News: PSD Spotlights

2022

PSD Spotlight: Tess San Juan

May 24, 2022

Tess San Juan

The PSD May Spotlight is Tess San Juan, senior grants and contracts administrator in the Local Business Center. Tess was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US when she was nine years old. She grew up in a small Chicago southwest suburb called Oak Forest and is coming up on her 20th year at UChicago.
 
 


Meet physics student, Elise Hinkle

April 21, 2022

Elise Hinkle

Elise Hinkle was born and brought up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. This is her second year at UChicago pursuing graduate studies in physics and working with Professor Ed Blucher. She is a member of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) Collaboration.


PSD Spotlight: Ben Stillwell

April 19, 2022

Ben Stillwell

The PSD April Spotlight is Ben Stillwell, research engineer manager for PSD’s Engineering and Technical Support Group (ETSG), which works with clients to plan, design, build, and test apparatus for their groundbreaking research projects. Ben is from Tampa, Florida, and has been working in this role since 2017.
 


PSD Spotlight: Brenda Thomas

March 23, 2022

Brenda F. Thomas

PSD's March spotlight is Brenda F. Thomas, secretary in the James Franck Institute (JFI) and assistant to faculty members David P. DeMille, Woowon Kang, David Schuster, Peter Littlewood, William TM Irvine, and Linda Young. She is also the JFI Colloquium & Seminar Coordinator and Computations and Science Seminar Coordinator. She has been with the PSD for 28 years.


Meet mathematics student, Colin Aitken

February 18, 2022

Colin Aitken

Colin Aitken was born and brought up in San Jose, California. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he was at MIT where he studied math and performed in the Shakespeare Ensemble. He has been a graduate student at UChicago for five years in the Department of Mathematics, though he sometimes hangs out in the Department of Economics. His field of study is algebraic topology.


PSD Spotlight: Judy Garza

January 19, 2022

Judy Garza

PSD's January spotlight is Judy Garza, Manager of the Department of Mathematics. Judy has been with the University of Chicago for 33 years. Read our interview with Judy.


2021

PSD Spotlight: Aleksandra Ninova-Parris

November 17, 2021

Aleksandra Ninova-Parris

PSD’s November spotlight is Aleksandra “Aleks” Ninova-Parris, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Physical Sciences Division since November 2021. Read about her interests, experiences, and thoughts on diverstiy and inclusion.
 


Meet physics student, Carlos Sierra

November 15, 2021

Carlos Sierra

Carlos Sierra was born in Santa Ana, California, and grew up in the nearby city of Anaheim. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he attended Fullerton College, a community college in Southern California, and transferred to UC Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physics. Afterwards, he started a doctoral program in applied physics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After three years he moved with the McMahon group to UChicago, where he will complete his doctoral research in the Department of Physics. He is currently in his fifth year and conducting research in experimental cosmology. He develops and tests instruments for the Simons Observatory, a series of telescopes that will soon be making precise measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) from high atop the Atacama Desert in Chile.
 


PSD Spotlight: Sarah Lippert

October 19, 2021

Sarah Lippert

PSD’s October spotlight is Sarah Lippert, newly appointed Assistant Dean of Students in the Physical Sciences Division. Sarah has been with the University of Chicago since December 2008.
 


PSD Spotlight: Dave Schmitz

September 21, 2021

Dave Schmitz

PSD’s September spotlight is Dave Schmitz, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute and newly appointed Deputy Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the PSD. Dave has been with the University of Chicago since September 2012.


Meet chemistry student, Elizabeth Wells Kelley

August 23, 2021

Elizabeth Wells Kelley

Elizabeth Wells Kelley was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she earned a bachelor's in chemistry at the College of William & Mary, where she was a research assistant, teaching assistant, and tutor. She is starting her fifth year in the Department of Chemistry doctoral program. She has taken time off during her program to teach high school chemistry at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Now returned to her research, she works on organic synthesis and the scientific investigation of how humans learn, teach, and interact with chemistry.
 


Meet computational and applied mathematics student, Adela DePavia

July 21, 2021

Adela DePavia

Adela DePavia was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and Northern California’s East Bay Area. After finishing undergrad in 2019, she spent a year on a research fellowship before joining the Committee on Computational and Applied Mathematics (CCAM) program at UChicago. Soon starting her second year, she studies connections between discrete and continuous time optimization, and optimization on manifolds.


PSD Spotlight: Melissa Salvo-Leadingham

June 16, 2021

Melissa Salvo-Leadingham

PSD’s June spotlight is Melissa “Mel” Salvo-Leadingham, financial administrator for the PSD-LBC. Mel has been with the University of Chicago since November, 2019. This year she co-founded the Hispanic Latinx employee resource group called HLX.


Meet physics student, Kyle Kawagoe

June 9, 2021

Kyle Kawagoe

Kyle Kawagoe was born and raised in Reedley, California. Before coming to University of Chicago, he was an undergraduate in The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He has been a graduate student at UChicago for five years in the Department of Physics. His field of study is theoretical hard condensed matter physics and the physics of topological phases of matter. When the COVID-19 lockdowns started in the United States, he pivoted to theoretical biophysics, doing research on epidemiological modeling.


Meet biophysical sciences student, Walter Alvarado

May 17, 2021

Walter Alvarado

Walter Alvarado was born in South Central, Los Angeles, California. Before joining UChicago, he completed a master’s in physics at Cal State University, Long Beach. He has been a graduate student here for three years in the Department of Biophysical Sciences, where his research combines computational physics and machine learning to elucidate chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation.