Conference Speaker Bios

Advancing Graduate Leadership conference

2022 Conference Speakers Reflect the Diversity of the Field

To ensure that women and gender minorities feel represented at this event, APS’s Advancing Graduate Leadership (AGL) team has invited a diverse group of speakers to present at the conference, August 4-5, 2022, in Washington, DC. These speakers come from many different backgrounds and bring a wealth of expertise in physics, advocacy, human resources, social work, and more. We are grateful to them for bringing their invaluable knowledge and experiences to this event.

Ilke Arslan

Ilke Arslan

Ilke Arslan is the director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the division director of the nanoscience and technology division at Argonne National Laboratory. Arslan joined Argonne in 2017 as group leader for electron and x-ray microscopy. From 2011 to 2017, she worked as a senior scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. From 2008 to 2017, she held a faculty position in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department at the University of California, Davis, and from 2006 to 2008, she was a Truman Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories. Arslan has a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Davis, and has been honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She is an Oppenheimer Fellow from the Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program and the current chair of the Oppenheimer Leadership Network.

Bri Hart

Bri Hart

Bri Hart (she/her) is a diversity program manager for the American Physical Society. In this role, she organizes, develops, and improves programs that support equity, diversity, and inclusion in the physics community, including the National Mentoring Community (NMC) and Supporting Teachers to Encourage the Pursuit of Undergraduate Physics (STEP UP). Hart’s background includes managing programs to create space for historically marginalized folks within the higher education and nonprofit sectors, including women and gender minority students, first generation college students, and students who have been ethnically and racially minoritized. Hart identifies as a Black feminist and is committed utilizing an intersectional lens to center the voices and experiences of Black women in her work.

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Frances Houle

Frances Houle, PhD, is the deputy director of the Liquid Sunlight Alliance and senior scientist in the Chemical Sciences and Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Divisions at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her current research interests are in coupled reaction-transport processes in solar energy conversion systems and their components. She received her BA from the University of California at Irvine and her PhD from the California Institute of Technology, both in chemistry. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She has worked on ethics in science since 2002 and is currently the past chair of the APS Ethics Committee.

Simone Hyater-Adams

Simone A. Hyater-Adams

Simone A. Hyater-Adams, PhD, is a physicist, artist, educator, and researcher with a passion for creating more opportunities for Black students. Her personal experiences in STEM and performance art fuel her passion to find ways to combine both topics. She currently works on the program team at STEM From Dance, an organization that aims to expose young girls of color to STEM fields using the confidence building aspects of dance.

Michelle Lollie

Michelle Lollie

Michelle Lollie is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University, where she earned a PhD in physics. Her research involved the investigation of high-dimensional quantum communication using twisted light and engineered quantum statistics. She’s an advocate for equity across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects, particularly in the field of physics, and is a steering committee member of American Physical Society's Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance. She holds multiple degrees, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration/finance from Clark Atlanta University, a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in physics from Indiana University.

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Callie Pruett

Callie Pruett is the senior advisor to the Ruben Ramirez for Congress campaign in the Texas Fifteenth Congressional District. She is the executive director of Appalachians for Appalachia, an independent, research-focused advocacy nonprofit. She is the co-host of the wildly successful podcast Appodlachia. Finally, she is the founder and principal of Politicary, her political consultancy. She is the former senior strategist for grassroots advocacy for the American Physical Society (APS). She is also the former lead strategist and manager of the Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction in partnership with Princeton University and the Carnegie Corporation.

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Meg Rodriguez

Meg Rodriguez leads the Career Pathways office at Berkeley Lab. In this role, she oversees the lab’s postdoctoral program, Berkeley Lab Graduate Bridge Fellowship, Early Career Enrichment Program, Annual Research SLAM, scientist and engineer appointments, and the annual director’s awards process. She is passionate about her work in the Career Pathways Office and assisting early-career scientists in career and professional development. Meg earned her bachelor's degree from Sacramento State University in business administration, with an emphasis in human resources, and is currently pursuing a masters in education at the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis on higher education.

