Main Content


Jacqueline Antwi-Danso, Texas A&M




Molly Weinberg, Texas Christian University

Molly Weinburgh is the Andrew Chair of Mathematics & Science Education and Director of the Andrews Institute of Mathematics & Science Education at Texas Christian University. Her honors include the Chancellor’s Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teachers and Scholar, Piper Professorship, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been the PI on two NSF, one FIPSE, one CPB, 31 Eisenhower/Teacher Quality, five Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and nine foundation grants for a total of about $14M in external funding. She has served as external evaluator on projects funded by NSF and foundations. In addition, she has served as an educational consultant on four NSF grants and three Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She has served as an international educational consultant in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Botswana, Ivory Coast, and United Arab Emirates.

Catalina Boudreaux, Tarrant County College

I was born and raised in Zacatecas, Mexico. I received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Zacatecas, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Physics from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, USA. As an undergraduate, I was awarded several honors, including Valedictorian of Physics and Mathematics, First Place in the State Contest of Creative Science, and The Best Physics Student of Mexico in higher education. The focus of my career has been in the research of electron capture in atomic collisions and in academia, teaching Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy.
I am the only daughter of a family of four children, my husband is a Cajun-Creole from New Orleans. We delight to participate in a worldwide volunteering program that involves providing Biblical education for everyone. During my leisure time I enjoy jogging as well as relaxing and playing chess with my husband at various coffee shops. I love to study the Bible and contemplate the wonders of creation. I am intrigued with the highly sophisticated design and structure and perfect order that exists in the universe, and with the simple, yet elegant mathematical and physical laws obeyed by everything in nature, from subatomic particles to living beings to superclusters of galaxies; all of it working harmoniously together as if playing a beautiful musical symphony.

Lorin Matthews, Baylor University

Lorin Swint Matthews is a professor of Physics at Baylor University where she is the Associate Director of the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Engineering Research. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from Baylor University in 1998. She worked for Raytheon Aircraft Integration Systems from 1998-2000 as a multi-disciplined engineer in the Flight Sciences Department, where she worked on NASA’s SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) aircraft. In 2000, she joined the faculty at Baylor University. Her areas of research include numerical modeling and experimental investigations of the charging and dynamics of dust in astrophysical and laboratory plasma environments, for which she received an NSF CAREER Award in 2009. She is currently a member of the Fusion and Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for the Department of Energy.

Ekta Patel, University of California at Berkeley

Dr. Ekta Patel received her Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of Arizona in 2019, and she holds a B.A. in Physics from New York University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on galactic dynamics and more specifically using computational techniques to understand the dynamics of satellite galaxies. Ekta is a passionate advocate for scholars from historically marginalized groups in STEM, and she is committed to advancing equity and inclusion in higher education.

Alia Naciri, University of North Texas

Alia Naciri is a physics Master’s Student at the University of North Texas doing research in Nanotechnology with semiconductors.


Alina Valimukhametova, Texas Christian University

I am a PhD candidate at Texas Christian University, having received my B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Kazan Federal University, Russia. My primary research lies in the application of carbon based materials including graphene oxide, graphene quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes in drug delivery, biological imaging, and sensing. Currently, I am the author/co-author of ten publications in this field.

Zoe Sueltenfuss, Texas Christian University

Zoe Sueltenfuss is a senior TCU student with a double major in Physics and Educational Studies. Her career goals are to obtain a master’s degree in mathematics education and to teach physics and math at the high school level. She is a member of the Society for Physics Students and is passionate about using physics to inspire students to better understand and enact change in their world. Outside of academics, her interests include piano, faith, and learning about other cultures.

April Yandell, Texas Christian University

April Yandell began at Texas Christian University in July 2015, currently serving as the Associate Director for Transfer Admission. Previously, she worked for Undergraduate Admission at Sam Houston State University. She also earned two degrees from SHSU, her BA in Criminal Justice in 2009 and her MA in Higher Education Administration in 2015. She is active in both the state and national organizations for college admissions, as well as a member of various committees within TCU’s Office of Admission. Most important to her, April is a first-generation college graduate, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, and a mom who loves music, baking, and game shows.

