Olivia Meredith Bitter

Grad student, ICARUS, University of Chicago

My name is Olivia and I am a grad student who just finished a master’s degree in physics and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. I’m now taking a gap year before starting a PhD program in Fall 2022 due to the uncertainties with the ongoing pandemic, and to focus on research and publications. I am also a member of the ICARUS Collaboration and a Fermilab User for over two years. Since joining the collaboration as a summer intern, I have been impressed by the welcoming, supportive, and inclusive nature that the lab and its community has towards all of its members – particularly for aspiring young physicists. I strongly believe that my positive experience at Fermilab as an undergrad is the primary reason that I chose to continue my career in particle physics. I have participated in many lab-wide and FSPA events since arriving, particularly the annual Users Meetings and New Perspectives Conferences, and I would love the chance to actively contribute more to a community that has made me feel that I belong. I am running for FSPA officer to help continue and expand the great work of early career networking and mentorship that FSPA fosters in an inclusive and diverse environment.
As an early career liaison with the Physics Education Topical Group for the Community Engagement Frontier of Snowmass 2021, I work to provide particle physicists with ways to promote diversity and access to physics education to students from high school through graduate school. Providing opportunities to the next generation of particle physicists is my way to “pay it forward” for all of the mentoring I have received along my own journey. I have also done public outreach using the tools gained in Snowmass discussions to actively promote the field of particle physics and have been a mentor myself. In addition, I have promoted diversity and inclusion in essays I wrote as a political columnist for the UIC Honors College annual journal while an undergrad student there. Combined with my Snowmass experience, I plan to be a strong advocate for science policy changes particularly at the annual trip to Washington D.C. If I am elected as an FSPA officer, I plan to continue the work the organization is doing to create a space for all and help to bring more events and opportunities to the early career Fermilab community.