Plenary Speakers

Nadya Mason

Keynote for all sites

Nadya Mason is the Rosalyn S. Yalow Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specializes in experimental studies of materials. She received her B.S. from Harvard University and her PhD from Stanford University, both in physics. Dr. Mason’s research focuses on the electronic properties of small-scale materials, such as nano-scale wires and atomically thin membranes. Her research is relevant to applications involving nano-scale and quantum computing elements. She currently serves as founding Director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC), a $16.1 million multidisciplinary research and education center funded by the National Science Foundation, and was recently named Director of the Illinois Beckman Institute. In addition to maintaining a rigorous research program and teaching, Dr. Mason works to increase diversity in the physical sciences, particularly through mentoring, and is former chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on Minorities. Dr. Mason can also be seen promoting science on local TV, at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and in a TED talk on “Scientific Curiosity.” Dr. Mason has been recognized for her work with numerous awards, including the 2009 Denise Denton Emerging Leader Award, the 2012 APS Maria Goeppert Mayer Award, and the 2019 APS Bouchet Award. In 2021 she was elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Chanda prescod-weinstein

Friday Plenary Talk

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. Originally from East L.A., Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a graduate of Harvard College, University of California – Santa Cruz, and the University of Waterloo. One of under 100 Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics, she is a theoretical physicist with expertise in particle physics, cosmology, and astrophysics, with an emphasis on dark matter. In addition, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a theorist of Black feminist science, technology, and society studies, and a monthly columnist for New Scientist. Her research and advocacy for marginalized people in physics and astronomy have won multiple awards, and her first book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred, is now available from Bold Type Books.

Sarah Veatch

Saturday Plenary Talk

Sarah Veatch is a professor of biophysics and physics at the University of Michigan. Her lab investigates how physical properties of lipid bilayers contribute to cellular functions at the plasma membrane of mammalian cells. Her lab uses single molecule fluorescence localization microscopy methods to quantify membrane composition and dynamics and develops physically rigorous models to describe functional organization within signaling processes. Overall, her research program aims to understand how diverse cellular signaling processes exploit emergent behaviors of heterogeneous plasma membranes.

jessica esquivel

Sunday Plenary Talk

Dr. Jessica Esquivel has recently been promoted to an Associate Scientist at Fermilab where she works on the Muon g – 2 Experiment. She is one of ~100 Black women with a PhD in physics in the country, the 2nd black woman to graduate with a PhD in physics from Syracuse University, and the 3rd Black woman to hold an Associate Scientist position at Fermilab. She identifies as female, Black, mexican, lesbian, neurodivergent, a physicist, and texan. Dr. Esquivel is a recognized advocate for creating just and equitable spaces in physics and focuses on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality in her community engagement efforts. She is a member of APS-IDEA, co-founder of BlackInPhysics, part of the Change-Now collective, and is a AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador. Dr. Esquivel has also appeared on CBS’s Emmy nominated educational program Mission Unstoppable where she discusses the physics behind makeup, and on the Science Channel’s How the Universe Works discussing how neutrinos could be the key to the mysteries of our universe.

Workshop/Panel Speakers

Frances Kraus

Science Communication

Frances Kraus is a Staff Research Physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory where she studies plasmas that are so hot they emit x-rays. It turns out that as plasmas flow, heat up, cool down, or expand, their measurable x-ray signatures change — and Frances firmly believes that we can’t know much about reality without making measurements. Throughout her time in Colorado, Alabama, and New Jersey, Frances has done her best to share her enthusiasm for science with anyone who cares to listen. That’s why she gives public lab tours, hosts a science/music FM radio program on WPRB Princeton, and jumps at the chance to get CUWiP attendees excited about science communication.

Loki Lin


Loki is a recent graduate of Princeton University and is headed to the University of Michigan for his PhD in high-energy theory. He is a Peer Educator for the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at Princeton. In this role, he has delivered workshops on LGBTQ+ and gender issues to students and faculty in the Physics Department. Loki is openly transgender, and he dedicates much of his time to improving life for trans/nonbinary students at Princeton both in and outside of physics. 

