Eight physics students participate in the Mid-Atlantic Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

by Lauren Nowicki '14

Eight Gettysburg College Physics students participated in the Mid-Atlantic Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) January 17th – 19th. The conference was hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park, and NIST.

Students attended sessions on research opportunities, applying to graduate schools, and networking, as well as touring NIST and meeting prominent women in physics.

Invited speakers included Ellen Williams, Chief Science Officer at BP, Kate Kirby, Executive Officer of the American Physical Society, and Debra Fischer, Professor at Yale’s Department of Astronomy. The young women also got to meet two Nobel Laureates: William Phillips, who spoke to students at NIST, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji "for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light" in 1997 and John Mather who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 with George F. Smoot "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation."

Three of the students, Eva Hinkeldey ‘14, Lauren Nowicki ’14, and Alicia Palmisano ’14, gave poster presentations on their research in plasma physics, biomaterials, and nuclear physics, respectively. Rachel Wilkins ’17 won the Photo of the Day Contest for her photo (shown above) of all the Gettysburg College women, as well. Participants from Gettysburg College in the photo included: Top row: Eva Hinkeldey ’14, Alicia Palmisano ’14, Rachel Beiler ’17, Heather Garland ’17, Amanda Krehbiel ’17. Bottom row: Caitlin Hay ’14, Lauren Nowicki ’14, Rachel Wilkins ’17.

In addition to meeting other undergraduate women in physics, the women made connections with the National Society of Physics Students Organization and set up a Careers and Resume workshop to run at the local Gettysburg College SPS Chapter. All of the Gettysburg College students had a fantastic time at CUWiP and hope to have similar experiences in the future.