Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics 


On March 25 join us for our annual Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics. It is IN PERSON with a reception for the first time since 2019!  If you live outside of the Memphis area, contact Joanne.Rhodes@memphis.edu for more information. 


Our speaker will be Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Stevenson Professor at Vanderbilt University. 


She will talk about gravity waves, their detection by LIGO, and what we have learned so far from this relatively new technology. The first gravity wave detection occurred on Sep. 14, 2015. She is very personable and is excellent at explaining complex concepts in ways that are easy for the general public to understand. 


Dr. Holley-Bockelmann joined the Astrophysics faculty at Vanderbilt in 2007. She received her B.S. in Physics at Montana State University and her PhD in Astronomy in 1999 at the University of Michigan. She did postdoctoral work at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Massachusetts.  In 2004 she joined the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University and has done research on supermassive black holes and rogue black holes. 

As a first generation college graduate within a family that sometimes lived below the poverty level, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann has a deep interest in broadening the participation of women, minorities, and first-generation college students in science. She is Co-Director of the Fisk-to-Vanderbilt Master's to PhD Bridge Program which is designed to mentor a diverse cohort of graduate students to develop the skills needed to succeed as a PhD scientist. 


Bringing Gravity To Light