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Broadening Participation in Astronomy


As a postdoc, I have led a number of initiatives to increase the representation of underserved and underrepresented groups in Astronomy. I have primarily focused on undergraduate students, just before their transition to graduate school or a post-graduate career. My goals are both to provide students with the necessary skills, mentoring, and knowledge they need to succeed after college, and to improve the culture and climate of our field to be more welcoming and supportive to students of all backgrounds.


National Astronomy Consortium Leading A Summer Research Program
For the past two years, I have run a student program (The National Astronomy Consortium in Socorro New Mexico) to prepare undergraduate and graduate students from traditionally underserved groups for a career in STEM. As the local leader of the NAC I designed and ran both a weekly summer seminar and a monthly all-year seminar for 5 summer students, trained additional mentors, connected students to role models outside of NRAO, and continued one-on-one mentoring relationships with the students after the summer.


Diversity Series Dinner Organizing Visiting Speakers
During Summer 2015, I organized a local Diversity Speaker Series at the NRAO in Socorro, New Mexico. We invited three speakers representing a diverse range of backgrounds to speak to students and staff about their journey to become a scientist, and their advice for overcoming barriers that they faced. Speakers visited for two days to interact with students and staff formally (giving talks on their science) and informally (going out to dinner with students).

Synthesis Imaging Workshop 2014 Hosting Discussions
For the 14th Synthesis Imaging Workshop at NRAO in Socorro, I organized a Careers and Diversity panel to address the disparity between the demographics of conference speakers and attendees. I assembled a panel of scientists representing a range of experiences, and solicited questions from an audience of nearly 100 participants ranging from advice for work-life balance to career guidance.


Inclusive Astronomy 2015 Attending Workshops
In Summer 2015, I participated in the first Inclusive Astronomy Conference at Vanderbilt, University. The outcome of this meeting is a forthcoming series of recommendations for improving access to a career in astronomy and improving the climate in research and educational institutions.