Plenary Speaker Profile (2022-23)
Arlene Modeste Knowles
Diversity Task Force Project Manager
American Institute of Physics TEAM-UP
The AIP TEAM-UP Report: A roadmap for supporting the success of African American physics & astronomy students and others with marginalized identities in STEM.

For decades, African Americans have been underrepresented in physics and astronomy, despite years of interventions. The AIP national Task Force to Elevate African American representation in Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy (TEAM-UP) spent two years investigating the reasons for this persistent underrepresentation and have put their findings and recommendations in a groundbreaking report entitled, The Time is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics & Astronomy. The TEAM-UP report provides a clear roadmap for the academic and scientific community to address systemic issues in physics and astronomy for African Americans at the undergraduate level. However, it also has broad application for tackling systemic inequities affecting many marginalized people in other STEM fields and employment sectors. In this talk, Arlene Modeste Knowles, the TEAM-UP Project Manager, will give an overview of the findings and recommendations from the TEAM-UP study, and will discuss department specific actions for two- and four-year colleges to create a more inclusive environment for African American physics students and others who are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Arlene Modeste Knowles is the Project Manager and primary driver for the American Institute of Physics TEAM-UP Project, and for TEAM-UP Together, a collective action initiative led by several physical science societies, which aims to double the number of African Americans earning bachelor’s degrees in physics and astronomy. She successfully guided the TEAM-UP project through the completion of its research phase, which culminated in the TEAM-UP Report, and continues to oversee the project through its implementation phase by engaging and galvanizing the larger STEM community to implement the report’s recommendations for systemic change. For three decades, Ms. Knowles developed, managed, and led diversity, equity, and Inclusion programs at the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, and in partnership with several other physical science societies. Throughout her career, she has been a staunch advocate and leader pushing for diversity, equity, and the inclusion of people marginalized in the physical sciences. Ms. Knowles is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development (pre-med track) from Cornell University.