AIP Congressional Science Fellows
Rukmani Vijayaraghavan received a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focus has been on understanding the evolution of galaxies in the extreme environments of galaxy clusters using numerical simulations on supercomputers. From 2015-2018, she was an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia. She also founded and ran the 'Girls Exploring the Universe' annual summer camp for middle school girls at UVA.
Gina Mazzuca received a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science in 2018 from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focused on the relationship between mesoscale meteorology and air pollution. In 2016, she interned at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in the Environment and Energy division.
Shuchi Talati received a Ph.D. in 2016 from Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy. Her doctoral research focused on the climate-energy-water nexus looking specifically at the impacts of domestic climate regulations and carbon capture and storage technology. She was most recently a postdoctoral fellow with the American Meteorological Society's Policy Program with research looking at perceptions of climate engineering risk and governance.
Mallory Hinks received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine in 2017. Her research focused on understanding the effect of environmental conditions on the chemical and physical properties of secondary organic aerosol. As a graduate student, Mallory co-founded the Science Policy Group at UCI to teach students about career opportunities at the intersection of science and policy. She is also passionate about science communication.
Rebecca received her Ph.D. in physics from The Ohio State University in 2014. For her dissertation, Rebecca used a novel mathematical method to characterize galactic gamma-ray emission; she also put constraints on the extragalactic background light by modeling the attenuation of extragalactic gamma-ray sources. After completing her Ph.D., Rebecca began working at CNA, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center in Arlington, Virginia, where she analyzed and solved problems for government agencies.
Ryan Murphy received a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. For his doctoral research, he studied the origin of Galactic cosmic rays with an experiment that flew on a NASA long-duration balloon launched from Antarctica, and made two trips totalling five months to the continent. While a graduate student, he led his departments peer mentoring program and was involved in science outreach. He received a B.A. with majors in Physics and International Studies and a minor in Political Science from Northwestern University.
Sara Barber is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She received her doctorate in Physics after defending her dissertation, Planetary Remnants Around White Dwarf Stars, where she examined the properties of planetary systems in the epoch following the host star death. Sara is also passionate about science outreach. While in graduate school, she pioneered an astronomy outreach program and hosted a department tour for her district's representative, Tom Cole.
Rachel Carr received a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia in 2015. Her doctoral work focused on measurements of neutrino oscillations in the Double Chooz experiment, located at a commercial nuclear power station in France. Outside research, she has held science writing positions at Fermilab and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State. Her policy interests include nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear power, renewable energy, and tech industry issues.
Colin received his PhD in quantum gravity from UC Davis in 2013 where he researched modifications to Einstein’s theory of gravity, quantum gravity and black holes. His early graduate career also involved work on physics education, including exploration of student misconceptions about physics and development of physics curriculum. Colin was most recently working as a physics lecturer at UC Davis and the College of the Canyons.
Caitlin received her PhD in Geophysics from Caltech in 2012 where she used high-pressure experiments to improve the current understanding of Earth’s metallic core, and ran multiple geophysical field excursions to image seismic faults in Southern California. Since 2012, she has been a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Geophysical Laboratory where she was exploring Earth and energy materials under high-pressure conditions at DOE-funded synchrotron and neutron facilities.