2014 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP)

The Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted the South-Central Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) during the January 17-19 weekend. Our CUWiP was one of eight regional conferences, all held simultaneously, and centrally organized through the American Physical Society. Women currently constitute less than 20% of all physics majors, and in many smaller programs there are one or fewer women in each class. The aim of the CUWiPs is to allow undergraduate women physicists to meet, network with, and be inspired by both peers and established women scientists, and to explore the breadth of professional opportunities available to physics majors.

The conference showcased different careers in physics, through a series of presentations and panel discussions. The 110 participants, of whom 80 were undergraduate students, were engaged in discussions and networking through much of the weekend, including during a poster session with peer judges. The opening night career panel, for instance, consisted of five panelists who represented different careers in physics - academia, national lab, industry, medical physics, and education - and who shared both their professional and personal career paths. The conference also featured a number of both local and outside distinguished speakers who conveyed their excitement about their particular area of research or expertise. By the end of the conference, many participants reported feeling inspired, empowered, and re-invigorated in their pursuit of a career in physics.

The local organizing committee consisted of Mette Gaarde and Gabriela González (faculty), Anamaria Effler (graduate student),Hannah Gardiner and Amy LeBleu (undergraduate students), Bethany Broekhoven and Mia Ferriss (recent LSU graduates), andStephanie Jones, Colleen Fava, and Karen Richard (staff). The conference was graciously sponsored by both local and federal sources. For a full list of sponsors, see the CUWiP sponsor page.