The 2016 UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman UC-HBCU Bridge Program class has been selected, and includes four students from Morehouse College and one student from Spelman. These were selected from among 10 students who applied, on the basis of GPA, research interests and recommendations from faculty and mentors.
Christian Aganze (Morehouse ’16) who participated in the 2014 and 2015 programs, has been awarded an American Astronomical Society (AAS) Funds for Astronomical Meetings: Outreach to Underrepresented Scientists (FAMOUS) grant. The grant provides up to $1000 for travel, meals & lodging for participation in the January 2016 AAS meeting in Kissimmee, Florida. Christian will be presenting his work searching for distant brown dwarfs in the HST WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels Survey (WISPS).
After completing 8 weeks of intensive research on the spectra of distant, cool brown dwarfs, Morehouse Bridge Scholar Christian Aganze presented his results at the 2015 UCSD Summer Undergraduate Research Conference. Chris was able to find several dozen new late M, L and T dwarfs hidden among thousands of galaxy spectra in WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel (WISP) Survey data. In many cases, these sources are well over 1000 light-years away, making them some of the most distant brown dwarfs known. Chris joined other members of the Cool Star Lab presenting results on cool brown dwarf spectra, atmospheres and physical properties.
Christian’s presentation slides can be seen here.
Jarrhett Butler (bridge class 2014) has been accepted to the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD program, to pursue a graduate degree in Physics. This award-winning and nationally-recognized program has produced 18 PhDs in physics, astronomy and materials science, making it the nation’s top awarder of Ph.D.s to underrepresented minority students in these fields. The UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman program is modeled largely on research-validated toolkits developed by the Fisk-Vanderbilt program.
Congratulations on taking the next step in your career Jarrhett!
Julian Pilate-Hutcherson (Bridge class of 2014) was awarded a Best Poster Presentation Award at the March 2015 Society of Physics (SPS) Student Zone 6 Conference at Auburn University. He presented his work on “Using dynamic light scattering to study nanoparticle dynamics” he conducted while working with Prof. Oleg Shpyrko during the 2014 Bridge program period. Julian recently began his Master’s degree work at the University of Notre Dame.Congratulations Julian!
All of the UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman Bridge scholars were on present and presenting at the 2015 National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) National Meeting, February 25-28 in Baltimore, MD. This Annual Conference brings together a broad range of experts in multiple fields of physics (astronomy, astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter and materials, physics, high energy, etc.), and is the largest academic meeting of minority physicists in the United States. It is co-organized in partnership with Associated Universities, Inc. and co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
The UCSD-Morehouse-Spelman Physics Bridge program has selected its Bridge Scholars Class for 2015. They are (from left to right): Christian Aganze (3nd year Morehouse, Physics), Dakari Franklin (2nd year Morehouse, Physics & Math), Saidou N’gaide’ (3rd year Morehouse, Applied Physics/Aerospace Engineering), Alaja Phillips (4th year Spelman, Physics) and Wayne Stevens (2nd year Morehouse, Physics). Christian and Saidou will be returning for a second year. Each of these students will be paired with one the UCSD faculty mentors for an 8-week research position and graduate preparation training.
You can read more about the 2015 class here.
Congratulations to you all!
Christian Aganze, a 2014 Morehouse Bridge Fellow working with Prof. Adam Burgasser, won a poster award at the 2014 National Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS). Christian won the award for his presentation of work done this summer to investigate the mysterious nature of GJ 660.1B, a cool companion to the nearby M0 dwarf GJ 660.1. Using data in the SpeX Prism Library and published spectral index relations, Christian has found that this source is either very young or metal poor, but careful inspection supports the latter hypothesis. This makes GJ 660.1B a new benchmark for metal-poor very low mass dwarfs, and is a cautionary tale for index-based gravity measures.
Morehouse Physics Bridge Fellows had their culminating event for the summer on Thursday August 14th, with presentations at the annual UCSD Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. After 8 weeks of hard work in labs, on the computer, or at on-site facilities, each of the students had a great deal to pack in to their 15 minute presentations. We were also fortunate to have the Morehouse Chair of Physics and Dual-Degree Engineering, Dr. Willie Rockward, present for the day.