September 2, 2005

First Blewett Scholarship to Help Women Returning to Physics Research Awarded

A new, $45,000 scholarship to aid women scientists returning to research after raising a family awarded to Rebecca Forrest of the University of Houston.

Rebecca Forrest of the University of Houston has been named the winner of the first M. Hildred Blewett Scholarship for Women in Physics. The scholarship is designed to assist women who have interrupted their research careers due to family demands. The scholarship consists of a one-year award of up to $45,000 which can be used toward dependent care, salary, travel, equipment, and tuition and fees.

Forrest earned her PhD in condensed matter physics from the University of Houston in 1998. She was a postdoctoral researcher from 1998 to 2000 in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UCLA, when her husband’s new job took him to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The move and the demands of caring for her two young children has kept Forrest out of the research lab, and she instead has worked as a physics lecturer at the University of Houston for the past five years.

The American Physical Society (APS) Committee on the Status of Women in Physics selected Forrest from a field of women applicants seeking to return to research. Forrest is a Lecturer/Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Houston. She will use the scholarship funds to work at the Naval Research Laboratory investigating the influence of lateral composition modulation on the performance of antimonide based mid-infrared lasers.

The Blewett Scholarship award was made possible by a bequest from M. Hildred Blewett, a particle accelerator physicist who died in 2004. Hildred Blewett was passionate about physics and recognized that women often face particular challenges balancing family life and careers, and they must overcome many obstacles when resuming research.

Further information about the scholarship.

About APS

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.