U.S. Delegation to the Second International
Conference on Women in Physics
Skip to the Profile of Kimberly S. Budil | Karen Daniels | Theda Daniels-Race | Melissa Elben-Zayas | Katharine B. Gebbie | Laura H. Greene | Richard Hazeltine | Apriel K. Hodari | K. Renee Horton | Rachel Ivie | Laura E. Kay | Luz J. Martinez-Miranda | Ariel Michelman-Ribeiro | Maria Ong | Juana I. Rudati | Jami M. Valentine | Barbara L. Whitten | Elvira Williams | Yevgeniya V. Zastavker
Kimberly S. Budil
Condensed Matter and Shock Physics.
Karen E. Daniels
North Carolina State University
Karen Daniels has a PhD in Physics from Cornell University, and after finishing up her
postdoc at Duke University will start this summer at North Carolina State University as
an assistant professor. She studies the behavior of nonequilibrium and nonlinear systems,
in particular pattern formation in fluids and the dynamics of granular materials. When
not doing experiments in the lab she likes to spend time in the outdoors, which has led
her to contemplate the implications of her research in natural systems. Before starting
graduate school, she taught middle and high school physics, and continues to bring hands-on
science activities to local schools and youth programs.
Louisiana State University
Dr. Theda Daniels-Race is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering and the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT), both
at Louisiana State University. She has conducted research in the field of
electronic materials using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) to study quantum level
phenomena in III-V semiconductors. Her most recent work involves the use of atomic
force microscopy (AFM) and fluorescence techniques to examine the morphology of hybrid
(organic-inorganic) materials and the nanoscale electronic transport therein.
Daniels-Race received her B.S. in electrical engineering from Rice University,
her M.S.E.E. from Stanford U., and her Ph.D. from Cornell in EE with a concentration
in electrophysics. Throughout her academic training, she also spent time in industry
with companies such as Exxon, General Electric, and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Upon
completion of her doctorate in 1990, she began her academic career as a faculty member
at Duke University where she remained until joining the LSU faculty in 2003. She and
her husband, Paul, have two sons.
Melissa Eblen-Zayas received her BA in physics from Smith College in 1999
and her PhD in experimental condensed matter physics from the University
of Minnesota in June 2005. Her research interests lie in understanding how
disorder and phase inhomogeneity influence the electronic properties of
correlated electron systems. She is now an assistant professor of physics
at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Melissa has been active in the
Twin Cities Graduate Women in Science chapter and as a volunteer at the
Science Museum of Minnesota. She has recently been experiencing first-hand
the challenges associated with the "two-body problem" as her husband is
also finishing his PhD, in neuroscience.
Katharine B. Gebbie
Katharine Gebbie is Director of the Physics Laboratory of the National Institute of
Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg Maryland and Boulder Colorado. She is a
member of the IUPAP Working Group on Women in Physics and attended the first International
Conference on Women in Physics in Paris. She has served on ONR, NASA, NSF, APS and
NIST committees addressing the under-representation of women in physics and science.
She spent most of her research career in astrophysics at JILA, a research institute
operated jointly by NIST and the University of Colorado, where she also served for
four years as Division Chief before moving to Gaithersburg in 1990 to design the
Laura H. Greene
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Laura H. Greene, Swanlund Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, received degrees from Ohio State and her PhD from Cornell, then
worked at Bell Laboratories and Bellcore. She researches experimental condensed
matter physics focusing on strongly-correlated electron systems, primarily investigating
the mechanisms of unconventional superconductivity by planar tunneling and point-contact
electron spectroscopies, and develops new, novel materials and methods of materials
microanalyses. She has served on numerous committees and boards, including the
International Union of Pure and Applied Physicists (IUPAP) as the US representative
to the C5 (low-temperature physics) commission and has served on their US Liaison
Committee; the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies of Science;
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics; Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for
the Department of Energy (DoE); Sloan Foundation Fellow Selection Committee; Schedule
and Selection Committee and General Council for Gordon Research Conferences; numerous
Committees for the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Association for
the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Editorial Board for the Institute of Physics
(UK) Journal Reports on the Progress in Physics. Greene is a Fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, the AAAS and the APS. She received the Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Award from the APS, the E. O. Lawrence Award from the DoE and is a visiting scholar
for Phi Beta Kappa. Over her career, Greene has co-authored ~150 publications and
presented over 250 invited talks. "I am committed to working towards broadening our
diversity in science, both in people and in subjects, as this enhances our resources
for exploration and discovery in fundamental physics."
