Katy Rodriguez Wimberly
Katy Rodriguez Wimberly is a Physics PhD Candidate at University of California, Irvine. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Eugene Cota–Robles Fellow, and an AAS National Osterbrock Fellow. She studies galaxy evolution using both optical telescopes and cosmological simulations. Her research focuses on ultra–dwarf galaxies near the Milky Way. She explores how these tiny galaxies evolve, and what they can tell us about our cosmic neighborhood. Outside of research, Katy is a member of the Board of Directors for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific where she is Co-Chair of their Diversity Committee. In addition, she loves leading outreach and mentorship efforts! Katy has created and leads peer mentorship programs implemented by UCI and the Cal-Bridge Scholarship Program. Aside from all things astro, she enjoys her life as a mama to a toddler and preparing for her second daughter! Family time with her husband, daughter, and pup is her favorite hobby — this includes lots of laughs, hikes, and baby snuggles!
Francisco earned his BS in Physics at Cal Poly Pomona and, later, went on to receive an MS in Physics at UC Irvine. Currently, Francisco is a PhD Candidate in Physics at University of California, Irvine, where he works with Professor James Bullock. In his research, he utilizes large cosmological simulations to study the formation and evolution of galaxies throughout time. Francisco is also the Co-Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Community Excellence (PACE) Program's 2020-2021 Leadership Team.
Devontae (Tae) Baxter is a Physics PhD Candidate at the University of California, Irvine. His research involves using a combination of observations, simulations, machine learning, and statistical techniques to better understand the physical processes responsible for suppressing star formation in satellite galaxies. He is a fellow of the LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program and he also serves as the co-leader of the Physics and Astronomy Community Excellence (PACE) peer mentoring program at UC Irvine. Some of his hobbies include skateboarding, traveling, and learning languages.
Arianna Long is Eugene Cota Robles and National Ford Dissertation Fellow at the University of California, Irvine. She is primarily interested in understanding the conditions that birth the most massive galaxies in the universe. Her primary toolkit includes data from major telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum, such as ALMA and Hubble, and the numerical models she builds using these observations to test predictions. Alongside her scientific roles, Arianna is also a mentor and leader, having founded and led several mentoring programs — including co-founding the PACE Peer Mentoring program, which is now under the NOLP umbrella. Since 2015, she has directly mentored over 100 Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students in STEM. Her ultimate goal is to become a professor where she can spend her days learning more about our cosmos and mentoring the next generation of scientists.
Rosa Wallace Everson
Rosa Wallace Everson is an NSF Graduate Fellow, Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow, and Osterbrock Fellow in Astronomy & Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, where she studies the evolution of interacting binary stars using semi-analytical and numerical methods, with a focus on common envelope evolution. With Bachelors degrees in both Theatre and Physics, she spent nearly a decade as a professional musician and performing artist prior to training as a scientist. Rosa seeks to integrate her broad experience to bridge science and society, advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, and inspire and support the next generation of researchers. Recent successes include leading the effort to craft and pass the 2016 Society of Physics Students Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity, which encourages inclusion, support, and retention in undergraduate physics departments on the national level, as well as founding the Osterbrock/Women in Physics and Astrophysics Bridge Scholarship at UC Santa Cruz, which assists undergraduate women and minorities in STEM by directly reducing the financial burden of the graduate school application process.
Alexandra Mannings, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, is a second-year graduate student in The University of California - Santa Cruz's Astronomy & Astrophysics department. She completed her undergraduate studies at The University of Alabama, where she earned degrees in Physics and Dance. Alexandra is an NSF Graduate Fellow and hopes to use this and the Osterbrock fellowships to advance collaborations between art and science on campus through interdisciplinary research and educational outreach. Alex would also like to explore the various roles that administration can play in supporting fruitful research and learning environments. At UCSC, her research focuses on Fast Radio Burst host galaxy characterization and studying immediate burst environments as a means of constraining progenitor models. When Alex is not doing research, she enjoys teaching dance, watching movies, and spending time outdoors.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica, in Central America. I obtained undergraduate degrees in Physics and Classical Philology at Universidad de Costa Rica and have lived abroad in Barcelona and Brazil, which has helped me have an open mind and enjoy different cultures. In 2017 I started the PhD program in Astronomy at UCSC, pursuing my dreams, where I do exciting supernova cosmology research with Ryan Foley and David Jones. I was involved in the kilonova discovery in August 2017, and that granted me some exposure in Costa Rica. This made me realize I could be a great example for future Costa Rican scientists. Therefore, when I heard about the Osterbrock Leadership Program, I immediately knew it would be a great opportunity to enhance my leadership skills. I also desire to help the Latinamerican community in the United States: I've been providing Spanish translations to astronomical material of Lick Observatory, and have participated in multiple Noche de las Estrellas, a special Lick Observatory visitors night for the Spanish-speaking community.
