Panels and Panelists

CUPC 2023 will incorporate two panels, each one focused on an important topic that has been a source of adversity within the scientific community for many years. More information about our panelists will be provided shortly.

EDI Panel: Making Space for Everyone in Physics

Moderated by executive members Madi and Rye, this panel will aim to provide a comprehensive view on how we within the physics community can create an inclusive space for all voices to be heard. As bystanders, it is important for us to recognize our privilege and therefore the strength of our voices. The esteemed panelists will discuss strategies and tools to uplift marginalized groups within the community, and together determine when it is okay to speak on behalf of others.

Joining this panel will be:

Emma McKay

Emma McKay is the co-founder of the undergraduate society FemPhys at the University of Waterloo, which aims to promote inclusivity and build a supportive community. Emma is a humanities activist and focuses the majority of their life’s work on advocating for marginalized people in physics and facilitating feminist research and education.

Thelma Akyea

Thelma Akyea is a doctoral candidate at OISE, UofT and a vice-principal with the Toronto District School Board who centers her practice around equity and inclusion for students, staff, and communities in Toronto, and centers her life around her family. Her research interests include gathering the educational experiences of Black women in post-secondary physics and astronomy. 

Carla Fehr

Dr. Carla Fehr is a professor in the Philosophy Department at UW, and holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy. Her work investigates the social nature of scientific and technological research and observes how diversity drives innovation and promotes excellence.

Kaylee Biggart

Kaylee Biggart is a graduate student at UW and a Lab Instructor for first-year chemistry labs. She is extremely involved in the UW community, consistently advocates for students and is committed to enforcing safe work environments by promoting health and wellness.

Science Communication Panel: Change your Basis: From Expert to Public

Moderated by executive members Izzy and Kat, this panel will discuss the importance of scientific literacy and how to make research more generalizable and accessible to the public. This panel will discuss STEM education and how this impacts students in their formative years. Our awesome panelists will touch on the importance of scientific literacy and how they combat this through their work in teaching, mentoring, journaling, and designing effective content for a variety of audiences.

Dr. Sarah Rugheimer

Dr. Sarah Rugheimer is an assistant professor at York University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Her work is focused in astrobiology, and she has a powerful media presence and a strong passion for teaching.

Dr. Luna Zagorac 

Dr. Luna Zagorac is a post-doc researcher at PI, having received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2022 and currently works on mapping ancient Egyptian star lists to observational astronomical data. Apart from research she enjoys science communication and writing for, playing video games, and roller skating.

Cassidy Swanston

Cassidy Swanston is a science communication specialist currently working on SciComm School, an upcoming program with the University of Ottawa for schools across the country. Her areas of interest include product, program, exhibition and service design.