Azida Walker, University of Central Arkansas

I grew up in the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago. We were under British rule until 1962 and as such my parents and grandparents were not educated and education was something only the “well to do” opted for. I am the first generation to finish elementary school then all the way to University of the West Indies in Trinidad. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Master of Philosophy degree in Physics. My dad was my main supporter of continuing my education but sadly never lived to see that I topped the graduating class of Physics in 1994. I hope I made him proud and even prouder when I earned a Master of Science Degree in Physics and then a PhD degree in Physics from Tulane University in New Orleans. I am the co-creator in a diversity course called Women and Minorites in STEM and the author of a textbook called Physics for Medical Professionals. Apart from being a busy mom and soccer coach, I am a 2nd degree Blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and an avid runner. I firmly believe that by understanding our past and contributing and working towards change in our present we can certainly pave a better more hopeful way for our future.

Sara Irvine, Stanford University

Sara Irvine graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2022 with a degree in physics. She spent her time at UT as an undergraduate teaching assistant, undergraduate researcher in an experimental condensed matter lab, and involved in her local uWip(this is her 5th CuWiP). Now she is a first year graduate student at Stanford currently working with Dr. Leora Dresselhaus-Marais. Her research consists of building and working with X-ray microscopes to understand defects in a range of materials. Outside of work she enjoys anything outside, including hiking and camping.

Sharon Fain, Canton High School (retired)

Sharon Fain is a retired physics teacher with over thirty years of experience teaching high school STEM courses. She earned her B.S in biology from Baylor University. Her favorite topics to teach are cellular respiration, stoichiometry, momentum, and the Bernoulli effect. In her free time she enjoys baking bread, working out, and volunteering with her church-where she cooks meals for functions, and sings in the choir.

Sachi Weerasooriya, Texas Christian University

I came to the US in 2014 to pursue higher studies in the US. I earned my bachelors degree with a double major in Physics/Mathematics in 2018 from Midwestern State University and my masters in Physics from TCU with a concentration in Astrophysics in 2020. Now, I am a 5th year graduate student studying computational Astrophysics at TCU.

Elizabeth Campbell, Enforce Consulting

Elizabeth Campbell completed her PhD in Biophysics at TCU in June 2021. The focus of her research was to enhance the imaging, sensing, and delivery capabilities for cancer therapeutics. She continued at TCU for an additional year to complete her MBA and is currently working at a consulting company in Dallas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling (safely), and exploring local restaurants.

Johanna Vazquez, Texas Christian University

Jo Vazquez grew up in Elon, Virginia: a small rural suburb of Lynchburg, Virginia. Gazing at the stars in the country sky, she fell in love with astronomy. She pursued her degree in physics at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. While at Randolph College, she gained research experience in acoustical physics by analyzing and visualizing acoustical data. During her time at Randolph College, she also completed an REU at Cornell University’s Center for Astrophysics & Planetary Science analyzing the effects of planetary orbits on the timing residuals of millisecond pulsars. After graduating with her Bachelor of Science in physics from Randolph College, Jo accepted an offer to join the Physics & Astronomy PhD program at Texas Christian University. Here she has worked with Dr. Kat Barger on the study of gas clouds in space. She recently defended her Master’s thesis on her work on the Smith Cloud: a nearby gas cloud that is in the process of being accreted onto the Milky Way Galaxy’s disk: where it can combine with the disk’s gas and begin forming new stars and new planets. While at Randolph College, Jo also fell deeply in love with classical music and sings at the choir at the nearby University Christian Church.

Amy Ray, University of Texas at Austin

Amy Ray is currently a Resident Astronomer for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. Previously, she was a Lecturer at Texas State University. She is a recent graduate of Texas Christian University and has a Master’s and a Bachelors degree from Mississippi State University.

Cassidy Newton, Warren Douglas Advertising

I completed the Physics PhD program at TCU in 2012. I took the route where I also did an accelerated MBA during my final year of PhD work. By being equipped with a Physics and Business background, I was able to create a Data Science department at Warren Douglas Advertising. I use data and insights to help brands make critical decisions such as branding, pricing, audience segmentation, and media plans. I have worked with brands across the globe including Transition Lenses, Jamba Juice, Tyson Chicken, and Rug Doctor.

