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Rebecca Rapp at her computer with a virtual background

October 14, 2020

Personal Mention

Physics Ph.D. candidate Rebecca Rapp was among 52 students nationwide to be selected for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.The SCGSR program provides supplemental funds for awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE scientist. Rapp, an experimental nuclear and particle physicist, is fascinated by the properties and behaviors of an extremely abundant fundamental particle that very rarely interacts with matter: the neutrino. She will head to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, where she’ll work closely with her thesis adviser, CMU Assistant Professor of Physics Diana Parno and Jason Newby, ORNL’s primary investigator for the neutrino scattering experiment COHERENT. Rapp has been involved with ORNL from afar for some time as a contributor to the COHERENT collaboration. Rapp’s thesis focuses on measuring the neutron flux (the number of neutrons per unit area per second) produced by ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source, a neutron production process that also generates a huge number of neutrinos with just the right energies for coherent scattering. Learn more about Rapp’s work.

portrait of Baruch FischhoffBaruch Fischhoff served on the committee that recently released a report, titled “Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.” The report includes recommendations for ensuring equity in distribution, administration, and access to the vaccine. It also discusses effective community engagement, risk communication, and strategies to promote vaccine acceptance. The committee was convened at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Fischhoff, the Howard Heinz University Professor in the Institute for Politics and Strategy and Engineering & Public Policy, has focused his research in the fields of risk and decision sciences. He has spoken to many media outlets about the virus and the implications of its spread.  Read the committee's full report.

outdoor portrait of Shriya BoppanaJunior Shriya Boppana was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s July 7 and Sept. 15 editions of Future View, in which she and other college students contributed opinions on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. Boppana shared her take on how the events of the past few months have changed her plans for the future. She credited her quick and easy transition to online learning to committed faculty and CMU’s reputation for innovation. Boppana embraced her free time to fully focus on her education, and made time for personal and professional work. She now plans to pursue a graduate degree. Boppana is a first-generation college student studying business administration with a concentration in marketing in the Tepper School of Business. She spends her time contributing to her two startups, Uncle Harvey and PAtch, running her design company and preparing for the national Miss India USA pageant.