The principal aim of The North Star Project is to create an academic culture and environment that allows students from a diverse range of backgrounds to excel, thereby improving the retention of these students and consequently increasing the diversity of the University of Oregon’s physics department. The North Star approach weaves a symbiosis among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, and thus creates multidimensional opportunities for conversations and involvement in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The North Star Project was founded in 2016 by Physics Professor Benjamín J. Alemán. North Star is funded by a grant from the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.
Assembly Fellow (2018, 2019): Jordyn Mascareñas-Wells
Network Fellow (2019): Rachael Klaiss (she/her/hers)
Rachael is a 2nd year graduate student at UO and was a course instructor, mentor, and co-coordinator for the 2018 summer program and is the coordinator of the 2019 summer program. After taking pedagogy courses at the University of California, Berkeley during her undergraduate studies, she became interested in improving accessibility of research driven education for all students and retaining those students most at risk of leaving STEM fields, and The North Star Project aims to do exactly that! Her research interests merge the fields of 2D materials science and quantum optics, specifically investigating and creating sites of single photon emission in the material hexagonal-Boron Nitride.
Kara Zappitelli, Network Fellow 2017, 2018