MINORITY CARRIERS PANEL

Tuesday, June 22nd, 12:30-2:00 Eastern



Please join us for the second annual “Minority Carriers” panel. Minority Carriers will provide attendees with professional development and career guidance that acknowledges the intersectionality and nuance of diversity today. This event is open to all individuals who wish to attend. All allies and individuals who self-identify as underrepresented in the PV community (i.e people of color, underrepresented nationalities, women, LGBTQ, first generation students, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and individuals with disabilities) are strongly encouraged to participate. The panelists are also diverse in career paths with representation from academia, government, and industry. PVSC 48 Minority Carriers panelist bios are included below:

Moderator: Lyndsey McMillon-Brown (she/her, @DrMcMillonBrown)

Lyndsey McMillon-Brown is a researcher at NASA Glenn Research Center. Lyndsey received her B.S in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Miami University (OH, 2013) and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Yale University (2019). Her dissertation work focused on developing novel materials and patterns for advanced light trapping in solar cells. Dr. McMillon-Brown has been with NASA since 2011 where she has worked on a variety of space solar cell-related programs including thin film and organic cell development, and III-V durability studies. Lyndsey is currently leading a research effort on perovskite solar cells, a promising material for space photovoltaics.

Outside of the lab, Lyndsey is dedicated to increasing opportunities for underrepresented individuals in STEM fields. As an alumna, she challenges her institutions to facilitate cultural changes that provide more inclusive environments for their students. She serves on Miami University’s Women’s Advisory Committee to the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing and she’s a NASA NextGen Ambassador. Lyndsey is also the founder and co-organizer of the Minority Carrier’s Luncheon.


Panelist: Ryder Fox (they/them)

Ryder Fox (they/them) is a queer and trans person who is passionate about improving access for marginalized individuals. They have spent 15 years as a curriculum developer, coaching individuals facing barriers and training diverse groups.

Ryder was kicked out of a family that denied educational access throughout their youth and consequently spent their late teens and early twenties simply surviving. Like so many LGBTQIA+ individuals, this meant that Ryder did not begin a collegiate trajectory until their mid-thirties. Overcoming repeated stigma around learning differences, mental health challenges, and identity, Ryder completed their BS at New Mexico Tech and is pursuing a PhD at the University of Miami, RSMAS. As an atmospheric physicist, Ryder researches ice interactions inside of landfalling hurricanes.

Committed to recruitment, inclusion, and retention of people in STEMM with marginalized identities, Ryder has held various diversity and inclusion leadership roles in STEMM professional societies. In 2020, Ryder began the first STEMM-led international crisis hotline as a grassroots COVID-19 response to supporting STEMM students and professionals. Believing that whole-person inclusion is the heart of diversity initiatives, Ryder centers cross-identity support and trauma-informed approaches in every program.


Panelist: Tyler Grassman (he/him)

Tyler Grassman is an associate professor at The Ohio State University in the Departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering. He’s a member of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering “Diversity and Inclusivity Committee” and an Advocate within OSU’s NSF-ADVANCE “Advocates & Allies for Equity” program. A first-generation student, he earned a B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Oregon, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests focus on atoms-to-devices investigation of novel and integrated semiconductor materials for optoelectronics and photovoltaics applications, and the development and application of multi-scale and correlative electron microscopy methods for the characterization of defects and structure-property relationships in functional materials.



Panelist: AJ Link (he/him)

AJ Link (he/him, @knilirabaj) received his JD from The George Washington University Law School. His studies focused extensively on disability law, international human rights, and space law. AJ has been actively involved with disability advocacy in the Washington, DC area and nationally within the United States.

While at GW, he chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Assembly for the Student Association and the Student Life Committee. He also founded the Atypical Student Society, a student organization for neurodiverse and disabled law students, at the law school and served as its inaugural president. AJ was the president of the GW Law Space Law Society and co-chaired the Student Affinity Group Enterprise.

AJ was awarded the Michael Dillon Cooley Memorial Award by his graduating class for his compassion and humanity in serving his fellow students. He serves on several advisory boards that focus on disability advocacy and social justice. AJ is openly autistic. He was a 2020 Disability:IN NextGen Leader and was inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

AJ is currently pursuing an LL.M in Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, while also chairing The Center for Air and Space Law Task Force on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Aerospace and a Senior Editor of the Journal of Space Law. He works as a research director for the Jus Ad Astra project and serves as co-president of the National Disabled Law Students Association, which he co-founded.

Panelist: Matt Sheldon (he/him)

Matt Sheldon (he/him) is an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, and he is an affiliated faculty member of the Texas A&M Energy Institute. A first-generation college student, he received his BA from Carleton College (Chemistry), PhD from UC Berkeley (Chemistry), and performed his postdoc at Caltech (Materials Science/Applied Physics). He is the recipient of the 2015 Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program (AFOSR YIP) Award, the Kaneka Junior Faculty Award (2017), and was selected as a 2017 Inventor Fellow by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. In 2019 he was elected to the executive committee of the American Physical Society (APS) Topical Group on Energy Research and Applications (GERA). His research focuses on nanomaterials for application in solar energy.

He is a member of the LGBTQ Professional Network (LGBTQ-PN) at Texas A&M University. He also serves as a speaker and faculty adviser for the campus oSTEM (Out in STEM) organization. Most recently he spoke at the Young Researchers Conference (YRC) hosted at Texas A&M as a representative for LGBTQ in STEM, in his efforts to help advance diversity in STEM fields.


Panelist: Adrienne Stiff-Roberts (she/her)

Adrienne Stiff-Roberts (she/her) is Jeffrey N. Vinik Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, where she is also Director of Graduate Studies for the University Program in Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Stiff-Roberts received a B.S. in physics from Spelman College (1999), a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech (1999), and an M.S.E. in electrical engineering (2001) and a Ph.D. in applied physics (2004) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Stiff-Roberts is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, the IEEE Early Career Award in Nanotechnology of the Nanotechnology Council, and the PECASE. Her current research interests include organic and hybrid thin-film deposition by resonant-infrared matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (RIR-MAPLE); materials characterization of organic and hybrid thin films; and the design, fabrication, and characterization of organic and hybrid optoelectronic devices, especially infrared photodetectors, photovoltaic solar cells, and multi-functional sensors.


Thank you for our sponsors for supporting this event which is part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion effort at PVSC