Adapted from a release by Out to Innovate.
The U physicist was one of three winners of the 2023 Out to Innovate Awards that recognizes outstanding achievement by LGBTQ+ people in STEM.
Out to Innovate is proud to announce the winners of its 2023 recognition awards for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Out to Innovate has recognized exemplary individuals with LGTBQ+ Educator, Engineer, and Scientist of the Year for over 15 years.
2023 LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year: Ramón Barthelemy
The LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year award recognizes an educator who has significantly impacted STEM students through teaching, counseling, advocacy, and role modeling. Dr. Barthelemy is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah. Before joining the faculty at the U, Dr. Barthelemy was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and an AAAS Science Policy Fellow. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Barthelemy researched university physics education in Finland. As an AAAS Fellow, he focused on STEM education policies and helped support equity in STEM education.
His current position focuses on physics education research, with a broad range of interests from student learning in the classroom to policies that govern the physics community and impact physics careers. Last year, Barthelemy and collaborators published a pioneering study that revealed the barriers that LGBTQ+ physicists face in the field. His current research focuses on understanding the social network development of Ph.D. physicists who identify as women and/or as part of the LGBTQ+ community. This unique project focuses on Ph.D. scientists beyond academia and includes the government and private sectors. This work aims to better understand how these groups build their professional networks and navigate them to find their definition of career-related success.
When asked how his life experiences have shaped his perspective as an educator, Dr. Barthelemy said, “…being queer has impacted how I think about binaries. I do not see the world as a place where there is one incorrect and one correct answer. Rather I see a very complex world in which multiple kinds of explanations and models can be used to understand our lives and the world around us. As a scientist, this dips into ideas of philosophy of science and how we are not necessarily claiming to have a T truth, but instead are working to develop and refine models that help us explain and predict the natural world.”
His nominators noted, “…he combines stellar graduate work in physics education research with some of the deepest and most significant work on gender and LGBTQ+ issues in physics that has so far been written.” When asked what advice he would give his younger self and scientists just beginning their adventures in physics, Barthelemy “…would tell a younger version of me to trust myself and to build a community of people who support one another and want to see each other succeed.”
Out to Innovate awarded LGBTQ+ Engineer of the Year to Dr. David Jansing, Ph.D., a remote sensing scientist at Johns Hopkins University, and LGBTQ+ Scientist of the year to Dr. Victoria Orphan, Ph.D., the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology at Caltech. Learn more at Out to Innovate.
LISA POTTER | Research communications specialist, University of Utah Communications