Dr. Dara Norman is a scientist at NSF’s National Optical and Infrared Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) (formerly of NOAO) and the Deputy Director of the Lab’s Community Science and Data Center. Dr. Norman served for many years as the AURA Diversity co-Advocate at NOAO where she created and advanced opportunities at NOAO/AURA and in the field to bring more under-represented minorities and women into the “astronomy enterprise. As a former governing board member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) she chaired the taskforce to revise the society’s Ethics Code. She has been an active member of the AAS’s Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA), chair of the astronomy and astrophysics section of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and has led efforts on several astronomy community white papers including one entitled, “Significantly Increasing the Numbers of Minorities in Astronomy in the Next 10 Years” for the 2010 Decadal Survey and “Women of Color in Astronomy and Astrophysics” for the National Research Council’s Women of Color in Academia 2012 Conference. She was an organizer of the Inclusive Astronomy 2015 conference and was invited, as a panel member, to summarize that conference as well as concerns around access and leadership in STEM fields to Obama’s President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Norman holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science from MIT.
Thomas Searles is an Associate Professor of Physics at Howard University and a co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Dobbins) on a new NSF Rapid Grant to study the effects of university closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Black undergraduate students in physics. Dr. Searles earned his BS degree in Physics and Mathematics from Morehouse College, and his PhD in Applied Physics from Rice University.
Edmund Bertschinger is a Professor of Physics at MIT with an affiliation in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies. He is a scholar-activist-administrator for diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. He was also the co-chair of the AIP TEAM-UP Task Force and co-author of The Time is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics TEAM-UP report. Currently, Dr. Bertschinger is project lead for the APS IDEA effort, which establishes a community of transformation for organizational teams to learn and engage in organizational change practices to support their DEI efforts. He serves on the board of trustees the American Astronomical Society and is also a member of the Departmental Awards Framework Drafting Group of the AAAS SEA Change initiative. Dr. Bertschinger has served as both Physics Department Head and MIT’s inaugural Community and Equity Officer. He is passionate about shifting the culture of STEM fields to be inclusive and equitable for everyone.
Tabbetha Dobbins is the Interim VP for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, Division of University Research, and Associate Professor of Physics at Rowan University. Dr. Dobbins is a former member of the AIP TEAM-UP Task Force and a current co-Principal Investigator on a new NSF Rapid Grant to study the effects of university closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Black undergraduate students in physics. She is a strong advocate and promoter of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the physics field. Prior to landing at Rowan, Dr. Dobbins simultaneously held faculty positions at Grambling University and Louisiana Tech. Dr. Dobbins earned her B.S. degree in physics from Lincoln University, her MS. In Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Pennyslvania, and her PhD. in Materials Science, and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She is fiercely dedicated to her undergraduate students and participates in diversity panels around the country.
Robert C. Hilborn is Associate Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers. A graduate of Lehigh University and Harvard University, he has held physics faculty positions at Oberlin College, Amherst College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Texas at Dallas. He served as physics department chair and associate dean of the faculty at Amherst, where he was the Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Physics, and as head of the Science/Mathematics Education Department at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Hilborn was one of the driving forces for the SPIN-UP effort and a co-Editor of the SPIN-UP report. He is also the Principal Investigator and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Faculty Workshop series.
Shirley Malcom is a senior advisor at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and director of STEM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change, an initiative that supports institutional transformation in diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has served as Head of Education and Human Resources Programs at AAAS for nearly 30 years, and is a trustee of Caltech, and Regent of Morgan State University. Malcom formerly served on the National Science Board and on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2003, she received the Public Welfare Medal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the highest award given by the Academy. Malcom is a Fellow of AAAS and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the boards of the Heinz Endowments, Public Agenda, NMSI and Digital Promise. Dr. Malcom holds BS and MA degrees in zoology from the University of Washington and UCLA, respectively, and earned her PhD in ecology from Penn State.
Maria (Mia) Ong, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at TERC, a science and mathematics education non-profit organization in Cambridge, MA and a former member of the AIP TEAM-UP Task Force where she oversaw the literature review effort. For over twenty years, she has conducted empirical research focusing on women of color in higher education and careers in STEM and has led the evaluation of several STEM equity and inclusion programs. She specializes in qualitative methods, gender and race/ethnicity issues in STEM, and higher education. Dr. Ong is a former member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, a Congressionally mandated advisory committee, and she currently serves on the National Academies Committee on Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Tech. Prior to her work at TERC, she directed an undergraduate physics program for students of color and women at the University of California at Berkeley; for this work, she co-received a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Dr. Ong holds a doctorate in Social and Cultural Studies in Education from U.C. Berkeley.
Jesús Pando is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astrophysics and currently serves as the Chair of the Physics Department at DePaul University. Dr. Pando has long been involved in efforts to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the sciences. He has been a member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) for 15 years and is a board member of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. He has served on numerous committees and panels dealing with the issues faced by underrepresented students and professionals in STEM fields. Dr. Pando earned his PhD at the University of Arizona.
Elon Price is a second-year master’s student in the Fisk-Vanderbilt University bridge program. She conducts research on gamma-neutron detection for planetary spectroscopy with the NASA Cube SAT Launch Initiative (CSLI). She received her bachelor’s in physics with a minor in mathematics from North Carolina State University. Ms. Price has served on the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) Student Council since April 2018 and co-founded the first NSBP student chapter at NC State University.
Chad Stark is the Executive Director at The OSA Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps graduate students and early career professionals as they become active members of research, engineering and corporate communities around the globe. Mr. Stark and The OSA Foundation work diligently to support OSA’s strategic priorities to improve the diversity of the optics workforce.