NOVA Women a Force at Physics Conference

The American Physical Society’s 2018 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), held at George Washington University’s D.C. campus last month, included a welcomed force; a dozen dedicated and excited NOVA female students. The 12 chosen NOVA applicants included students studying physics, engineering and other physical sciences.

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation and by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, CUWiP is held concurrently in 12 regional locations across the U.S. and Canada. The mission of the conference is to support undergraduate women in physics through convening a fully-funded professional conference experience, providing information about graduate school and professions in physics, and by encouraging the sharing of experiences, advice, and ideas among strong, notable women in the field.

The three-day event kicked off on Friday, January 12, with a visit to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and an evening dinner. Saturday afternoon’s national plenary session featured all regional conferences connected to hear Stanford University’s Patricia Burchat discuss her research work on dark matter and dark energy. Saturday and Sunday workshop sessions included topics of inclusion, life stories, struggles and successes of women working in education, academia and the industry. Before the conference wrap-up on Sunday, a relevant workshop for NOVA attendees addressed transferring from community college to four-year universities.

NOVA student attendees included: Alejandra Caceres, Amel Omar, Sumayyah Ishaq, Ashley Estrada, Ashlie Polanco Medina, Shannon O’Connor, Ruqaia Al-Kohlany, Varuna Chopra, Meron Tariku, Hannah Ferrante, Niandra Sinclair, and Violetta Rostobaya. NOVA Physics Professors Francesca Viale from the Loudoun Campus and Tatiana Stantcheva from the Alexandria Campus joined the students at the conference.

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