Congratulations to UF Physics undergraduate student, Bridgette Gifford, one of three graduating seniors who has been named a winner of the 2022 CLAS Excellence Award. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) initiated these awards in 2017, given out in a variety of categories including undergraduate, to those who embody the college’s standards of excellence. Nominations for the award came from CLAS undergraduate coordinators.
Bridgette Gifford will graduate this spring having completed a physics major, pre-med coursework, courses in computation and machine learning, and a minor in Music History and Enthomusicology. She was the founder and first president of our undergraduate National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) chapter at the University of Florida. This was the fifth such chapter in the United States. During the pandemic they have hosted regular virtual talks by prominent Black scientists. These were advertised to our physics majors, to students in our large introductory classes, and to students in chemistry, engineering, and biology. In summer 2020 she attended an online summer school at Princeton University, and last summer she attended a summer research program sponsored by the Simons Foundation at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. There she worked with scientists in their computational biology division on “Predicting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load from Gene Expression Data Using Machine Learning.” She is presently writing a senior thesis with UF biophysics faculty member Prof. Purushottam Dixit.
Congratulations to Bridgette on this well deserved award!