2018 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

The George Washington University (GW) is excited to have been selected as a host site for the 2018 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)! The conference will take place from January 12th to 14th, 2018, in the newly constructed, fully accessible, Science and Engineering Hall at GW's downtown Washington DC campus. The conference will include lots of fun and exciting activities: opportunities to learn about new, cutting-edge physics from senior women leading in their fields; workshops and panels on professional skills, life as a physicist and career opportunities in physics; opportunities to tour NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and other local labs and programs; a career fair; and a vibrant social program and outreach fair organized by the local Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter. We seek to make CUWiP at GW an inclusive, welcoming environment for all participants. If you have any concerns or questions about coming to this CUWiP, please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

The CUWiP at GW is open to students from the following states:

  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Maryland (East of Fredrick)
  • New Jersey (Trenton and south)
  • Pennsylvania (Eastern, Lancaster)
  • Virginia (North of Fredricksburg)

If you do not fall in the geographic catchment area for our CUWiP, please consider applying to one of the other sites:

  • Arizona State University 
  • Cal Poly Pomona/Pomona College/Harvey Mudd College
  • Columbia University
  • Iowa State University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Queen’s University (Canada)  
  • University of Kansas
  • University of North Florida
  • University of Oregon 
  • University of Toledo
  • University of Virginia

These conferences are supported in part by the National Science Foundation and by the Department of Energy Office of Science. 




Friday evening activities are in the Hyatt Centric Arlington, where the hotel accommodation for the conference is located. Other than breakfast, Saturday and Sunday activities will be located in the Science and Engineering Hall (SEH), including Saturday evening's buffet of heavy hors d'oeuvres. Transportation between the conference hotel and the SEH will be via traveling one stop on the blue, orange or silver metro lines between Rosslyn station (directly opposite the hotel) and Foggy Bottom Station (one block from the SEH). There will be guides available at both ends to assist with the process, and metro cards will be supplied at registration to all student participants with sufficient credit for two return trips. DC Metrorail is accessible via elevator at both stops.

All plenary sessions will occur in the Lehman Auditorium (SEH B1220). Poster sessions will take place in the atrium of the SEH, on the ground floor. All other refreshment breaks and meals on Saturday and Sunday will take place in the green area immediately adjacent to the Lehman Auditorium. Parallel sessions will be in rooms B1220, B1270, 1300, 1400, 1450, 2000, and 8750, all of which are fully accessible.  The location of the parallel sessions will be announced here on the webpage, and on large posters displayed prominently near all parallel session venues. 

Friday, January 12th, 2018

  • 9:00am – 5:00pm  Luggage drop-off & pick-up at hotel 
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm  Optional: Tour NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • 1:00pm – 6:30pm  Hotel check-in
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm  Optional: Tour NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
  • 5:00pm – 6:30pm  Conference check-in at Hyatt Centric Arlington
  • 6:30pm – 8:00pm  Dinner at Hyatt Centric Arlington
  • 8:00pm – 9:00pm  APS welcome & after-dinner speaker: Christine Jones (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

  • 7:00am – 8:15am  Breakfast at hotel
  • 8:15am – 8:45am  Travel to GW campus
  • 8:45am – 9:00am  Introduction & logistical announcements
  • 9:00am – 9:45am  Plenary speaker: Kawtar Hafidi (Argonne National Laboratory) [SEH B1220]
  • 9:45am – 10:30am  Plenary panel discussion [SEH B1220]
  • 10:30am – 11:15am  Posters I & coffee/tea break
  • 11:15am – 12:00pm  Workshops / panel discussions 1a
  • 12:00pm – 1:15pm  Lunch; graduate & job fair [SEH Green Area]
  • 1:15pm – 2:00pm  Workshops / panel discussions 1b
  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm  National plenary speaker: Patricia Burchat (Stanford University) [SEH B1220]
  • 3:30pm – 4:15pm  Posters II & coffee/tea break
  • 4:15pm – 5:00pm  Workshops / panel discussions 2a
  • 5:00pm – 5:45pm  Workshops / panel discussions 2b
  • 5:45pm – 7:00pm  Outreach speaker & fair: Gary White (George Washington University) & Society of Physics Students [SEH B1220]
  • 7:00pm – 8:00pm  Dinner at Science & Engineering Hall [SEH Green Area]
  • 8:00pm – 10:00pm  Social evening program (Society of Physics Students)

