The North Star Project aims 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.
Network Fellow: Kara Zappitelli (she/her/hers)
Kara Zappitelli is a Ph.D. candidate in physics at the University of Oregon. She received her B.S. in physics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2013 where she did extensive theoretical soft condensed matter research. Since starting her Ph.D., she has been working at the intersection of experimental device physics, materials science, biology and biomedical engineering. Her current work under Dr. Benjamín Alemán is aimed at studying the complex interface between neurons and conductive substrates for retinal implant applications. Her experience in semiconductor device fabrication and advanced characterization allows her to approach biological questions from a unique perspective. In addition to her research, she is actively involved in efforts to improve diversity in STEM and has a strong interest in the commercialization of scientific research.
, Assembly Fellow 2016, 2017