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Carlos Gutierrez named chair of APS Committee on Minorities

Date of Release: 04/21/2005

Carlos GutierrezSAN MARCOS—Carlos Gutierrez, Ph.D., a professor in the Physics Department at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been named Chair of the American Physical Society Committee on Minorities.

Gutierrez has been a member of the Committee on Minorities for two years prior to his appointment as chair.

“It’s a big responsibility,” Gutierrez said. “The demographics for physicists are woefully underrepresented in certain groups--African American, Hispanic, Native American--and the committee’s role is to figure out strategies to address this imbalance.

“We need to make physics more accessible to underrepresented groups. Right now we have a problem with that,” he said. “Many people from these groups don’t even have a clear idea of what career opportunities exist in these fields. That’s another role that we play--education.”

The Committee on Minorities in Physics (COM) was founded on April 23, 1972 as an ad hoc committee of the American Physical Society and later became one of APS' outreach committees. COM's mission is to increase the number of historically under-represented minorities, notably African-Americans, Hispanic and Native Americans, who earn degrees in physics and pursue successful careers in physics in the United States.