WiPA Secures Grant to Promote Female Participation in STEM

Desktop News | May 2023

Women in Physics and Astronomy (WiPA) Group Officers
Women in Physics and Astronomy (WiPA) Group Officers

Kaitlyn Hemauer, an undergraduate Physics and Math major and the president of the Women in Physics & Astronomy (WiPA) group at The University of Alabama, has secured a prestigious grant from the American Physical Society (APS). The grant provides funding of up to $1,000 and will be used to support the group’s efforts in promoting women’s participation in physics and astronomy. 

WiPA’s mission is to foster connections between female physicists at all career stages and to encourage the participation, recruitment and retention of women in physics. The APS grant will help WiPA achieve these goals by providing funding for outreach activities, conferences and more. 

“We are planning to use the funding to expand our organization,” said Hemauer. “Specifically, we are using the funds to bring in guest speakers, create incentives to motivate students to present during research panels, and overall, create more enticing meetings, such as work out classes or observational nights.” 

The grant was secured through Hemauer’s initiative and hard work, who upon her own initiative applied successfully on behalf of WiPA group at The University of Alabama. The APS program is highly competitive, and WiPA’s success in securing the grant is a testament to the group’s dedication to promoting women’s participation in physics and astronomy. 

“By expanding our group, we are helping involve more women in physics and astronomy, which is an extremely underrepresented group in this field,” said Hemauer. “Therefore, by running this club and hopefully expanding it, we are creating a community and a safe space for this demographic.” 

The University of Alabama’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will continue to foster growth for the WiPA program, and the APS grant will help to ensure that the group continues to thrive.  

“The department will help sustain and grow the WiPA program at UA,” said Dr. Patrick LeClair, Department Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  

The grant is a significant boost to WiPA’s efforts, and it adds to the support that the group receives regularly from the department. 

To learn more about UA’s WiPA, please visit https://bit.ly/43HNudu