Beginning in January, the APS’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) will begin a program to highlight exceptional female physicists. The CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month award will recognize female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals’ lives and careers. The committee is calling for the first nominations to get the program underway.
“It is still often true that few women receive APS awards,” said Deanna Ratnikova, APS women and education programs administrator. “This is a way to address the situation.”
Each CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month will be featured on the Women in Physics website, announced in the Gazette, and recognized at a reception at an APS national meeting. CSWP will also work to identify other outlets through which awardees can be recognized for their efforts and contributions.
The award was the idea of the 2011 chair of the CSWP, Kawtar Hafidi. She found that after she won the Association for Women in Science Chicago’s scientist of the month award, it opened up a lot of professional doors and opportunities for her.
“She thought that something similar to that would be very beneficial to women in physics,” Ratnikova said.
The Woman Physicist of the Month award is not restricted to just research physicists, but open to students, teachers or any woman doing physics-related work. The organizers intentionally kept the criteria for nominees nonspecific in order to encourage a diverse group of nominees.
To nominate someone, the name, institution/facility/company, and email of both the nominee and nominator should be emailed to Women in Physics (firstname.lastname@example.org). The nominee’s CV and a nomination statement up to three paragraphs should also be included in the email as attachments. The nominee does not need to be an APS member.
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