DEI Committee

The DEI Committee in the School of Physics at Georgia Institute of Technology is committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive work environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and valued. We believe diversity benefits and enriches the development of all students, staff, and faculty in our department and community. To communicate with the DEI Committee, please send a message to

We are currently recruiting Undergraduate Students, Postdocs, and Research Scientists! If you're interested, please fill out an application form (deadline: 13/Oct/23 at 11:59pm EDT)



Sabetta Matsumoto (Chair), Emily Alicea-Muñoz (Faculty), David Ballantyne (Faculty), Flavio Fenton (Faculty), Shaun Ashley (Staff), Edwin Chan (Postdoc), Peter Lott (Grad Student), Mateo Reynoso (Grad Student), Andrew Wu (Grad Student) 


Dr. Sabetta Matsumoto


My goal is to create an environment in the School of Physics where everyone feels safe, welcome and valued. I have received training in Inclusive teaching, which is a practice that helps adapt the classroom environment to the needs of all students while acknowledging that there are many systemic and institutional barriers to equity in education. I am also working to develop an Inclusive Teaching Community of Practice with CTL. I am an openly LGBTQ+ physicist and on the “outlist” I am “safe space” certified and try to make every space I am in a safe space for all. Physics is for EVERYONE!


Dr. Emily Alicea-Muñoz


I’m an Academic Professional in the School of Physics, my research focus is physics education, and I am a native of Puerto Rico. At some points in my career I’ve been one of many Latinos in the room in places with high representation (e.g., at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and at other points I’ve been the only Latina in the room, feeling like the odd one out. My interest in DEI comes from wanting all people to feel represented and that they belong, to prevent them from feeling like the odd one out. Improving diversity in physics increases the pool of talent, which provides new perspectives and can lead to better science. Equity and inclusion are needed for the retention of said talent, and to ensure a climate of professionalism and camaraderie where everyone’s voices are heard and respected.


Dr. David Ballantyne


David Ballantyne is a Professor and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the School of Physics. I am committed to ensuring that educational opportunities in physics and astrophysics are welcoming, supportive, and enriching for people from every background and community.


Dr. Flavio Fenton


Just as I strive to give students the best education possible, I consider it equally important to offer students an environment of equity, where all can feel included regardless of diversity so that they can succeed in all aspects of their lives, from their professional to their personal lives, as success and happiness requires a good balance from both. I aim to help create and maintain a welcoming atmosphere at GT and the School of Physics for all our students, postdocs, staff, and faculty.

My office is always open and is a safe space, so you are welcome to contact me, as you would for academic office hours, with any equity, inclusion, or diversity issues you would like to discuss.


Shaun Ashley


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is the foundation for developing a strong, progressive, and innovative cultural environment. In my roles as Faculty Support Coordinator, and recent role as Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program coordinator, I engage with diverse groups of faculty, students, and staff. My passion for working in multicultural and underrepresented communities is driven by my vision to increase the level of equity, and inclusion for all. Why, because I believe that a unified DEI community, will positively impact and create a truly holistic experience in our school, the institute, and beyond. I am honored and continue to be enthused to be a part of such a powerful initiative!


Edwin Chan


I am a postdoc in astrophysics in the School of Physics.

I strongly believe science in general, and physics and astronomy, in particular, should be made accessible to all. Because each person comes from a different background, there are multiple unique ways of arriving at the same fundamental truth. This diversity is the core strength of our teaching and research: Students and teachers understand the subject matter more thoroughly by looking at it from a variety of angles, and cutting-edge research benefits from the continual injection of novel ideas and tools. But it is not enough that the community is diverse; it must also be inclusive and equitable because people can thrive only if they are not restricted in the opportunities available to them, and they can be their best only if they are not distracted by unfair practices around them.


Peter Lott

Graduate Student

I am a PhD candidate in my fifth year studying astrophysics with LIGO. I strongly believe that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are the core values upon which all endeavors of scientific merit must be based. Science is a humanistic endeavor; we study our work for the purpose of sharing information with other humans, and for the benefit of humanity as a whole. As such, it must be inclusive, for acquisition of knowledge for some and not all is not a humanistic pursuit. I am committed to upholding the principles of DEI without concessions wherever I am, and involving all people, for the sake of providing more support to them and the hope of a better future.


Mateo Reynoso

Graduate Student

I am a graduate student representative of the School of Physics DEI. As an international student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means embracing people from all different backgrounds and giving opportunities to anyone to better themselves.


Andrew Wu

Graduate Student

My name is Andrew Wu, and I am a second-year graduate student in the GT School of Physics. My path in science through undergraduate and graduate school has taken me through exoplanets and cosmology to the physics of origami here at GT. However, throughout my time studying physics, I have observed more diverse cohorts of potential scientists become more skewed as traditionally underrepresented students in STEM get selected out of the field, whether intentionally or not. As I have overcome my own personal challenges and barriers to pursuing a career in science, I have become passionate about helping others pursue their scientific interests and breaking down systemic barriers that individuals from diverse backgrounds face when pursuing a career in science. To me, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means that no one who is interested in science should ever question whether they belong in the scientific community based on their background or identity. As a member of the DEI committee, I aim to bring critical awareness to the issues of mental health and neurodiversity and contribute to an enriching and welcoming environment for all members of the School of Physics.


Previous Members

  • Laura Cadonati (Chair, 2020-2021)
  • JC Gumbart (Faculty, 2020-2021)
  • Chandra Raman (Faculty, 2021-2022)
  • Claire Berger (Faculty, 2022-2023)
  • Harold Kim (Faculty, 2022-2023)
  • Colin Parker (Faculty, 2022-2023)
  • Nicole Thompson (Staff, 2020-2021)
  • Danielle Skinner (Graduate Student, 2021-2022)
  • Felicia Davenport (Graduate Student, 2020-2021)
  • Brett Tregoning (Graduate Student, 2020-2021)
  • Ryan Jean (Undergraduate Student, 2020-2021)
  • Jessica Eskew (Undergraduate Student, 2020-2021)
  • Nadia Qutob (Undergraduate Student, 2020-2023)
  • Jack Sullivan (Undergraduate Student, 2021-2023)
  • Aniketh Swain (Undergraduate Student, 2021-2023)