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

  • 7:00am – 8:30am  Breakfast at hotel & check-out
  • 8:30am – 9:00am  Travel to GW campus
  • 9:00am – 9:45am  Plenary speaker: Nancy Jo Nicholas (Los Alamos National Laboratory) [SEH B1220]
  • 9:45am – 10:30am  Workshops / panel discussions 3a
  • 10:30am – 11:00am  Coffee/tea break
  • 11:00am – 11:45am  Workshops / panel discussions 3b
  • 11:45am – 12:30pm  Plenary speaker: Luz Martinez-Miranda (University of Maryland) [SEH B1220]
  • 12:30pm – 1:00pm  Closing remarks & discussion
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm  Lunch & end conference [SEH Green Area]
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm  Optional: APS Professional Skills Workshop on Negotiation & Communication Skills for Women

Plenary panel discussion: "How to battle issues of diversity, bias & intersectionality: mentoring and building a diverse community"

  • Rhonda Dzakpasu (Georgetown University)
  • Elena Long (University of New Hampshire)
  • Nancy Jo Nicholas (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
  • Danielle Weiland (American Institute of Physics)
  • Nawal Benmouna ( Montgomery College)

Workshops/Panel Discussions 1: "Life after the physics degree"

1. (Applying to) working in academia & national labs (panel) [1a: SEH B1220; 1b: SEH 8750]

  • Michal Chojnacky (National Institute for Standards & Technology)
  • Rhonda Dzakpasu (Georgetown University)
  • Kawtar Hafidi (Argonne National Laboratory)
  • Preethi Nair (University of Alabama)
  • Holly Szumila-Vance (Jefferson Lab)

2. (Applying to) working in industry, business & policy (panel) [SEH 1400]

  • Bethany Johns (American Institute of Physics)
  • Jessica Lavender (TRC Energy Services)
  • Alexandra Valenti (Goodwin Procter LLP)

3. (Applying to) working in education (panel) [SEH 1300]

  • Alicia Bitler (George Washington University)
  • Kristine Lui (Montgomery College)
  • Rebecca Vieyra (American Association of Physics Teachers)
  • Jacob Voetberg (Loudoun County Public Schools)

4. Hot topics in physics talks (only session 1b, 1:15-2:00pm): Eleonora Troja (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) [SEH B1220]

Workshops/Panel Discussions 2: "Success at college/university"

1. Tips & tricks for study success (workshop): Raluca Teodorescu (Montgomery College) [SEH 2000]

2. (2a) Transfer from 2-year to 4-year college (workshop; only session 2a, 4:15-5:00pm): Lindsay Skeens (George Washington University) [SEH 1300]
    (2b) STEP UP 4 Women (workshop; only session 2b, 5:00-5:45pm): Rebecca Vieyra (American Association of Physics Teachers) [SEH B1220]

3. Summer internships (workshop+panel): Julia Browne (George Washington University) [SEH 8750]

4. Career development (workshop): Sonya Merrill (George Washington University) [SEH 1400]

5. Hot topics in physics talks (only session 2a, 4:15-5:00pm): Eleonora Troja (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) [SEH B1220]

Workshops/Panel Discussions 3: "Life as a physicist"

1. LGBTQ+ & allies (workshop): Elena Long (University of New Hampshire) [SEH 2000]

2. Work/life balance (workshop/panel) [3a: SEH B1220; 3b: SEH 8750]

  • Bethany Cobb Kung (George Washington University)
  • Danielle Weiland (American Institute of Physics)
  • Nawal Benmouna (Montgomery College)

3. Health & self care (workshop): Sarah Harte (George Washington University) [SEH 1400]

4. Graduate student panel (panel) [SEH 1450]

  • Tiffany Lewis (George Mason University)
  • Maria Solyanik (George Washington University)

5. Hot topics in physics talks (only session 3b, 11:00-11:45am): Kristin Beck (University of Maryland / Joint Quantum Institute) [SEH B1220]

6. Faculty workshops on mentoring & diversity: James Stith (American Institute of Physics) [SEH 1300]