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Conference Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Brittany Kamai

Dr. Brittany Kamai

Heising-Simons Foundation

About Brittany Kamai

Dr. Brittany Kamai is Native Hawaiian, an astrophysicist, athlete, author, mentor, and advocate for creating a better world. She is on a mission to help enhance our fundamental understanding of the universe and does so by weaving together every aspect of who she is. As an experimentalist, Dr. Kamai’s research focuses on improving gravitational wave detectors with novel technology ideas. She is advancing studies of seismic and acoustic metamaterials on a path to improve the ground-based detectors, namely LIGO and Cosmic Explorer. With increased sensitivity, we will gather deeper astrophysical observations to enable precision tests of cosmology, General Relativity, and stellar evolution. Dr. Kamai cares deeply about how we do science and infuses the aloha spirit into her practice of science. She advocates on national and international advisory boards to build towards a more equitable and inclusive field of astrophysics. She is the co-founder of #ShutDownSTEM and the Society of Indigenous Physicists. Dr. Kamai has received numerous awards during her career including the National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, among many others. Currently, Dr. Kamai is a Heising-Simons Foundation Postdoctoral scholar with a joint appointment between the University of California, Santa Cruz and Caltech.

Dr. Jedidah Isler

Jedidah Isler

STEM en Route to Change (SeRCH) Foundation

About Jedidah Isler

Dr. Jedidah Isler is an astrophysicist, thinker and Founder of the STEM en Route to Change (SeRCH) Foundation, Inc. – a nonprofit organization dedicated to using STEM as a tool for social justice. She is a proud double-HBCU graduate of Norfolk State University and Fisk University, by way of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in astrophysics at Yale University, where she studied blazars, supermassive black holes which spin up relativistic jets that travel nearly at the speed of light. She is currently an assistant professor of astrophysics at Dartmouth College, but has deep interest in STEM equity policy, anti-oppressive mentoring techniques and liberatory structural change. She recently co-authored a paper about #VanguardSTEM, an organization she founded, called “Defining the Flow: Using an Intersectional Scientific Methodology to Build a VanguardSTEM Hyperspace”, which she strongly encourages you to read (and cite!).

You can find Dr. Isler on social media @jedidahislerphd.

Dr. Chanda Prescod Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod Weinstein

University of New Hampshire

About Chanda Prescod Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an assistant professor physics and astronomy and core faculty in women’s and gender studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her theoretical physics research focuses primarily on solving the dark matter problem, and she also takes an interest in early universe cosmology. Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is also a researcher in Black feminist science, technology, and society studies, with a keen interest in how knowledge is shaped by social phenomena. For her contributions to particle cosmology and breaking down barriers in physics, she has been awarded the APS 2021 Edward A. Bouchet Award, and in 2017 received the LGBT+ Physicists Acknowledgment of Excellence Award. A columnist for New Scientist and Physics World, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein’s book for general audiences comes out on March 9, 2021 and is entitled The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred.

The NMC Conference 2021 Sponsors

APS NMC logoNSBP logoNSHP logoOSU Logo

NMC, NSBP, NSHP, OSU, and Kenton and Amy Brown

The American Physical Society National Mentoring Community (NMC) is an effort by APS to increase the number of physics degrees earned by underrepresented minority students, defined by the project as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Indigenous Peoples.