Dear Undergrad: Transition from Undergraduate to Graduate Student
A panel on transitioning from undergrad to grad school and how to mitigate burnout during that transition.
LaNell WilliamsPh.D. Student at Harvard University
LaNell Alexandria Williams is a current Ph.D. student at Harvard University studying soft condensed matter physics. Her current research interest includes an in-depth analysis of the physics of self-assembled systems by studying the assembly pathway of viruses. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics at Wesleyan University in 2015. She is on the APS Board and Council of Representatives. And she is the founder of the award-winning “Women+ of Color Project” that shares best practices for applying to grad school and succeeding in academia.
Lauren ChambersPhD Student at the UC Berkeley School of Information
Lauren Chambers is a PhD Student at the UC Berkeley School of Information, where she studies the relationship between data, technology, power, and government. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Yale in 2017, where she double-majored in astrophysics and African American studies. Her undergraduate African American studies thesis, “A Different Kind of Dark Energy: Placing Race and Gender in Physics” examines how physics and astronomy theory and praxis are influenced by race, gender, and identity. After college, Lauren spent two years in Baltimore supporting NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope mission as a software developer, and two years at the ACLU of Massachusetts using data analysis to support legal and legislative advocacy campaigns.
Marika EdwardsPhD Student in Astronomy and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering
Marika Edwards is a GEM Fellow at the University of Florida working towards her PhD in Astronomy and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. She earned her B.A. in Computer Science and Theatre Production/Engineering at DePauw University and her B.S. in Physics/Astronomy and Mechanical Engineering at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Her research includes galaxy evolution, instrumentation, cosmology and dark matter/energy. Marika has served on the board of and founded student chapters of multiple organizations, including BlackinPhysics Week, and she is a champion of academic excellence, school/life balance and community service and outreach in her universities and local area.
Sophie MartinPhD Student on the i4Health CDT at University College London
Sophie Martin is a first-year PhD student on the i4Health CDT at University College London. She received her MSci degree in Physics from Imperial College London in 2020, before deciding to use computational skills towards advancements in healthcare. During her PhD, she hopes to bridge the gap between research and the clinic using explainable machine learning methods and brain imaging, particularly for the early detection of dementia. Outside of her studies, Sophie is passionate about improving the representation of Black, and underrepresented groups in STEM. She is the Director of Media and Marketing for The Blackett Lab Family, a social enterprise which aims to represent, connect, and inspire Black minds in the UK.