Session Descriptions

Personal Statements and Cover Letters: Connecting Your Experience with Future Opportunities

Personal statements and cover letters for funding opportunities and jobs are not just a way of listing work experience or skills; they are, in part, a written display of a candidate’s identity. In this session we’ll invite participants to think about the purpose and structure of these documents and how to present themselves effectively to their intended audience. Conference participants who can’t make the session can still access the resources here.

Careers in academia and national labs

In this panel we will discuss the career path for the undergraduate physics students in academia and national labs. The discussion should cover different aspects such as the pros and cons of this career path. Then, you will have the chance to ask our expert panelist any related question which would help you to collect the important information about this potential career.

Careers in teaching

Curious about teaching physics in the K-12 setting? In this panel we will discuss both the positive and not-so-positive aspects of teaching at the high school level, the opportunities this career path can provide, and the steps needed to follow this career path. Come prepared with questions for our panel of experienced local physics teachers.

Finding a mentor

Learn about how to find mentors, build a mentorship network, and negotiate mentoring relationships to get the most out of them, for both mentors and mentees.

Applying to grad school - faculty edition

In this panel, you will have the opportunity to learn about applying to graduate school from faculty that have served on graduate admissions committees. Faculty from a range of areas will be represented including Physics, Astronomy and Planetary Science. Come ask questions about the different aspects of the application process and learn what makes a compelling application to graduate school.

Imposter session

This interactive workshop will challenge imposter syndrome thoughts and help you create an action plan to move forward more confidently in your education and career.

Careers outside academia

Want to learn more about Careers Outside of Academia? Join our session to gain insight from our panelists working in a variety of roles related to Physics and more! Our panelists include Christine Muccianti, Ph.D. an Applications Engineer at Arizona Optical Metrology, Allison Hughes a Staff Scientist at Arete Associates, Christine O’Donnell a Senior Program Manager from the American Physical Society, as well as Eveke Calixtro a Production Engineer and Chris Foster a Director of Engineering at IR Labs. During this session, panelists will share their journey to their current position, information about the work they are currently doing, and will feature a Q&A session where attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of their own!

Achieving life-work balance

This panel brings together a diverse group of graduate students who will share their firsthand experiences navigating the challenges of academic life. From managing day-to-day responsibilities to finding effective strategies for balancing academic pursuits with personal well-being, our panelists will offer valuable perspectives and practical tips. Gain unique insights into the realities of graduate school and learn successful approaches to maintaining equilibrium during this engaging session. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions, allowing for a dynamic and interactive discussion.

Getting involved in outreach

In this panel, you will have the opportunity to converse with panelists with expertise in physics and astronomy outreach to the general public. Panelists include a STEM outreach educator and representatives from organizers of public astronomy talk series and telescope nights. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions about all things outreach to our experienced panel.

Applying to grad school - Grad student Edition

The Graduate Student Grad School Admissions Panel will consist of four current graduate students who have recently gone through the admissions processes. We will share what we’ve learned during our experiences and give our best advice for preparing compelling application materials. We will prioritize questions from the audience to make this an engaging and helpful dialog for attendees facing the application process.

Navigating STEM as LGBTQIA+

The panel aims to shed light on the challenges, triumphs, and experiences of individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ in STEM subjects, including physics/astronomy/engineering. The panelists will discuss their experience of moving through the workplace as members of the LGBT+ community, and attendees are encouraged to ask questions and initiate discussions.

Getting involved in undergraduate research

In this panel we will discuss a number of topics related to getting involved in Undergraduate Research. The discussion should cover how to find a faculty mentor, what to look for in research projects and what to avoid, how to make the most of your project, and more. You will also have the chance to ask our expert panelists any related question which would help you to find the most relevant and beneficial projects for you.

Community building/organizing

In this panel, attendees will converse with a diverse group of panelists with expertise in finding and developing a sense of community in physics and astronomy departments. This panel will cover several aspects of building community, including finding ways to get involved in existing communities, building a community where none already exists, and assessing community and climate in future positions. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions to promote a helpful and interactive session.