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Nance Roy

Nance Roy, EdD, serves as the chief clinical officer of the Jed Foundation and is an assistant clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine in the department of psychiatry. She has over 20 years of experience as a psychologist working in college mental health. She served as the assistant dean of health and wellness at Sarah Lawrence College and most recently was the associate dean of health and wellness at Rhode Island School of Design. Her publications have focused on effective strategies for promoting emotional well-being among teens and young adults as well as treatment and management of at-risk students on college campuses. She has been actively involved in strategic planning initiatives focusing on a holistic approach to education, crisis management, and a public health model for delivery of care in high schools and on college campuses. Roy is a senior advisor for the National College Depression Partnership, serves on the Mental Health Task Force for the Ruderman Foundation, and has worked on mental health initiatives with the Surgeon General, the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance, the Department of Defense, The Veterans Administration, the Milken Institute, the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, and college and university systems across the country. She earned a BS degree from the University of Rhode Island, an MS from the University of North Carolina, and an EdD from Harvard University.

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S Simmons

S Simmons, or Dr. S, as he is affectionately called, is a Black, queer, trans*masculine educator, facilitator, healer, and dope ass human. He is originally from Chicago Heights, Illinois, and is the eldest of three. Thinking he would become a psychologist, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Iowa State University. However, along the way he discovered a program that would allow him to utilize his psych skills while working with students from pre-college to graduate school (and beyond), and he was in love. He received his PhD in higher education from Loyola University Chicago. Throughout his career he has been committed and invested in underrepresented/underresourced communities including Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), first generation, and LGBTQIA+ people. After more than 15 years, he continues to work with individuals and organizations to explore themselves, their worlds, and their biases more honestly, and with a focus on action. His passion for development, leadership, and equity is evident when you meet him. At the root, he is committed to working alongside others towards healing and liberation.

Erica Snider

Erica Snider

Erica Snider received her PhD in high energy physics from the University of Chicago studying multi-particle production in proton-anti-proton collisions. As a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University, she contributed to the discovery of the top quark, one of the elementary constituents of matter. She is currently a staff physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), where her research focuses on studying the properties of neutrinos and searching for new particles and phenomena. Snider also works to advance common simulation, reconstruction, and analysis software for the current and future generation of neutrino experiments that utilize liquid argon detectors.

In recent years, Snider has dedicated herself toward creating a more inclusive and equitable environment at Fermilab and beyond and to addressing the lack of diversity within high energy physics. Toward this end, she has worked on women’s issues and participated in STEM outreach events for high school girls. She has also taken on a leadership role in the LGBTQ+ employee resource group, led or participated in various initiatives to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion across physics, and spoken at numerous events in and out of physics on topics related to transgender and LGBTQ+ inclusion as well as normalizing trans and nonbinary identities.

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Linda Strubbe

Linda Strubbe, PhD, is a science education consultant, researcher, instructor, curriculum designer and instructor professional developer. Her PhD, from the University of California, Berkeley, and first postdoctoral fellowship, at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, were studying massive black holes in the centers of galaxies. In 2015, she transitioned her career to science education. Linda's work focuses on university instructor professional development in international contexts, especially in Canada, West Africa, Central Asia, and the US. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers and is currently supporting physics departments across four continents who are working to advance equity and inclusion in their universities.

Shannon Greco

Shannon Swilley Greco

Shannon Swilley Greco is the science education senior program leader at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University. She is a passionate science educator with nearly twenty years' experience in hands-on science and engineering education and engagement programs for informal science, kindergarten through twelfth grade students and teachers, and the general public. Swilley Greco holds a master of science in science education, and her work focuses on increasing participation of women and minorities in STEM. Shannon Swilley Greco is the past chair of the American Physical Society's Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public, a career mentoring fellow, and Supporting Teachers to Encourage the Pursuit of Undergraduate Physics for Women (STEP UP) ambassador.

Andrea Welsh

Andrea Welsh

Andrea Welsh, PhD, (she/they) is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Pittsburgh. She is studying collective motion in biological systems and mathematical biology modeling. She has worked to improve the climate for those around her in the various communities she has been a part of. As a queer woman with mental illness form a poor socio-economic background, she has worked to make sure everyone feels included and that physics is accessible to all. Particularly, she focuses on supporting LGBTQIA+ scientists and scientists with mental illnesses. As a PhD student, she chaired the 2016 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) and started the Georgia Tech Society of Women in Physics. She also was an inaugural safe space peer-education facilitator through the GT LGBTQIA+ Resource center, and revitalized GT Grad Pride as the vice-president during her last year of her PhD. Andrea was an APS Forum of Graduate Student Affairs member-at-large where she coordinated and spoke in the APS March Meeting invited session "Stress and Strain: Mental Health in Grad School.” She has created and moderates a virtual support group called Mental Health in Physics.

The activities within AGL are open to individuals who do not identify as cisgender men. We encourage participation of cisgender women, gender non-binary individuals, and transgender individuals.

Heising-Simons Foundation