Russell Tarver, The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Russell Tarver is a clinical medical physicist certified by the American Board of Radiology in Therapeutic Medical Physics. He has spent his career in community oncology and is now the Director for the departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Kristin Cotton, Southwest High School & Tarrant County College

2022-2023 marks Kristin’s 15th year teaching at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, 13 of which included at least one flavor of college-level physics (AP Physics C [Mechanics & E&M], AP Physics 1, AP Physics B, UT OnRamps Physics, and Physics 1401: College Physics). Kristin graduated with her MS in Physics and a minor in Mathematics from Texas A&M Commerce in 2019, which gives her the flexibility to teach both MATH (dual credit) and PHYS classes as an adjunct at Tarrant County College. She has taught ‘Physics Camp for Girls’ through the non-profit, Design Connect Create, for the past 7 years. Additionally, Kristin has had the privilege of participating as a Master Teacher in the formative years of the APS funded STEP UP program, designed to aid in the recruitment and retention of undergraduate women in physics. In her leisure time, Kristin enjoys painting murals and faux finishes when she’s not spending time with her two cheeky daughters (22 & 12) and infinitely patient husband.

Amena Khan, University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Amena Khan is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at the Department of Physics, University of Texas at Dallas. She loves to share her passion for physics through her teaching and mentoring. Following her schooling in Nigeria, Bangladesh and England, she completed her undergraduate degree in Physics at Queen Mary and Westfield University and went on to do a Masters in Semiconductor Science and Technology at Imperial College. She earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge where she studied light emitting properties in conjugated polymers. She was also a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta in Canada. Dr. Khan has been part of the UTD family since 2013. She advises a number of student organizations on campus and works tirelessly to promote underrepresented communities in STEM fields.

Mei Graham, Lockheed Martin (retired)

After receiving my Ph.D. in physics from TCU, I went to work for Lockheed Martin as a Senior Physicist. Through my entire career at Lockheed Martin, I was extensively involved in the research, development and characterization of low-observable infrared materials for stealth fighters such as F-22 and F-35. I have also served as principal investigator of multiple IRAD (Internal Research and Development) and CRAD (Contractual Research and Development) on radar and infrared stealth technologies.

Meena Balakrishnan, Tarrant County College

Meena Balakrishnan is Professor of Geology at Tarrant County, NE campus.  She received her Ph.D. in Geology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.  Dr Balakrishnan is passionate about increasing interest in STEM fields through experiential learning and interdisciplinary learning in the field.  This led her to develop and implement National and International Field Study Programs since 2012.  This includes the Geological and Biological Field Program in Hawaii and the Geological Field Program in Ireland.  The field program to Peru in 2020 was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID. Dr Balakrishnan was a faculty advisor and mentor for DiG_IT (Diversity in Geoscience- Influencing Tomorrow), an NSF funded collaboration between UT Arlington and TCCD to increase diversity in the geoscience profession – 2011-2015. Her honors include the Chancellors award for Exemplary Teaching.

Laura Escamilla, Tarrant County College

Laura Escamilla is the Coordinator of the Transfer Center at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus. She has been with TCC for 14 years, 11 of which have been working with transfer students. Ms. Escamilla enjoys working with students to assist them with finding the best institution to obtain their educational and career goals. Ms. Escamilla believes each student is unique and should seek an institution which best meets the student’s individual needs. Ms. Escamilla received a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Texas Christian University and Master of Higher Education from Abilene Christian University. Ms. Escamilla enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, gardening, and photography. She has a great love of Mexico where she lived for 11 years as an immigrant.

Ann Wright, Hendrix College

Ann Wright received her BS in Physics at MIT in 1991, and a PhD in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1996, with a specialty in experimental nuclear physics. She has been a Professor of Physics at Hendrix College since 1998 doing research in sensors for rockets and robots.

  • Sandra Bermejo, Tarrant County College