University of Texas at Austin
Richard Hazeltine is a Physics Professor at the University of Texas. A graduate of
Harvard College and the University of Michigan, he worked at the Institute for
Advanced Study in Princeton before joining the University in 1971. In 1980 he helped
establish the Institute for Fusion Studies at Texas, and later served for eleven years
as its Director. As a theoretical plasma physicist, Hazeltine has worked in transport
theory, kinetic theory and plasma confinement. He was a Councilor of the American Physical
Society, Chair of the Division of Plasma Physics and a member of the Board on Physics and
Astronomy of the National Research Council. He is now Chair of the Fusion Energy Sciences
Advisory Committee for DOE. He is a Fellow of the APS.
Apriel K. Hodari
Apriel K. Hodari earned a Ph.D. in experimental nonlinear optics from Hampton University.
She used the National Science Foundation's Postdoctoral Fellowship in Science, Mathematics,
Engineering and Technology Education, to change fields, and joined the Physics Education
Research Group at the University of Maryland. At UMD PERG, she focused on undergraduate
physics learning at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Women's Colleges.
She is continuing and extending this research today. After finishing her postdoc, Hodari set
out to broaden her experience by participating in the application of science to the political
process. As an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow, she managed a portfolio of issues, including
education, health care disparities and funding for scientific research. This was a rich
experience that gave her tremendous insight into how national policy is made. In her current
position, Hodari combines her policy and research experience as an education research and
policy analyst at the CNA Corporation in Alexandria, VA. At CNAC, she has performed analyses
of various educational policies, including: the implementation of technology into K-12 education;
the influence of education policy and practice on the lives and careers of Navy servicemembers;
and the impact of educational background on enlisted personnel attrition throughout the four
service communities. Her current projects examine the impact of mathematics content knowledge
on middle school principals' instructional leadership, and diversity policies and practices in
the United States Air Force. Hodari's current research in physics education extends her previous
work on women's colleges and HBCUs with critical ethnographies of institutions that successfully
promote the success of minorities and women in undergraduate physics; and explores the impact
of physics education research and reform on teaching for social justice. As an extension of this
work, she conducts workshops on addressing issues of diversity and inclusion in physical science
K. Renee Horton
University of Alabama
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Dr. Rachel Ivie is Principal Research Associate at the Statistical Research Center
of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). She received a Ph.D. in sociology from
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1993), where one of her specializations
was the sociology of gender. She is a co-author of the report "Women in Physics and
Astronomy, 2005". She also collects data on physics faculty and the academic job market,
in addition to working on surveys for AIP's Member Societies and other scientific organizations.
Laura E. Kay
Barnard College, Columbia University
Laura Kay has a PhD in astrophysics. She is currently an Associate Professor of Physics
and Astronomy at Barnard College, Columbia University, and recently completed a 3 year
term as Dept Chair. Her work is in observational astronomy where she studies obscuration
in active galactic nuclei. She has taught a course `Women and Science' at Barnard for 12
years and will become Chair of Women's Studies next year. She has had visiting positions
at CTIO in Chile and at IAGUSP in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent a year working as an upper
atmosphere physicist at the South Pole in 1985.
Luz J. Martínez-Miranda
University of Maryland
Dr. Luz J. Martínez-Miranda is an Associate Professor of Materials Science in the Dept.
of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland. Her research interests
are in the field of liquid crystals. She has studied their interfacial properties for
display applications. Presently, she uses liquid crystals as models for biological systems.
She has been involved in programs that advance the careers of women and minorities for
many years, and has worked in education programs for children to attract them into the
sciences and engineering. She has been a member of the Committee of Minorities of the
APS and has been a member and chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics
of the APS. She is at present the president of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists.
She was made fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for among
other things her work for women, minorities and her efforts in showing students the joy
Ariel Michelman Ribeiro is a doctoral candidate in Physics at Boston University. She
is currently performing her dissertation research in biophysics at the National Institutes
of Health. She is Secretary of the Forum on Graduate Student Affairs, the graduate
student organization of the American Physical Society. She plans to graduate in May
2006, and after a post-doc, hopes to teach physics at the University level and inspire
women to pursue careers in the sciences. Her husband is Brazilian, from Rio de Janeiro,
so she has been to Rio many times, is conversant in Portuguese, and will be happy to
assist anyone. She is co-editing the conference proceedings with Beverly Hartline.
