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Physicist Dr. Charles Brown featured in Perspectives: Conversations with Alumni

October 27, 2021

Co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Graduate School Alumni Association (GSAA)

On October 27th, The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Graduate School Alumni Association (GSAA) co-hosted a discussion for Yale graduate students, faculty, and alumni featuring Charles D. Brown II, ‘19 Ph.D. (Physics) currently a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ultracold Atomic Physics Group in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Brown is also co-founder and co-lead organizer of Black in Physics week, a week dedicated to celebrating the historical contributions of Black physicists. The discussion, which coincided with #BlackinPhysics week 2021, was led by Jia Chen, ‘00 Ph.D. (Physics), Vice Chair of the Graduate School Alumni Board and Matthew Tanico, ‘17 Ph.D. (Renaissance Studies and Spanish and Portuguese), Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life.

The event, the first in a series called Perspectives: Conversations with Alumni, is meant to bridge the Graduate School alumni and student communities, sharing alumni experiences and insights as both models for success and opening opportunities for alumni and students to connect.

Brown spoke about his passion for physics, his research on light and motion, and his experiences on seeking community and belonging, which culminated with Brown co-founding the Yale League of Black Scientists during his time as a graduate student. The conversation touched on the importance of mentorship, which Brown said he found by “being authentic and asking for help,” as well as the importance of representation in the academy.

The next Perspectives webinar will feature Lyndsey McMillon-Brown, ’19 PhD in Chemical Engineering who is working as a research engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Wednesday, December 1 at 8:00 pm ET. Registration information will be available on the Graduate School’s website: in early November.