Letter from the Editor

Beth Lindsey, Penn State Greater Allegheny

This issue of the APS Forum on Education newsletter focuses on Women in Physics, with an emphasis on undergraduate programs. Geoff Potvin of Florida International University shares some of his research into the development of women’s attitudes towards physics and their physics self-identities at the college level. He shares some practical, research-based suggestions that may help more women to consider pursuing careers in physical science. Davor Balzar of the University of Denver describes the history and some of the features of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UD, which has historically graduated a significant fraction of women undergraduate physics majors. Finally Jyoti Katoch of The Ohio State University shares some practices and programs that the Physics department at OSU has put into place in an effort to provide a more welcoming environment to women.

Gazette newsletter coverIn addition to the articles in this newsletter, APS provides many resources geared toward encouraging the recruitment, retention, and career development of women physicists at all levels. The Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) has published numerous reports on “Best Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Women in Physics” at all levels, available on the APS Women in Physics website. Together with the Committee on Minorities, the CSWP also publishes its own newsletter. (The most recent edition, the Spring 2015 Newsletter, is available on the The Gazette website.) These resources, as well as many others, can be accessed on the APS Women in Physics website.

On another note, I would like to take a moment to call your attention to the most recent edition of the newsletter of the PER Consortium of Graduate Students (PER-CoGS). In this newsletter, several experienced PER researchers share their personal and emotional challenges toward becoming a researcher. The results are deeply personal memoirs that may help students to recognize that the challenges they face are not unique, and that even the most accomplished of researchers have at times felt equally frustrated and overwhelmed. Although the newsletter is focused on PER researchers, I highly recommend it for graduate students of all sub-fields of physics. The newsletter can be accessed here: This special edition of the newsletter can be accessed on the PER Graduate Students website.

Disclaimer – The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.