TERC, Harvard University
Maria (Mia) Ong holds a Ph.D. in Education from U.C. Berkeley and is a currently a
Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer at Harvard University. She studies the social
dynamics in physics and engineering. Her first study is an eight-year, qualitative
study on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and the culture of physics,
based upon the experiences of 36 young, aspiring physicists, including ten women of
color. With fellow delegate Professor Yevgeniya V. Zastavker, Dr. Ong also co-directs
a pilot study that examines whether project-based learning in undergraduate physics,
mathematics, and engineering courses can effectively retain women and minorities in
science and engineering.
Juana I. Rudati
Argonne National Laboratory
Juana Ines Rudati, Ph.D. is currently a postdoc at Argonne National Laboratory. Her
research is at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center as part of the SPPS collaboration.
They produce, measure and use the shortest x-ray pulses in the world. Dr. Rudati is
interested on the interaction of intense light fields and atoms. Her outreach goals
are to make the scientific environment more inviting for everyone. She pursues this
by mentoring students and by actively participating in minority serving organizations.
She has been a board member of SACNAS and continues her service in various committees.
Currently, she is also a member of the Committee on Minorities of the American Physical
Society as well as of the Diversity Committee of the National Postdoctoral Association.
She lives in California with her husband Michael (who is also a physicist).
Jami M. Valentine
Johns Hopkins University
Jami M. Valentine is a 6th year graduate student at Johns Hopkins University. Her
dissertation research measures a magnetic property called spin polarization for the
heavy rare earth metals using the Point Contact with Andreev Reflection (PCAR) technique.
Her advisor is Prof. C.L. Chien. She received her BS in physics from Florida A&M
University, and a masters from Brown. She is a native Philadelphian and an avid football
fan. In her free time, she researches African American women physicists, and maintains
a database on them which can be found at
Barbara L. Whitte
Barbara L. Whitten received a BA in physics from Carleton College in 1968, where she was
the only woman to major in physics for five years. She received a PhD in mathematical
physics from the University of Rochester in 1977, and went on to work at Miami University
in Ohio and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she was a member of the team
that produced the first x-ray laser. In 1987 she came to Colorado College, where she is
Professor of Physics, and also teaches in the Women's Studies and Environmental Science
Programs. Her research in physics is in theoretical atomic and molecular physics, where
she has worked on problems in x-ray lasers and Rydberg atoms. She also works on a number
of projects to help the physics community become more diverse (see
She is the mother of two children, both in college. Penelope is majoring in journalism
and political science, and Jake is a psychology major.
Dr. Elvira Williams is a physics professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. She earned a B.S. from North Carolina Central University,
and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Howard University, becoming the 4th African American female in
the United States to earn a doctorate in physics. Dr. Williams has spent her career dedicated
to teaching and creating opportunities for minority students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. She spent 22 years at North Carolina Agricultural and
Technical (NCA&T) State University, in Greensboro, NC, where she taught, created special science
education service projects for students at NCA&T and for public school physics and other science
teachers of North Carolina, and conducted basic research. This pioneering research in diamond
thin films, conducted in the Department of Physics, was the most advanced in materials research
in the early 1980s. It was the seed for the Ph.D. program in Engineering at NCA&T, which is now
the largest enterprise for graduating African American Engineers in the United States. She is
also a Cohort 6 (2002-2003) NAFP (NASA Administrator's Fellowship Program) Fellow in nanoscale
research. Dr.Williams is also an author, does public speaking, and uses physics to teach
Yevgeniya V. Zastavker
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Dr. Yevgeniya V. Zastavker joined Olin College of Engineering as an Assistant Professor
of Physics after Wellesley College where she had been a Visiting Assistant Professor of
Physics since July 2000. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Physics from M.I.T. in June
2001 and her B.S. Yale University in 1995. Prior to arriving to the U.S., she received
education at Kiev Pedagogical college and has also been awarded the Red Diploma of graduation
with honors from Kiev Evening Musical School, where her concentration was piano.
Besides helping to build a new engineering college, which includes creating from clean
slate both new curriculum, social, and cultural structures for the college, Dr. Zastavker
serves as a founding faculty on the College Committee on Diversity and Academic Affairs,
and teaches in the MIT MITES Program (Minority Introduction to Engineering
and Science), a rigorous six-week summer program for promising minority high school students.
Dr. Zastavker's research interests are two-fold. Firstly, they lie in the field of biological
physics, an interdisciplinary field that bridges such diverse areas as physics, biology,
chemistry, bio-medical engineering, and chemical engineering. Secondly, Dr. Zastavker is
studying the questions pertaining to project-based learning and its effectiveness in
recruiting, retaining, and satisfying students, particularly women and minorities, in
science and engineering.