor role she is responsible for teaching, pursuing extramural funding and participating in service for the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Dr. Stiner-Jones received her Bachelor’s and PhD. degrees from Wright State University in Dayton, OH and her MBA from Capital University. After completing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences, she went on to complete two postdocs, one in neuroimmunology and another in psychoneuroimmunology at The Ohio State University. Her work has been published in numerous scientific journals and presented both nationally and internationally. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Stiner-Jones accepted a faculty position in The Ohio State University College of Dentistry where she continued her research, while teaching dental students and served as Director of Minority Recruitment and DENTPATH, a post baccalaureate program to prepare educationally and economically disadvantaged students for matriculation to dental school. She joined the College of Engineering in 2012.
Dr. Haiying He is a Physics professor at Valparaiso University. She teaches both lower-division and upper-division physics courses. Her research interests are in the area of computational studies of nanoscale materials, surfaces, and interfaces for energy and human health related applications. She has a passion of mentoring undergraduate students in research and integrating research into higher-education.
Joan M. Herbers is Professor of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology and of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. Trained as an ecologist, she studied the inner workings of ant colonies for most of her academic life. A few years ago, she developed a second career concerned with gender equity in academia. She is Principal Investigator of Ohio State’s ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award titled Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State (CEOS) and is author of the recently-published Part-time on the Tenure track (John Wiley & Sons). Herbers has served as a department chair and a Dean and also is President Emerita of the Association for Women in Science.
Dr. Ruth Pachter is a member of the scientific and technical cadre of senior executives, appointed in 2001 as a senior scientist at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. She joined the Materials Directorate in 1991 from Stanford University, where she conducted research in the biophysics program. In 1994, she was appointed a physical scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, co-located at Wright Laboratory, and in 1997 became a principal physical scientist in AFRL. Dr. Pachter received her undergraduate degree in chemistry and physics from the Hebrew University, Israel, and her graduate education in theoretical chemistry from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and the University of South Africa. Dr. Pachter’s research interests are centered on computational materials science and engineering methods, with application to optical and electronic materials that address Air Force needs. Dr. Pachter is author and co-author of more than 150 refereed publications and book chapters, including invited articles. She presented more than 70 invited lectures, served on international journal editorial boards, conference program committees and advisory technical committees, was active in professional society communities, and was organizer or co-organizer of numerous national and international symposia and workshops.
Dr. Elaine N. Lalanne earned a BA in Physics from Wellesley College in 1994 and a PhD from the joint department of Applied Physics from New Jersey Institute of Technology/ Rutgers University-Newark in May 2003. Her current research as a Physicist with the US Navy encompasses underwater acoustics and sensors. Previously, she was a research scientist at UMBC investigating quantum cascade structures and lasers using femtosecond Mid-IR source. Dr. Lalanne has actively supported diversity in STEM by being a recruiter for the NSF-ERC Center for Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE). She has also supervised summer research activities of MIRTHE REU (undergraduate) and RET (high school physics teacher) students during her tenure at UMBC. She is a member of Optical Society of America (OSA), American Physical Society (APS) and National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP).
I was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. I got my undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics at Monterrey Tech (in Monterrey, Mexico) with minors in Biotechnology and Optical Engineering in December 2002. I got my doctorate degree in December 2010 from the University of Maryland. My thesis project, on the effect of membrane-binding peptides on the mechanical properties of biological membranes using optical imaging and laser tweezers, was on the intersection of Physics, Biology, and Optics. After graduating, I worked as a post-doc at Georgetown University for two years, continuing research on using optical techniques to study the mechanical properties of biological materials. After that I worked as Preceptor in Physics, which is a kind of teaching post-doc, at Harvard University. There I developed course material and worked closely with students taking the Introductory Physics course for pre-meds. I also developed new labs and mentored teaching assistants. I currently work at OSU, since January 2014. Here, I teach the Physics by Inquiry course, a lab-based course aimed at future K-12 teachers that also fulfills the general science requirements for many majors. I also work on outreach and education at the Center for Emergent Materials. I develop instructional materials for the courses I teach, participate in improvement efforts for other courses, and I also do research on education.
Dr. Laura Lopez is an assistant professor in the astronomy department at The Ohio State University. Laura earned her bachelors degree in physics from MIT in 2004, and she received her PhD in astronomy & astrophysics in 2011 from the University of California Santa Cruz. Subsequently, she was a Pappalardo Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics and NASA Einstein Fellow at MIT (2011-2014) and a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (2014-2015). Laura joined the faculty at OSU this Fall 2015.
Laura is active on the university and national level to address equity and inclusion in the sciences. In particular, she has served for a decade on the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy, the primary professional committee charged with improving racial diversity in the space sciences.