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“I can say without hesitation that it has changed my life. The sort of career that I want to have is much closer than a hazy dream now. It feels real, like something I can reach out and touch if I work hard enough at it.”


 

networkingThe APS CUWiP at Oregon State University was one of nine Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics that took place simultaneously across the United States on 15-17 January, 2016. At the OSU CUWiP, 140 undergraduate women physicists from the Northwest gathered at LaSells Stewart Center to present their research, to tour science facilities, participate in workshops, and to network with women professionals and with their peers. They spent an evening over dinner asking professionals from industry, academia and national labs about the many different careers they might pursue.

The weekend began with tours of science facilities in Corvallis, including Hewlett Packard’s analytical labs, OSU’s Physics labs, Electron Microscope facility, TRIGA reactor, Robotics Lab and the Hinsdale Wave Research Lab.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 2.36.12 PMParticipants heard an inspiring description of What Access Really Means by Mary James, Dean of Diversity at Reed College. Together with 1400 peers from the other CUWiP sites across the country, they heard Ginger Kerrick describe how her physics degree led her to the position of Capsule Commander at NASA. Natalie Roe, Director of Physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, described how research from the sub-atomic scale to the astronomical scale proceeds at her National Lab. Laura King, from Hewlett Packard, led them through an example of a STEM-in-the-private-sector career path from a startup company to large-scale industry. The questions from the participants kept coming, and one student summed up her experience afterwards, “I can say without hesitation that it has changed my life. The sort of career that I want to have is much closer than a hazy dream now. It feels real, like something I can reach out and touch if I work hard enough at it.”

discussionThe students engaged in selected workshops that fit their interests. They chose among workshops to help them chart a path through graduate school, to craft a compelling resume, and to present their successes confidently. Some learned about interactive teaching techniques and others explored the transition from community college to a four-year college and how to take advantage of the opportunities to prepare for the next step in a career. Another student said: “There were so many great takeaways from this conference and I am extremely grateful and appreciative …”

posterThe poster session / resource fair was a great success. The students brought their research to Corvallis and spent an afternoon presenting it to their peers and to the many volunteers from regional colleges, universities and companies who came to support the event. LaSells was abuzz with science! There was plenty of time for discussion and networking. Over lunch, the students discussed the concerns of being women in science and took the microphone to address their peers and report their conversations. A science trivia night and a “BAH-fest” added some science fun to the proceedings and more time to make new friends. The students left with the confidence that they will be successful in a field still dominated by men, some new skills and knowledge, and a network of women peers.

CUWiP was organized locally by the Oregon State University Physics Department under the leadership of co-chairs Janet Tate and Allison Gicking and a team of twelve dedicated graduate students. National funding for the event came from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy Office of Science through a grant to the American Physical Society. Major local funding came from ONAMI, the OSU Research Office, and the OSU Division of Student Affairs. Many other OSU offices contributed generously as did local companies and individuals. A list of the sponsors is at http://physics.oregonstate.edu/cuwip/sponsors/

College of Science scholarships and fellowships are available for students in the College of Science at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Undergraduates

Only one application is needed to be considered for over 250 scholarships and awards. Last year, the College awarded more than $700,000 in scholarships.

Graduate students

Graduate students may apply for scholarships administered by the Graduate School. Newly admitted students are automatically considered for fellowships administered by the College of Science, including Wei Family Private Foundation Scholarships.

 

Learn more about these exciting opportunities

 

UNDERGRADUATESGRADUATES

 


Congratulations to physics majors Ryan Bailey-Crandell and Jeremy Meinke who were chosen to receive Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) Awards for Winter/Spring 2016. The awards are sponsored by the OSU Research Office. A total of $18,000 was awarded to 15 undergraduate students whose proposals for independent research were clear and compelling.

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Ryan Bailey-Crandell (pictured on left) will work with Prof. Ethan Minot (Physics) on a project titled “Graphene Biosensors made from h-BN Heterostructures”.

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Jeremy Meinke (pictured on right) will work with Prof. Weihong Qiu, (Physics) on a project titled “Molecular Mechanism of the Processive Movement and Directionality of FRA1”

IMG_2954Bethany Matthews and James Haggerty, graduate students in Janet Tate’s research group, attended the 2015 Fall MRS Meeting in Boston, MA.  Each submitted a poster on their work with the DOE-funded EFRC, Center for Next Generation Materials by Design: Incorporating Metastability.  Both posters were nominated for “best poster” in their respective sessions – congratulations!  Bethany is pictured with her poster, “Growth and Characterization of the Metastable Heterogeneous Alloys (Sn1-xCax)S and (Sn1-xCax)Se“.  James’s poster was entitled, “Sb2Ox polymorphic thin films using pulsed laser deposition“.

Jeremiah Hauth is the recipient of the 2015 Hetherington Scholarship in the Department of Physics.

 

The Hetherington Scholarship was established by Ann and Bill Hetherington.  Bill is an emeritus faculty member in physics who realized while teaching that some of his students were working many hours to support themselves while also studying and doing research.  This scholarship  is intended to reduce the need for highly talented students to work so that they can focus on scholarship.

Brian Johnson (Ostroverkhova group) has received the 2015 Physics Graduate Research Award in recognition of his work on organic semiconductors.

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Brian Johnson with optical setup.

He describes his work as follows.

I have focused on studying the charge photogeneration, carrier transport, and carrier trapping mechanisms in small molecule organic semiconductor materials, specifically, functionalized derivatives of pentacene and anthradithiophene. I developed a computational model which simulates experimental data and fits those simulations to measured data to extract quantitative material parameters. My work helps to answer one of the most important open questions in organic semiconductor material physics: what, exactly, is the process by which charge photogeneration happens? Classic models have been shown to be incomplete, and my work fits into gaps in the current research towards this topic, as much more work has been done on polymers than in small molecules, and investigations of nanosecond time scale carrier dynamics are rare. This work is important to the development of new materials for organic LEDs, solar cells, and transistors.

Congratulations to Lee Aspitarte,  2015 recipient of the Ben and Elaine Whiteley Materials Research Fellowship
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Lee Aspitarte is a fourth year PhD student working with Prof. Ethan Minot, and recipient of this year’s Ben and Elaine Whiteley Materials Research Fellowship. He is studying photocurrent generation in photodiodes fabricated from single carbon nanotubes (CNTs). CNTs are exciting candidates for next generation solar technology because they undergo Multiple Electron-hole pair Generation (MEG), where carriers excited by a photon with an energy of more than twice the band gap can decay by exciting additional electron-hole pairs. By utilizing MEG, CNT based solar technology could exceed the theoretical limit on solar power conversion efficiency for silicon based technology, 29%. The research funded by this fellowship will study MEG in CNT photodiodes by manipulating the dielectric environment surrounding the CNT, affecting the electron-electron scattering processes that lead to MEG. The knowledge gained from this study could directly impact design considerations for next-generation high-efficiency MEG based solar cells.  Mr. Aspitarte received the  Peter Fontana Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in 2012 and has already co-authored two papers on his research at Oregon State.
The Ben and Elaine Whiteley Endowment for Materials Research, established in 2007, provides support for materials research in the College of Science. In particular, it provides fellowship support for students to work full time during the Summer in a research laboratory, working on materials research related topics.