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Workshop presenters

LaTrina Parker-Hall, Texas Christian University (Graduate School Applications)

Dr. LaTrina Parker Hall is the Director of the TCU Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program (also known as the McNair Scholars Program). The McNair Scholars Program is a federally grant funded program designed to support academically talented undergraduate students from traditionally underserved backgrounds gain skills, resources, and experience necessary to successfully pursue and earn a Ph.D. LaTrina earned her doctorate in higher education administration at Saint Louis University, where her research interests included black family culture, racial and ethnic identity, and student development. A former high school English and journalism teacher, LaTrina earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and advertising as well as a Master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. LaTrina is passionate about serving others especially supporting and nurturing student development.

Barbara Szczerbinska, Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Negotiation Skills)

Barbara Szczerbinska is a Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) in Corpus Christi, TX. Prior moving to Texas, she was a faculty at Dakota State University (DSU) in Madison, SD. Dr. Szczerbinska earned her M.S. from University of Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland and her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Her main research interest is focused on theoretical aspects of Neutrino Physics, Geoneutrinos and Dark Matter. Her intensive collaborations with scientists from around the world lead to establishing, in 2011 The Center for Theoretical Underground Physics and Related Fields known internationally as CETUP* located in Lead, SD.

Barbara is a strong proponent of women in science. For over nine years she served as a faculty advisor for Women in Science and Technology (WIST), student organization at DSU whose goal was to develop strong academic and social support network for women in sciences and technology. Barbara was a multiple recipient of Equal Pay Gap grant sponsored by American Association of University Women. She is also actively involved in promoting STEM to people of all ages. As part of her multiple education outreach initiatives she established a regional ‘It’s All About Science’ science festival. Dr. Szczerbinska served on the Board of Directors for the Kirby Science Discovery Center, Community Learning Committee at the Washington Pavilion, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Leadership Council and APS CUWiP National Organizing Committee. Currently she serves as a chair of Texas Section APS and a member of Sanford Underground Research Facility Foundation Board. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and American Physical Society and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and American Physical Society.

Cheryl Slocumb, Texas Christian University (Writing Skills)

Cheryl Slocumb is the Director of the W.L. Adams Center for Writing. Ms. Slocumb has been on staff at the Center for 20 years, 10 of those as an assistant director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and history as well as an M.A. in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition from Tarleton State University. Mrs. Slocumb served as the Assistant Director of the University Center for Writing at Dallas Baptist University. She has also taught composition at Howard Payne University and composition and literature at Angelo State University. In addition to teaching, Ms. Slocumb has worked as a professional editor. At TCU, she directs all operations of the center, including tutor training and the Writing Associates Program. In addition, she teaches courses in literature and writing for the English Department and for the Master of Liberal Arts Program at TCU.

.Leann Forsberg, Texas Christian University (Writing Grants)

LeAnn Forsberg is responsible for leading and managing the Office of Sponsored Programs in supporting and facilitating research and sponsored programs at Texas Christian University (TCU). Mrs. Forsberg has more than 25 years of experience in grants and sponsored programs administration, having held prior positions in both pre and post award at UT Arlington, UT Southwestern Medical Center and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Mrs. Forsberg received her B.A. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Arlington. She is a Certified Research Administrator and a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA).

Peggy Smith-Barbaro (Writing Grants)

Engaging students, faculty and industry in research is a personal passion that has evolved over my forty years of academic and private sector experience. Most recently I have parlayed my experience into a role as consultant and TCU Associate overseeing the STEPS (Start with an idea, Target a funding source, Engage in grant writing, Prepare a proposal, Submit) program in conjunction with the TCU Office of Sponsored Programs.

As the retired Assistant Dean of Research Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) I had the opportunity to develop a center for advocacy and facilitation for TCOM based research and research education related programs. This advanced the TCOM and University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) research enterprise by providing leadership in the establishment of collaborative research partnerships between internal UNTHSC / TCOM faculty and students and external university and non-university resources.

Under my direction as Assistant Dean of Research, and Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, TCOM funding for research grew over 200% and medical student research endeavors grew to six specific well defined programs with as many as 90 medical students in any given year involved in hypothesis driven research projects under the direction of a faculty research mentor. Programs developed and implemented included an introductory graduate level grant writing course and the TCOM Honor’s Research Practicum for second year medical students. During my tenure at the University, I oversaw a wide variety of research meetings for the University that showcased student and faculty research projects including UNTHSC’s annual Research Appreciation Day, and two national research meetings funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additionally, as Principal Investigator on a NIH, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) grant I oversaw a multi-year T35 training grant entitled Complementary and Alternative Medicine Short Term Research Rotation (CAMSTRR) that funded medical students to conduct a hypothesis driven research project.