Callie pruett

Advocacy to Bring About Cultural Change

Callie is a seasoned advocacy manager, policy professional, and political strategist who has worked at the highest levels of campaigns throughout the American South. She is queer and disabled – two things that inform her passion for people and politics at its deepest level. She is the cohost of the top 1% podcast, Appodlachia, and the Executive Director of Appalachians for Appalachia. Callie is the former Senior Strategist for Grassroots Advocacy for the American Physical Society and the former lead strategist and manager of the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction with Princeton University and the Carnegie Corporation. Callie has a degree in the sociology of social inequality from Appalachian State University, and her graduate work is in human rights from Southern Methodist University.

Allison Truhlar

Dr. Allison Truhlar is the Program Manager for Evaluation and Outreach in the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists. She started with the office in 2019 as an American Association for the Advancement of Science policy fellow. Her background is in environmental engineering.

Brandi Toliver

Dr. Brandi Toliver (she|her|hers) serves as a Program Manager of the Community College Internships, Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships, and Visiting Faculty Program in the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this role, Dr. Toliver partners with the 17 DOE National Laboratories to coordinate research and professional development opportunities to prepare undergraduate students for careers in STEM and provide access to DOE resources (labs, user facilities, and expertise) for faculty members from institutions historically underrepresented in the research community. Prior to her appointment at the DOE, Dr. Toliver managed the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program and the Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), served as a program analyst at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and worked as research chemist at the U.S. Air Force.

Dr. Toliver lives by Nelson Mandela’s quote “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Toliver holds a B.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University, a M.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University, and a Ph.D. in Fiber and Polymer Science from North Carolina State University.

Kelsey Hallinen

Dr. Kelsey Hallinen is an experimental biophysicist fellow in the Princeton Center for the Physics of Biological Function. Her work focuses on collective systems and she is interested in understanding what sort of behaviors and interactions between individual cells can lead to the dramatic collective behaviors on a much larger length scale. As a postdoc, Kelsey has worked in both neuroscience and microbiology, first studying neural systems in the tiny nematode C. elegans and then transitioning to studying bacteria systems in different flow environments. She is excited to present at 2023 Princeton CUWiP and has also been involved with the local organizing committee. As a graduate student, she helped plan the 2015 CUWiP at Michigan and participated as a junior at the 2013 CUWiP at Cornell.

Andrea Welsh

Mental Health

Dr. Andrea Welsh (she/they) is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Pittsburgh collective motion in biological systems and mathematical biology modeling. She has worked to improve the climate for those around her in the various communities she has been a part of. As a queer woman with mental illness form a poor socio-economic background, she has worked to make sure everyone feels included and that physics is accessible to all. Particularly, she focuses on supporting LGBTQIA+ scientists and scientists with mental illnesses. Andrea was an APS Forum of Graduate Student Affairs member-at-large and is currently a Forum of Diversity and Inclusion member-at-large.

Roxanne Hughes

APS Communication and Negotiation Skills Seminar

Dr. Hughes leads a team who run the educational and mentoring programs offered by the MagLab. These include successful programs like the SciGirls summer camp – run in partnership with WFSU as well as our Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Teachers programs. These programs are run with the purpose of making STEM fields more diverse and innovative. Dr. Hughes’ research on STEM identity (one’s belief that they fit the perception of a scientist and can be successful in their chosen field) drives programmatic decisions to help participants, particularly those historically marginalized in STEM, see their full potential in these fields.

Pascale Maloof Poussart

Pascale Poussart is the founding director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Princeton. In this role, Pascale oversees campus-wide programs and initiatives designed to broaden access to transformative mentored research opportunities that foster students’ academic, career, and personal development. A graduate of McGill University, Pascale earned a master’s degree in earth and ocean sciences at the University of Victoria and a doctorate in earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. She joined the Princeton Environmental Institute in 2008 as the assistant director of energy initiatives where she led the development and implementation of research and education initiatives around energy and climate.

Alex Leviness

Alex LeViness is a graduate student in the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics, where she does research related to fast ion confinement in nuclear fusion devices called “stellarators.” She received her Bachelor’s in physics and mathematics, with minors in German and Russian, at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) before spending one year at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics as a Fulbright scholar. She is also the president of Princeton Women+ in Plasma Physics.

