Colloquium- “The Time is Now to Double the Number of Physics Degrees Earned by African Americans” with Philip W. Hammer
November 8, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:45 PM
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Speaker: Prof. Philip W. (Bo) Hammer, University of Chicago
Abstract: In response to persistently low numbers of physics degrees earned by African American students, the AIP formed the Task Force to Elevate the representation of African Americans in Undergraduate Physics and astronomy (TEAM-UP). TEAM-UP’s goals included: 1) understanding, specifically from the viewpoint of African American undergraduates, what their experiences are within the physics and astronomy culture and what factors lead them to persevere; 2) learning from physics departments that have experienced relative success in attracting and retaining African American students in these fields; 3) understanding how the overall culture of physics and astronomy contributes to the persistence (or not) of African American students; and 4) uncovering what impedes or promotes the culture change necessary for persistence. In this talk, I will summarize what TEAM-UP learned and recommended, provide a snapshot of where things are today -- almost four years into TEAM-UP's 10-year goal to double the number of African Americans earning a physics bachelor's degree -- and provide some perspective on the future.
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