Dianna Cowern


Dianna Cowern is a popular science communicator who has previously served as the outreach coordinator for the Cool Star Lab and the UCSD Physics Department. Born and raised in Hawaii, Dianna earned Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Computer Science from MIT, and conducted research in dark matter with Prof. Jocelyn Monroe and low-metallicity stars with Prof. Anna Frebel. She interned at General Electric as a Software Engineer designing mobile apps, before diving into to science outreach as an coordinator at UCSD. She is an award-winning science communicator, winning the 2014 Flame Challenge and the inaugural La Jolla Community Foundation award for Beach Physics. She has been featured locally for her outreach work, but is most famous for her extremely popular YouTube channel Physics Girl.

Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi named an IPAC Visiting Graduate Fellow


Graduate student Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi has earned an IPAC Visiting Graduate Student Fellowship for 2014.  She will be working with Dr. Chris Gelino at Caltech/IPAC for six months, analyzing Hubble Space Telescope images of late-type T and Y dwarfs identified by WISE.  Muchas felicidades Daniella!


Carl Melis wins Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Dr. Carl Melis, NSF and CASS Postdoctoral Fellow, was named a recipient of the 2013-2014 Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholar Award.  The award honors postdoctoral researchers who excel in research, demonstrate innovation and productivity, have a significant impact in their field, play a leadership role in mentoring and advising graduate and undergraduate students, and show a strong service record on and off campus. Carl was specifically cited for his many research accomplishments, including his recent Nature result reporting a rapidly disappearing disk around a sun-like star; mentoring high school, undergraduate and graduate students at UCSD; and developing a new Astrophysics laboratory course for the department (Physics 164). He will receive a $1000 research award and be honored at a lunch reception on Sept. 13, 2013.

Adam Burgasser awarded funds to pursue Bridge Program with Morehouse College


Adam Burgasser has been awarded 3 years of funding to implement a Physics bridge program with Morehouse College, a historically black college for men in Atlanta, GA.  Awarded under the UC-HBCU Initiative run by the UC Office of the President, the grant will support 3-5 undergraduate interns from Morehouse over the next 3 years, to pursue summer research at UCSD, receive training in research skills and GRE test preparation, and learn about graduate research in Physics.  Funds are also allocated for faculty exchanges between UCSD and Morehouse, and student support for research conferences.  Students selected for this program who then apply and are accepted into any UC graduate degree program will also receive tuition support.  Adam will be partnering with Dr. Willie Rockward, chair of the Morehouse Department of Physics and Dual-Degree Engineering.  The first class will be selected in November 2013.

Adam Burgasser to head AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities


Adam Burgasser has been selected to serve as the chair of the AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA) starting July 2013.  The mission of the CSMA is to enhance the participation of underrepresented minorities in astronomy at all levels of experience. Adam is looking forward to working with his colleagues on the committee to raise awareness to the many barriers underrepresented  groups face when pursuing degrees and careers in astronomy and other STEM fields, and implement methods of reducing these barriers.