Iowa State University
APS Career Programs Intern
American Physical Society
This summer, a physicist who became an intellectual property attorney told me, “[Studying physics is] a major plus… People think you can do anything, and honestly, you probably can.” In fact, students who major in physics go on to become consultants, data scientists, lawyers, publishers, educators, entrepreneurs, policy analysts, medical physicists, professors, and more. To inform students and job seekers of the broad array of careers available to physicists while targeting underrepresented groups, I have developed a deck of playing cards titled “Across the Spectrum: Women & Gender Minorities in Physics Careers.” These playing cards, created in collaboration with the APS Marketing team, feature 26 women and gender minorities working across a spectrum of employment sectors. These cards will be made available to each student attending the 2020 APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiPs) and also offered by the APS store. In addition to creating these cards, I have updated and added to the list of physicist profiles on the APS website to broaden the variety of careers and identities represented there. This project has not only expanded my knowledge and understanding of physics careers, but has also provided me inspiration in pursuing my own career goals. I hope that each person who views the materials I have created will be able to find relatable role models while extending their awareness of possible careers for physicists.
After growing up in Bettendorf, Iowa, I began studying physics and computer science and minoring in astronomy and math at Iowa State University (ISU). I am now a fourth-year undergraduate, and I intend to earn my Ph.D. in astrophysics after graduating next spring. Later I plan to do research at a national lab or other research institute.
For the last three years, I have been involved in high energy astronomy research at ISU. We are currently working on developing a maximum likelihood method for examining extended gamma ray sources such as supernova remnants. In the past, I have participated in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where I worked on developing an adaptive binning method for finding transient sources in data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Last summer, I participated in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory where I worked on improving the methods for classifying infrared sources through machine learning techniques.
Outside of my research, I have played clarinet in the ISU Wind Ensemble, been involved in the Honors Student Board, and done outreach through our Physics and Astronomy Club. Additionally, I co-founded and became President of the ISU Society of Women in Physics and Astronomy, which helped host the 2018 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at ISU. Next year, I hope to revive ISU's SPS chapter. In my spare time, I also enjoy ballet, horseback riding, and playing with my dogs.