I am a fourth-year graduate student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at UC Santa Cruz. My PhD research focuses on understanding terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres using a combination of laboratory experiments and models. I received my undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Princeton University and have prior research experience at Carnegie Institution and Caltech/JPL.
I am particularly interested in how terrestrial planets obtain their atmospheres and how we can utilize cosmochemistry of objects in the Solar System to improve our knowledge of the formation and evolution of exoplanets. I am performing outgassing experiments on a wide variety of meteorite samples, the leftover building blocks of planets, in order to place experimental constraints on early atmospheric compositions of terrestrial planets.
Beyond doing research, I seek to be an effective teacher and mentor to students and the general public and improve diversity and inclusion in STEM. Through the Osterbrock Leadership Program, I am gaining essential leadership skills and insights into the large-scale operations of the astronomy community while also having the opportunity to delve into one of my passions which is the intersection of science and art. In addition, I am currently organizing virtual workshops through the Rising Stargirls program to engage middle school-age girls of all backgrounds with astronomy and astrobiology. Throughout my career, the tools I acquire through the Osterbrock program will serve me well in my position as a scientist, educator, and member of the astronomy community.
I was born in the beautiful city of Kolkata in Eastern India and moved to the US for doing my graduate studies in 2016. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Physics from Presidency University, Kolkata. Being in a very strong physics department, I had intense physics training throughout my undergraduate years but not so much in astronomy. That is because astronomy is still a growing discipline in India, especially at the undergraduate level.
However, I was very lucky to find astronomy connections within the department towards the later years of my BSc and throughout my master's years. I was mentored and advised by professional astronomers who were trained in astronomy in the US and eventually came back to their hometown in India to encourage more young students towards astronomy. My interaction with them was the prime motivating factor for me to choose an astronomy career and to be so passionate about it. In terms of research interests, I have worked in a variety of things, ranging from black holes spewing radiation as in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), to solar physics and flares. Now I mostly work at the interface between galaxy evolution and AGN physics and how a galaxy is affected by stuff coming out from the black holes in their center. Like my undergraduate mentors, I want to eventually return to my country and help build a stronger astronomy community and make it a component in the undergraduate curriculum. That will require leadership, organizational, and management skills alongside formal academic training. I am very excited to be a part of the Osterbrock program and to acquire all those skill sets during my graduate studies. As an Osterbrock fellow, I wish to organize projects and programs that will strengthen international collaboration amongst astronomers and at the same time make it more accessible to the younger population via different outreach programs. I hope this would eventually pave the way for achieving my longer-term goal of making astronomy education more accessible to the young population in India.
I am a PhD candidate in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department at UCSC and a UCSC undergraduate alumna (physics, class of 2013). A former real estate broker, I decided to pursue a career in science later in life and I am eager to serve as a role model and mentor other non-traditional, underrepresented students.
In my research, I use the world’s largest telescopes to take pictures of nearby stars to discover previously unknown small stars and planets around them. My dissertation project is to use Kepler archival data, in conjunction with new information about Kepler stars, to untangle signals of planets in binary star systems.
The Osterbrock program and its founders have left an indelible mark on my career. The program has shown me the power of building a network among leaders in astronomy and other fields in order to exact change in the way the public perceives science and how science is taught to our youth.
Columbia U. Fellows
Courtney Carter is a first-year graduate student in Astronomy at Columbia University. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize Scholar, and an AAS National Osterbrock Fellow. Her research is focused on Galactic archaeology — broadly, the study of using stellar chemical abundances, kinematics, and ages to trace the formation history of the Milky Way galaxy. In addition, she thinks frequently about Galactic dynamics, galaxy formation, and Milky Way satellites in her work. She enjoys working at the intersection of large cosmological simulations and big data to answer questions about the origins of the Milky Way (and in the future, maybe, of our nearest Galactic neighbors). After extensive diversity, equity, and inclusion work at her undergraduate institution, Courtney is looking forward to continuing to address the historical exclusion of Black and Brown students in the sciences through mentorship and service. As a AAS National Osterbrock Fellow, she is excited to bring astronomy to students from underserved NYC communities through her proposed project. Courtney received her Bachelors of Arts in Physics and Studio Art from Grinnell College. She has a passion for making contemporary mixed-media art and enjoys thinking about how to be a more interdisciplinary artist and scientist.
