pip install physics_identity
Clare Boothe Luce’s (CBL) legacy lives through creating programs that “encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in STEM fields [Clare Boothe Luce Program: Program Aims]. One of the most important steps to encouraging more people of color and women to enter into and stay in physics is to build up a supportive community and have programs that facilitate building a “physics identity” [To read more about this, check out the TEAM-UP Report from the AIP].
A “Physics Identity” is defined as an individual’s capacity to consider themselves as a physicist. For many people who enter into physics, this can be difficult to achieve due to the demographics of physics departments, opportunities presented to students in terms of professional development, hands-on research, and scientific conference activities [Hyater-Adams et al. 2018]. With this in consideration, the University of San Diego Department of Physics and Biophysics has developed an umbrella program geared towards helping build a strong community of physics and biophysics majors. This program encourages and provides opportunities for students to build their physics identity through professional development interactive events, networking opportunities with professionals in physics and biophysics, social physics book club discussions, coffee hours, and outreach efforts. We achieve this through the following steps.
- Giving Access to Academic Resources for Success
- Professional Development, e.g. applying for scholarships, finding a graduate school, resume building, elevator pitch practice, etc.
- Active networking Events, e.g. professional panels with after-panel networking, Speaker Series
- Industry Mentorship Program
- Blackboard Organization for majors and minors in the Department
- Building Positive Relationships
- Social Events with SPS, e.g. movie/trivia nights, powerpoint parties, physics olympiad
- Peer-Pal Program
- Coffee and Quantum
- Popular Physics Book Club
- Developing a Sense of Belonging
- Outreach with SPS
- Human Side of Science Speaker Series
- Possible funding for conference travel