- Assure that the University of Maryland Department of Physics provides a welcoming and supportive environment for all members – undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, instructors, faculty, and staff.
- Provide a safe space to all members of our community to give voice to their concerns.
- Proactively foster change to improve all aspects of the department that affect the wellbeing of our members.
- Address inequities on the basis of race and gender, and coordinate activities to improve diversity and inclusion.
- Produce an annual report on the state of department climate – issues, admissions data, programs, progress.
Current MembersPlease reach out to any member of the committee with questions, suggestions, or concerns.
Madison Anderson (she/her/hers) works for Dr. Gretchen Campbell studying ultracold atomic physics. She serves as the graduate student representative on the Executive Committee of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). Her interests on the Climate Committee include fostering equal representation for underrepresented groups in UMD Physics colloquia, including talks about DEI in the colloquia series, implementing Bystander Training, and better connecting the UMD Physics Department with STEM at UMD.
Staff; Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Josiland (she/her/hers) has many years of experience working in academic affairs and serving on various UMD committees. In 2018, she was awarded the Outstanding Coordinator of Graduate Studies by the UMD Graduate School. This award recognizes exceptional contributions made to the graduate student experience. She enjoys working with students and assisting them as they progress through the graduate program.
Physics Director of Education; EDI Senate Committee
Donna Hammer (she/her/hers) is the Director of Education for the Department of Physics. Her work is largely driven by her commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. In addition to her work with the Climate Committee, she is a member of the University Senate EDI Committee and she is the Department lead and co-founder of the UMD-NIST Conference for Underrepresented Undergraduate Minorities in Physics (CU2MiP) previously held in 2016 and 2017. The conference will be held again on January 8-10, 2021. She also co-organized the UMD Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) in 2014 and 2020.
Graduate student; Graduate Committee
Landry (he/him/his) is a fourth-year experimental plasma physics graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Originally from Burundi, he came to the United States when he was 7 years old. He had a complicated path to physics yet eventually graduating with two degrees in physics and interdisciplinary physical sciences. He currently conducts research on shear driven waves near dipolarization fronts at the Naval Research Laboratory and is also interested in fusion research. Additionally, Landry is committed to expanding outreach and mentorship programs for people from marginalized backgrounds and to highlighting the value of diversity in physics. Apart from physics, he enjoys playing soccer, board games, and philosophy.
Staff; Faculty Assistant
Melanie Knouse (she/her/hers) is a 2012 University of Maryland graduate with a degree in Sociology and currently works as the MCFP faculty assistant. She was born a Terp with both of her parents having worked for decades in the UMD Physics Department. She has a vegetable garden, enjoys cooking, and entertaining friends.
Alicia Kollár is an assistant professor in the department of physics. She joined the faculty in Fall 2019 and is an experimentalist working in the field of superconducting circuits.
Rajarshi Roy (he/him/his) grew up in India and came to the USA as a graduate student in 1975. He is an experimental scientist interested in optics, nonlinear dynamics and neuroscience, and enjoys working with students, staff and colleagues at UMD and elsewhere. He also enjoys walking, listening to music and reading.
Climate Committee Chair; CMNS Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council Member
Peter Shawhan (he/him/his or they/them/theirs) joined the Physics Dept. as a faculty member in 2006, twenty years after competing in the Physics Olympics at UMD as a high school student. His research interests are gravitational wave detection, astrophysics, and high-precision gravity sensors. One of his children is a UMD undergraduate student.