Vanessa González-Pérez

Dr. Vanessa González-Pérez identifies as a Latinx, first-gen scholar, service leader, mentor, coach, and a fierce advocate for the accessibility and success, of underrepresented scholars in STEM. She pursued her bachelor’s at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, followed by a post-baccalaureate experience at the National Institutes of Health. Committed to her interests in biomedical research, she completed a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and worked as an Assistant Research Professor at the School of Pharmacy at Washington State University. As an administrator, she has served Princeton’s graduate school as the Assistant Dean for Access, Diversity, and Inclusion in STEM. Currently, she is the Associate Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. As a facilitator, she uses her upbringing, motivations, and sense of urgency to create change and fuel transformation to create diverse and inclusive environments in higher education.

Diakhère Gueye

Diakhère Gueye is an intern at the International Atomic Energy Agency. Her work consists of
gaining useful skills in machine learning and applying them to the fusion and plasma science
domain. In particular, she supports the coordinated research project on AI for Fusion
Research and Development and the IAEA–ITU cooperation in the AI for Good initiative.
Diakhère did her bachelor’s at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, in mathematics and physics
with a biology minor. Then she went to the University of Edinburgh for a master’s in cognitive
science, focused on human-computer interaction, and graduated last winter.
Fascinated by interdisciplinarity, she is passionate about combining different domains to gain
new insights.

Samantha Gregory

Dr. Samantha Gregory attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics. Samantha then worked for Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren for three years on the lethality team for the high energy laser weapons system. She transferred to NSWC Carderock where she participated in ultrashort pulsed laser propagation through turbulence testing, particle image velocimetry testing, and under water electromagnetic signatures theory development. Samantha earned a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2019 then earned her PhD in Physics in December 2022. Her research focused on Laguerre-Gaussian laser beam propagation through heat-induced optical turbulence. She is currently a faculty member of the Physics and Nuclear Engineering Department at the United States Military Academy.

TabBetha Dobbins

Tabbetha Dobbins is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and VP for Research and Founding Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Rowan University. She mentors students in both graduate and undergraduate research projects and engages in broadening the participation of students in synchrotron x-ray and neutron studies at national research laboratories. Her research programs are aimed at attracting and recruiting top students to the sciences using societally relevant energy-related and biomedical-related topics. She continues to do cutting edge research in applying synchrotron x-ray and neutron analysis to modern engineering problems in carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles, the hydrogen fuel economy, and polymer self-assembly. Also, she works diligently to engage high school students in science through her NSF funded programs.

Delilah Gates

Dr. Delilah Gates is a theoretical physicist and Associate Research Scholar at the Princeton Gravity Initiative who studies black holes. Her research focuses on leveraging features of the spacetime geometry and lensing of light to determine properties of observable black holes.

Before joining Princeton, she completed her PhD at Harvard in 2021 where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She earned a BS in physics and a BS in mathematics at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. Dr. Gates has a passion for support and community building within physics with a mindfulness towards equity for those who are members of underrepresented groups.  

Kayla Hernandez

Kayla Hernandez is an Electrical Engineer at Brookhaven National Lab in the Collider-Accelerator Department’s radiofrequency (RF) group. I work on the controllers for each of the RF cavities that accelerate particle beams from the linear accelerator all the way through the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Kayla takes volunteer work seriously. She is a member of Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS) and BNL’s Early Career Resource Group Outreach coordinator.

Jenny Greene

Jenny Greene is a Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton. She studies supermassive black holes and the galaxies that they live in, with a particular interest in the formation of supermassive black holes. She is also the faculty director of the Prison Teaching Initiative.

Erin Flowers

Erin Flowers an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in the department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. Her research interests include both theoretical and observational exoplanet characterization and detection and astrobiology. For her thesis, she is working with Chris Chyba to explore astrobiological mysteries of Titan. In addition to her research, her outreach efforts include working with the office of Access, Diversity and Inclusion as a Diversity Fellow, sitting on the American Astronomical Society Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and teaching with the Prison Teaching Initiative. She hopes to help improve the diversity and inclusion of Princeton and other academic communities in New Jersey at large.