Jennifer Allie, TCU Burnett Medical School (Imposter Syndrome)

Jennifer is currently the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development and Associate Professor Medical Education at the Burnett School of Medicine at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. In addition, she is a core faculty member and has taught the Intro to Women and Gender Studies course in the Department of Women and Gender Studies since 2018. Prior to joining TCU, Jennifer served in similar roles at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (2012-2016) and the University of Utah Health Sciences Center (1998-2012). She is committed to ensuring that faculty and leaders in academic medicine are successful in their roles. Her focus on faculty vitality is demonstrated by her professional and scholarly contributions in leading efforts to enhance faculty career flexibility policies and re-tooling and streamlining faculty affairs and professional development programming. Her research agenda focuses primarily on the faculty career life-cycle, women in the academy, and developing programming and resources to support women faculty and leaders in academic medicine. She has presented her work nationally and remains committed to mentoring of faculty at all career stages in regards to strategic career planning, work-life integration, and resiliency.

Aisha Torrey-Sawyer, Texas Christian University (Implicit Bias)

Aisha Torrey-Sawyer is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at TCU. In her role she has fostered Inclusive Excellence and led initiatives and programs to create an inclusive campus community. Aisha began her career at TCU in 2001 as an Admissions Counselor and then at the Neeley School of Business for 15 years assisting students. She has served as the 2013-2014 Staff Assembly Chair, and Co-Chair of the University Compensation and Advisory Committee. She was the 2016-2017 Chancellors Cabinet Intern which gave her an opportunity to participate in TCU Cabinet-level conversations and decisions.
Aisha received her Master of Education in Student Development Administration from Seattle University and undergraduate degree from Jackson State University.

Magnus Rittby, Texas Christian University (Science Communication)

Magnus Rittby is a professor of Physics and Astronomy and in the TCU College of Science and Engineering. He has a BS in Physics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Stockholm. As an undergraduate he also attended the University of Oregon and the University of Sussex. Rittby spent 5 years as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the Quantum Theory Project at the University of Florida before joining the faculty at TCU in 1990. At TCU he served two terms as Department chair followed by 15 years as associate dean, overseeing graduate programming and college administration. Rittby is a trained mediator, a suicide prevention trainer, and has served on and chaired a number of committees across the campus.

Rittby’s 70+ research publications and numerous conference presentations are in the area of theoretical and computational approaches to quantum scattering theory, the quantum many-body problem, as well as experimental work in molecular spectroscopy. As an associate dean, Rittby has also devoted his attention to promote undergraduate and graduate research in the TCU College of Science & Engineering, initiating the department REU program in 2005; launching the Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) which provides funding for undergraduate and graduate student research; starting SciCom, which provides science communication training and presentation opportunities to students; and bringing the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) graduate student competition at TCU. Rittby lives in Fort Worth with his wife Kristi, daughter Sigrid, and their Labrador retrievers, Murphy and Roxy.

Peter Frinchaboy, Texas Christian University (Undergraduate Research)

Astronomy Professor, Peter Frinchaboy, a world-renowned expert in star clusters and is longtime member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, including being part of the leadership. He has also Graduate Director and Research Experience for Undergraduates Co-Director at TCU.

Kit Snyder, Texas Christian University (Presentation Design)

Kit Snyder is a 4th year PhD student in Rhetoric & Composition & the Assistant Director of the CDEx. She studies fandom, video games, popular culture, authorship, & digital/multimedia composing. She loves working with new technologies and is always open for some nerd-talk, both fandom & technology related.

Kat Barger, Texas Christian University [Resume and CV]

Kat Barger is a teacher, mentor, and scientist at TCU. Her research focuses on the gas cycle of galaxies to track the material that they use to form stars and planets. Currently, she is leading a large Hubble Space Telescope Legacy Archive project to investigate a supernovae explosion driven galactic wind that is expelling 10-million times the mass of our Sun’s worth of gas out of the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Outside of work, Dr. Kat spends her time playing the piano, gardening, and scuba diving.