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Camille Avestruz

Region: NYC: Bronx/Manhattan
Program Institution:
Barnard College


College/University: Barnard College
Major/Minor: B.S. Physics, Mathematics, & Dance
Graduation Date: 2009

Graduate School/University: Yale Universtiy

Significant Professional or Academic Accomplishments: As an undergraduate at Barnard, she graduated cum laude, a triple major with majors in physics, mathematics, and dance. As Camille would say “The physics was to challenge myself, the math was to sharpen my skills, and the dance was to keep me sane. I found that it was really important for me to figure out how to live a balanced life, and I'm still in the process of doing that. Once one's life is more or less in order, one can really start to focus on developing a career.”

Camille always had an interest in pursuing a career in academia, so she spent her summers doing research with various professors in the physics department. During her years at Barnard her research was funded by CSTEP, MMUF and Hughes Research Internship in Physics and Astronomy.

During her time at Barnard, she won the 2008 Margaret Kenny Jensen Prize in Mathematics, the Henry A. Boorse Prize in Physics, and was both a CSTEP and MMUF scholar.

Today Camille is a third year graduate student in Yale's physics department. She works with simulations of galaxy clusters in the astrophysics and cosmology group. As a graduate student, she is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and was a semi-finalist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship. At the last conference Camille attended, TheJoint conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, she won a best-poster prize: the AAS Beth Brown Memorial Prize.

Camille continues to give back to the community. She volunteers for Girls' Science Day, a Saturday event where middle school girls from surrounding areas come on campus to build and experiment, and has initiated a graduate student run multi-tier mentoring network within the department. “Everyone has their own sets of interests with which they can make marks along their paths - the really important thing is to make sure you enjoy what you are doing, each day that you are doing it.”


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