As of May 16 of this year, I have been able to call myself an alumna of Agnes Scott College, the women’s college in Decatur, Ga. at which I have spent the last four years developing as an educated young professional.
I am one of the first three graduates sponsored by Simple Gifts scholarship program. Simple Gifts has supported the enriching educational experience I longed for when I left high school, including a semester abroad in Australia and my continued study of the piano.
During this past year, my senior year, I served as president of two major campus organizations and started my own piano studio in which my seven students helped me discover my passion for sharing knowledge with others. I am endlessly grateful to Simple Gifts for helping me achieve great things at Agnes Scott, culminating last month to my summa cum laude Bachelor’s of Science in physics with a second major in music and my induction into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
I am now spending my summer in Washington, D.C. as one of the twelve Society of Physics Students (SPS) national interns. SPS is a national professional organization of collegiate students who are interested in physics. Over 700 collegiate chapters exists across the United States, including my chapter at Agnes Scott.
My choice to apply for the SPS internship program was motivated by my pursuit of a career in scientific support, education, and outreach. I have had a taste of scientific research during college and greatly understand its importance, but my passion and skills lie within nurturing connections among scientists and the rest of the world.
I currently work at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Center for History of Physics. The history center provides many educational resources to the public regarding the historical record of modern physics and related sciences. One of these resources is the Teaching Guide to the History of Women and African-Americans in the Physical Sciences.
I work with the director of the history center and three other research assistants to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the lesson plans and resources within the teaching guide. One of the privileges of this position is that I have full access to all materials in the Niels Bohr Library and Archives housed at AIP to help develop lessons and resources. Many of these materials are unable to be found anywhere else! I am thrilled to have this opportunity to to apply my experience at a women’s college to support gender and racial minorities in physics, as well as to promote education in the history of science overall.
AIP has proven to be a wonderful place to work. I have already met many influential and brilliant physicists who have been very welcoming and supportive. In my first three weeks here, I have attended multiple talks and school outreach events that continue to enrich my experience as a member of the physics community.
The Washington, D.C. area has also proven itself to be an exciting and thriving area. In my free time, I have visited many of the beautiful monuments, the White House, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. I attended the annual Congressional baseball game last week and was suprised to see that the President Barack Obama himself was present as well! My fellow interns and I have many more things to see and do before our time in the city is up, including a trip to Philadelphia, but I know I will continue to make the most of this experience both professionally and personally.
To follow my internship blog and learn more about the SPS program, visit http://www.spsnational.org/programs/internships/2015/day.html.