Bo Hammer’s Presentation at the October EDI Meeting
Phillip “Bo” Hammer was the guest speaker at the October EDI meeting. Bo is the Executive Director of the Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Innovation (IMSI) at UChicago. He served as a member of the American Institute of Physics TEAM-UP task force, which was recognized for revealing sources of persistent underrepresentation of African Americans in physics and astronomy. He presented TEAM-UP Guiding principles as the following: student-centered, strength-based approach, undergraduate-focused, and using social science methods and perspectives. More details are available on the TEAM-UP task force website.
High Five Rewards and Recognition Program
The High Five Rewards and Recognition program is a way to acknowledge, recognize and reward staff members for their roles in making PME great! It is currently only accessible to staff. All of PME will be able to give/vote a “high five” through an electronic platform called Assembly and the staff members (1-2) with the highest amount of high fives each month will be given a reward.
Metcalf Outreach Interns
The PME Outreach team hosted two UChicago undergraduate students, Stephanie Nofz and Vanessa Salamanca, as outreach interns for the 2021 summer. Stephanie and Vanessa supported various outreach efforts, including TeachQuantum, the PME City Colleges program, and a variety of summer camp science outreach events across the city with partners like the Museum of Science and Industry, the Homewood Science Center, and Project Exploration.
PME Mentoring Program
The newly launched PME Peer Mentoring Program aims to support graduate students in their transition to the first year of graduate school, the PME program structure, and the broader University of Chicago community. By pairing advanced graduate students with incoming PhD students, the program facilitates connection and creates an inclusive, student-driven social support network and community in the graduate program.
PME Scholars Fellowships
As part of our commitment to scientific and engineering excellence within a diverse and inclusive community, the PME has created the PME Scholars Fellowship, a recognition of exceptional academic and research promise, a record of engagement with the community, resilience in the face of adversity, and outstanding independence and leadership qualities awarded to a select group of incoming doctoral students. The inaugural year of the fellowship brought four remarkable graduate students to PME with additional financial support and a robust network of research and professional mentoring. We are excited to have this and future PME Scholar cohorts enrich the climate of innovation, creativity, and exchange that we aim for at the PME.
PME Tutoring Program
This autumn quarter, the PME launched the Graduate Peer Tutoring Program, which aims to provide additional academic and content-based support for graduate students as they complete specific Molecular Engineering core coursework. Mustafa Guler and Angelika Neitzel supervise the program, and senior PME graduate students serve as tutors meeting periodically with first-year graduate students. In the Autumn quarter, Erica Budina and Jeremiah Kim served the Biological Materials course, Efren Munoz tutored the Math Methods in Molecular Engineering, and Wen Zhuang and Yiheng Wu supported the Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. We are seeking tutors for Transport Phenomena course in the Winter quarter.
Ten undergraduate students from across the U.S. took part in the 2021 summer’s remote PME REU in molecular engineering, which focuses on recruiting students from underrepresented backgrounds, non-R1 institutions, and first-generation college attendees. In addition to focused research and mentoring support, REU students participate in faculty research talks, graduate school preparation seminars, science communications programs, and a variety of social activities. (Participating Labs: Amanchukwu, de Pablo, Esser-Kahn, Ferguson, Galli, Hubbell, Liu, Mendoza, Squires, Zhong)
Four high-school teachers from neighborhood schools took part in the TeachQuantum Program. This initiative aims to expose teachers to authentic first-hand research experiences over the 2021 summer and support them in developing and implementing quantum-focused activities for their classrooms. (Participating Labs: Awschalom, Bernien, Franklin, Zhong)
Youth Internship Program
Over the 2021 summer, the PME outreach team hosted Dejiah Beatty, a rising junior at Kenwood Academy, as an intern from the Office of Civic Engagement’s Youth Internship Program. This initiative is a paid, virtual, six-week summer employment opportunity for local Chicago Public Schools students. It prepares them for post-secondary pathways with focused mentorship, college readiness, and career advancement support.