Kimmy Cushman is the recipient of this year’s Yale Physics D. Allan Bromley Graduate Fellowship in Physics, awarded “for her combined passion for science and public policy as illustrated by her scientific accomplishments, their application to science policy, and by promoting local and national policy issues.”
Cushman is in her fourth year of graduate studies, working with George Fleming. She has also been awarded both the 2019 Alexander A. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Scholarship from Yale and the 2018 Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF).
She has been involved with many of the department’s outreach activities, such as Girls’ Science Investigations (GSI) and the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), and she has also sought out opportunities outside the department.
For instance, Cushman was awarded a 12-week fully funded research program with a lab scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developing a publically-available visualization tool in Green Chemistry that is already being used by biofuel researchers to find and test new and promising production pathways for biofuels. She completed this entire research program remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Cushman has been working with the Yale Oﬃce of Sustainability as a designated Yale Sustainability Leader. Currently, she is the “sustainability ambassador” to the Residences at Ninth Square apartment complex in New Haven, advising and helping to implement community composting, recycling education, paper reduction and roof solar panel installation.
Cushman has also been active in the political realm, working with local and state leaders to improve the role of non-partisan science in informing governmental decision-making. She is currently exploring avenues for becoming more involved in science policy making at the national level.
The D. Allan Bromley Fellowship Fund for Graduate Research in Physics was established in 2005 to honor Professor D. Allan Bromley, Sterling Professor of the Sciences at Yale University and former Presidential Science Advisor to President George H. W. Bush. The fellowship was created by Bromley’s former students Joel Birnbaum (Yale Physics PhD ‘65), Joe Allen (Yale Physics PhD ‘65), and John Manoyan (Yale Physics PhD ‘87), because of their “deep affection and respect for” Bromley, in order to “memorialize his exceptional teaching and research career at Yale.”
The fellowship is awarded annually to graduate students in physics who have advanced to candidacy in the Ph.D. program, particularly those “who exhibit a broader interest than just physics, including, but not limited to, science and public policy, engineering, and applied science.” Candidates are nominated by the Physics faculty and selected by the D. Allan Bromley Professor of Physics (currently Keith Baker), the Director of Graduate Studies (currently Bonnie Fleming) and Chair (Karsten Heeger). The description continues, “In this way, the recipients will reflect and celebrate Dr. Bromley’s distinguished and honorable persona in the exceptional scope, standing, talent, and character of his distinguished personal, public, and academic life.”