Jo Dunkley

Jo Dunkley is a Professor of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. ​Her research is in cosmology, studying the origins and evolution of the Universe. Her major projects are the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Simons Observatory, observing light from the early universe from the Atacama Desert in Chile. She is also the author of the book Our Universe, written for the general public.

Fatima Ebrahimi

Fatima Ebrahimi is a principal research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Theory Department and an affiliated research scholar in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University. Her research interests span from magnetically confined fusion plasmas to flow-driven plasmas, such as astrophysical accretion disks. She is the inventor of a concept for a magnetic reconnection plasma-based rocket thruster.

Erin Knutson

Erin obtained her Ph.D. in physics from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). After a postdoctoral position at Santa Clara University in California, she joined Physical Review A as an Associate Editor in 2021. She covers various topics in optics and quantum information for the journal. Erin will be available to provide information on the APS Programs encouraging the recruitment, retention, and career development of women physicists at all levels.

Caroline Holmes

Caroline Holmes is a graduate student at Princeton University in the physics department, where she works on theoretical problems in biological physics. She is excited about computational and sensing problems solved by biological systems. She did her undergraduate work at Emory University.

Claire Gmachl

Allison Pastor

Allison Dorlen Pastor, PhD is a licensed psychologist practicing in Princeton, New Jersey. She has over 20 years’ experience providing psychotherapy and consultation to adults and adolescents. Dr. Dorlen Pastor utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and motivational enhancement therapy to address a variety of mental and behavioral health issues including anxiety, mood regulation, college mental health, gender/sexuality, and addiction issues. Before moving to private practice, Dr. Dorlen Pastor worked as a research scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Division of Substance Abuse conducting clinical research on factors influencing women’s vulnerability to alcohol and drug misuse.

Kassidy Kollmann

Kassidy Kollmann is a graduate student in the Physics Department at Princeton University. Her research involves using gravitational lensing and galaxy dynamics to study the particle nature of dark matter. She received her BS in Physics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As an undergraduate, she attended three CUWiPs and co-founded UMBC’s Undergraduate Women and Gender Minorities in Physics Group. At Princeton, she is an active member of the Physics Department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiative and the Broader Outreach working group.

Daisy Bissonette

Daisy is a senior in the Department of Astrophysics at Princeton University. She is primarily interested in observational extragalactic astronomy, but has also done research related to astrobiology, supermassive black holes, and medical device engineering. On campus, she is involved with Towards an Inclusive Community of Undergraduate Physicists (TiCuP) and the Council of Science and Technology, along with being a physics and calculus tutor. Daisy plans on attending graduate school to pursue a PhD in Physics or Astronomy.

Alex Bustin

Alex Bustin is Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission and Director of Transfer, International, and Military/Veteran Admission at Princeton University. Originally from New Jersey, he grew up in Belgium before relocating back to his home state, and receiving his BA in chemistry from Princeton University, followed by his master of education from Harvard University. He has worked at the Princeton Undergraduate Admission Office since 2009, serving as primary coordinator of recruitment and admission for transfer and military/veteran students since 2016. He also oversaw the recent reinstatement of the transfer admission process at Princeton, which seeks to enroll students from military-connected and community college backgrounds.

Keith Shaw

Dr. Keith Shaw is the inaugural Director of Transfer and Outreach in the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity at Princeton University. He was responsible for launching the academic and student life components of Princeton’s transfer and veteran programs in 2017-18, developing policy and support infrastructure; providing academic advising, mentorship, and in-class instruction; and working with campus colleagues to ensure nontraditional students would thrive at Princeton. Dr. Shaw is now leading expansion efforts in response to the University’s decision to substantially increase transfer admissions beginning in 2022. Working closely with national partners, Dr. Shaw leads the Warrior-Scholar Project’s humanities and academic writing sequence at Princeton each summer, and recently won a 2022 Transfer Champion-Rising Star Award from the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students. He received his BA from Rutgers and his PhD in political science from Stanford, and previously served as an associate director in the Princeton Writing Program. He is co-editor of The Pocket Instructor: Writing, a manual for teachers of writing, forthcoming from Princeton University Press.

Ashlee Shaw