Ryan is a PhD student in Astronomy at Columbia University. His primary research interest is plasma astrophysics, for which he uses both particle-in-cell and magnetohydrodynamic simulations to study the highest-energy phenomena in the universe. Recently, he has been exploring the growth of magnetic fields around blazars and gamma-ray bursts due to microscale plasma instabilities.
Ryan is passionate about STEM education and communication. He is a member of the Astrobites collaboration, in which he serves as a regular author as well as a member of the education, policy, and hiring committees. Additionally, he co-chairs the SciBites committee, which connects Astrobites with other “Bites” websites, such as Chembites and Geobites. Ryan also teaches computer science to high school students in Harlem as part of Democracy Prep High School’s “Coding Club.” At Columbia, Ryan is co-organizer of the astronomy department’s grad-undergrad mentoring program.
Ryan’s non-science interests include art history, violin, and video games. As a cancer survivor, he is also dedicated to giving back to the pediatric oncology community through bone marrow donor registry drives, fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and outreach to pediatric cancer patients.
Navin Sridhar is an astrophysics PhD candidate at Columbia University; he received his undergraduate degree in physics from the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Bhopal. Navin’s research spans various aspects of high energy astrophysics on topics including accretion around compact objects, emission mechanisms of non-thermal X-rays from black hole coronae, the physics of particle energization in astrophysical plasmas, and the origin of coherent radio emission from sources like pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts. He studies them by performing kinetic plasma simulations, hydrodynamical fluid simulations, and also by directly observing the astronomical sources with satellite and ground-based telescopes.
Besides research, Navin is interested in understanding, and being a part of, the multitude of synergistic possibilities that a PhD in a collaboration-intensive field like astronomy can unlock: for example, an education system that persistently evolves to be equitable and accessible to the dynamically evolving demographic it caters to. To that end, he has been an active participant in various education and teaching programs nationwide (Columbia CTL, Yale YYGS, ISEE PDP, to name some), to foster the skills required to develop and incorporate inquiry-based, inclusive learning techniques into STEM education. Using the skills and resources acquired through the National Osterbrock Leadership Program, Navin intends to work with a diverse team of astronomers on conceiving and implementing a program that will increment the state of astronomical research in places with limited access to modern astronomical facilities.
Beyond academia, Navin enjoys playing any sport, outdoor activities, and Indian classical music.
Alina Sabyr is a second-year Astronomy graduate student at Columbia University. Born and raised between Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Kazakhstan, she earned her B.A. in Astronomy-Physics from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY where she also minored in Classics. Following graduation, she was a ‘19-20 Thomas J. Watson fellow and spent nine months (cut short from twelve due to COVID-19) traveling abroad pursuing an independent, purposeful exploration centered around the question “Why should we look at the sky?” Her research work and interests are in theoretical cosmology, large scale structure and the CMB. She is interested in extracting non-Gaussian information from large surveys using weak lensing peak statistics and recently started to work on the cosmic infrared background. Outside of research, Alina cares about expanding astronomy’s impact and role in our society, improving access to education and STEM to underserved populations, and interdisciplinary projects. She hopes to use the skills learned through the National Osterbrock Leadership Program to effectively address these interests and to be an active member of the astronomical community and beyond. Apart from astronomy, she enjoys creative writing, traveling, hiking, and learning languages.
Maryum Sayeed is a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy at Columbia University. She completed her Bachelor’s in Physics & Astronomy at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. While she has a diverse research background, her research focus is in stellar astrophysics and galactic archaeology. She is interested in understanding the formation and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy using large scale surveys, and investigating the exoplanet population given host star properties. She is also passionate about software development and machine learning applications within astronomy.
Through the Osterbrock Leadership Program, Maryum hopes to gain the skills and knowledge to inspire minorities to pursue STEM. She is passionate about scientific literary and critical thinking, and the accessibility of science for under-represented and under-funded communities. As an Osterbrock Fellow, Maryum is looking forward to networking with leaders and astronomers, developing mentorship programs, and creating a welcoming environment for future scientists. Currently, she is a LSSTC Data Science Fellow, and spent her gap year as a Data Analytics consultant at Ernst & Young. Outside of astronomy, Maryum enjoys traveling, hiking, and learning about new cultures.