Cal-Bridge and CAMPARE/CHAMP: Engaging Underrepresented Students in Physics and Astronomy (Alexander Rudolph, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, California State Polytechnic University

Friday, October 13, 11:00am
Marlar Lounge 37-252


The level of participation by underrepresented minority (URM) and female students in physics and astronomy PhD programs is shamefully low (2-4% for URM v. 30% in the general population; 20% for women v. 50% in the general population). I will begin by discussing research into why these participation rates are so low for these groups, highlighting role the physics and general GRE tests play in suppressing diversity in our field, while providing little to no benefit in helping predict long-term success. I will describe some alternative methods of conducting graduate admissions, including the role of programs like Cal-Bridge and CAMPARE/CHAMP.

I will then describe these two California-wide, multi-institutional programs, Cal-Bridge and CAMPARE/CHAMP, with the common mission of increasing participation of underrepresented minorities and women in astronomy and physics through summer research opportunities, in the case of CAMPARE/CHAMP, scholarships in the case of Cal-Bridge, and significant mentoring and professional development in both programs, leading to an increase in their numbers completing bachelor’s degrees, and successfully pursuing a PhD in these fields.