African American Workforce Development in Physics and Astronomy


This project focuses on African-American workforce development in physics and astronomy careers. Over the past year, Cole, in conjunction with Christopher B. Newman, an associate professor at University of San Diego, have cultivated a meaningful relationship with the National Society for Black Physicists. Now with the support of the NSF, this partnership has spurred the development of a convening of experts at the 2017 NSBP Annual Conference.

Utilizing a “strengths based, pathway model,” 25 experts from PK-12, higher education, and industry will gather to create action plans that will address the systemic, institutional, and individual factors that impact career pathways.


The African American Workforce Development in Physics and Astronomy project is funded by a $100,000 Education and Human Resources (EHR) Core Research Grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. NSF DUE-1663852).



  1. The overarching goal of the pre-conference workshop is to identify evidence-based approaches to enhance the quality of preparation and to identify gatekeepers and critical leverage points for effective interventions.
  2. The other goal is to develop a new research agenda to build on understanding of African-American participation in physics and astronomy, as well as to discuss strategies for more rigorous evaluations of programs geared toward supporting African-American participation in physics and astronomy.



Darnell Cole
Associate Professor
Principal Investigator


John Slaughter
Co-Principal Investigator


Christopher Newman
Associate Professor
Research Consultant


Liane Hypolite
Doctoral Student
Research Assistant



Save the Date!
African American Workforce Development in Physics and Astronomy Workshop
November 2-3, 2017
Atlanta, GA

See more info here!