Group Slated to Attend Undergraduate Women in Physics Events at Penn State and Stony Brook Weekend of Jan. 16-19

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange students Christina Pelella and Julianna Pelella, of Highland Falls, Kristene Elia of New Windsor, and Julia Stika of Sugar Loaf have been accepted into the highly competitive Conferences on Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) programs upcoming at Penn State and Stony Brook universities Jan. 16-19.

The three-day regional conferences are sponsored by the American Physical Society and are intended for female students enrolled in undergraduate physics programs, or related educational majors. The Penn State and Stony Brook conferences are among eight conferences planned at major research universities across the country that weekend. Other host sites include Florida State University, Louisiana State University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Maryland and University of Utah.

Julianna Pelella, a second-year engineering student at SUNY Orange, her sister Christina, a first-year physics major, and Stika, a second-year engineering student, will be attending the Penn State conference, slated for Jan. 17-19. Dr. Debra Fischer, a professor of astronomy at Yale University will serve as the keynote speaker. Fischer works on the detection and characterization of exoplanets and was part of the team that discovered the first known multi-planet system.

Elia, who earned a liberal arts degree from SUNY Orange in 2011 and is now in her second year of pursuing an additional engineering degree, will be attending the Stony Brook conference at the Charles P. Wang Center, slated for Jan. 16-19 with a tour of the Brookhaven National Laboratory scheduled for the opening night.

“Acceptance into this highly selective program is an incredible achievement for these three talented women,” says John Wolbeck, chairman of SUNY Orange’s Science, Engineering and Architecture Department. “I am certain that they will impress the organizers of these events as much as they have impressed all of us here at SUNY Orange.”

The goal of the CUWiP program is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice and ideas.

The on-campus conference programs typically include research talks by faculty, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, presentations and discussions about women in physics, laboratory tours, student research talks, a student poster session, and several meals during which presenters and students interact with each other.

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Mike Albright
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