Commitment to Education, Public Outreach and Diversity

Across the U.S., but especially in Mississippi, there is a marked need for initiatives that seek to enhance interest in science and technology among the underrepresented and underserved youth, increase public awareness of scientific research, and inform citizens of the direct benefits that technological research and development have for their community.
Astronomy's New Messengers Over the years, UM-LIGO researchers have led many outreach initiatives, such as public lectures, physics and astronomy family nights, after-school programs for the local school district, interdisciplinary art and science events (concerts, photographic and art exhibits) and other local initiatives. Some of the most notable current contributions of the UM-LIGO group include professional development workshops for Mississippi high-school teachers, the Oxford Science Café public lecture series, Halloween's Spooky Physics Nights, the LIGO exhibits Astronomy's New Messengers, and the film documentary LIGO: Generations.

UM-LIGO researchers are committed to promote diversity in the sciences. The UM-LIGO group subscribes to the LSC Diversity Statement. Marco Cavaglià is the past LSC co-chair of the LSC-Virgo Diversity Group and regularly collaborated with the National Society for Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Society for Hispanic Physicists (NSHP). The UM-LIGO group also partners with the LSC EPO group, the LIGO-Livingston Science Education Center and the UM Center of Mathematics and Science Education to promote scientific education in the community and across the U.S. The UM-LIGO group also co-hosted the UM session of the 2015 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.