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College Park, MD – The Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) of the American Physical Society (APS) announces the recipients of the 2012 M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship. The Blewett Fellowship enables women to return to physics research after having had to interrupt their career.
Michelle Ntampaka, a laboratory technician and lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, will return full-time to her Ph.D. program in August 2012. From 2005-2010, Michelle worked full-time while completing her Master's Degree in Physics.
With the Blewett Fellowship, Michelle will be able to fully devote herself to completing the research needed to earn her Ph.D. Her research will explore ways in which halos might be populated, creating a bridge between simulated models and the multi-wavelength galaxy cluster observations currently taking place at the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
Michelle is also dedicated to educating teachers in Rwanda and is planning a teacher training session for summer 2013 to guide elementary educators to develop lesson plans that engage their students in astronomy and astrophysics, while making use of the limited resources available.
Sujatha Sampath began her research career in the United States in 2001 as a joint-postdoctoral research scientist between the Neutron Science division at the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Wyoming. She suffered a career setback, however, when she left this position to join her husband in Milwaukee.
The Blewett Fellowship will enable Sujatha to return to research and broaden her research scope. Sujatha will study the hierarchical structure of spider silks at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a postdoctoral research associate. It is envisioned that her work will help unravel details on the correlation between structure and observed physical properties, which can in turn be translated to biomimetic applications.
The Blewett Fellowship was established by a generous bequest from M. Hildred Blewett, a particle accelerator physicist who died in 2004. Hildred Blewett was passionate about physics and recognized that women who have interrupted their research careers can face many obstacles when they try to resume that research.
The fellowship 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. Applicants are selected by a sub-committee of CSWP.
The American Physical Society is a nonprofit 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 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.