top of page


GRAD-MAP founders: Dr. Ashlee Wilkins (left), Dr. Katie Jameson (center), and Dr. Alex McCormick (right).


We are a graduate-student powered initiative. 

GRAD-MAP is led by a team of graduate students from the Astronomy and Physics Departments at the University of Maryland, with support from faculty and staff in both departments, as well as many volunteers (students, researchers, and faculty) from both departments and across the University of Maryland's campus. GRAD-MAP began in 2013, when graduate students worked to develop a program to change the status quo in physics and astronomy.




Katya Leidig (they/them)

Astronomy Graduate Student


Katya joined GRAD-MAP in 2020 during their first year of graduate school, and helped create and run professional development workshops both during winter workshops and the summer scholars program. They have been acting co-lead since Summer 2022.


Arjun Savel (he/him)

Astronomy PhD Candidate



Arjun has been a GRAD-MAP co-lead since 2022. In 2020 and 2021, he assisted with Python bootcamp material development and lectures. He has also led workshops on imposter syndrome and best practices for giving presentations.


Alex Dittmann

Astronomy Graduate Student


Alex assisted with the Python bootcamp during the 2020 and 2021 Winter Workshops. He gave lectures on multidimensional plotting in Python and on programming in C during the Summer Scholars Program 2021. Alex also was a mentor during the 2020 Winter Workshop, and a co-mentor in the summer of 2021.


Rob Dalka

Physics PhD Candidate 


Rob first joined GRAD-MAP during his first year in graduate school in 2019 and has volunteered with GRAD-MAP in multiple capacities, most recently as a mentor for the 2022 Winter Workshop. Rob has also volunteered in the past during CSS visits as well as organizing and helping out during Python workshops. He joined the leadership team of GRAD-MAP in the Fall of 2022.


Mark Ugalino

Astronomy Graduate Student 

Mark joined the Astronomy department and the GRAD-MAP team as their social media coordinator in 2023. He actively participates in astronomy outreach in the Philippines through the UP Astronomical Society.


Joe DeMartini

Astronomy Graduate Student

Joe joined the graduate department at UMD in 2018 and participated with the GRAD-MAP 2018 Open House event and the 2019 Winter Workshop (WW). During the WW he mentored/advised a student project and helped teach during the Python bootcamp.


Jacob Bringewatt

Physics Graduate Student

Jacob has volunteered for the GRAD-MAP Winter Workshop in both 2021 and 2022 as a project mentor and panelist.

Other Current GRAD-MAP Support

Benedikt Diemer, Professor of Astronomy

Benedikt has served as the faculty liaison for GRAD-MAP since 2022. In this role, he facilitates the program's connections within the Astronomy Department, advises on long-term initiatives, and provides program continuity.

Daniel Serrano, Senior Faculty Specialist

Daniel has worked with GRAD-MAP since 2022. He helps manage and coordinate the GRAD-MAP program overall.

JORDAN GOODMAN, Professor of (Astro)Physics
Jordan Goodman

Jordan will provide funding support for the 2019 Summer Scholars program students. 

ALBERTO BOLATTO, Professor of Astronomy
Alberto Bolatto

Alberto provides funding for the Summer Scholars program through an NSF grant. 

ELIZABETH WARNER, Principal Faculty Specialist and Observatory Director
Elizabeth Warner

Elizabeth has been a mentor and advisor during the Winter Workshop (WW) since 2015 and Summer Scholars during 2021. She has guided ten students through observing projects at the UMD observatory.  

ELIZA KEMPTON, Professor of Astronomy
Eliza Kempton

Eliza will provide funding support for the 2019 Summer Scholars program students. 

WOLFGANG LOSERT, Professor & Associate Dean

Wolfgang is a great supporter of GRAD-MAP and has participated in a number of Winter Workshops. 

ARPITA UPADHYAYA, Professor of Physics

Arpita has mentored Summer Scholars in 2021 and 2023.

PETER TEUBEN, Principal Research Scientist
Peter Teuben

Peter has been working with GradMap since 2015, and has been involved teaching a Python module in the Winter Workshop, mentoring Summer Scholars with Alberto Bolatto, and loves showing off his evolving Greenbank 40ft profile predictor code (in Python of course).

GRAD-MAP Team Alumni

Katie Jameson, Postdoctoral Researcher

Katie founded GRAD-MAP in 2013 with a group of astronomy and physics grad students. She defended her PhD in 2016 and moved "down unda" to the Australia  National University for a postdoctoral research position. She studies star formation and molecular gas nearby galaxies using data from the satellites Herschel and Spitzer and from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). 

Ashlee Wilkins, House Science Committee
Team Lead from 2014 - 2016

Ashlee was part of the founding team of GRAD-MAP and defended her PhD thesis in 2017. She studied the atmospheres of giant exoplanets, was the 2018 Bahcall Public Policy Fellow for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), supporting the federal policy and advocacy activities for the astronomical science community, and is now working for the House Science Committee.

Robyn Smith, Astronomy Graduate Student
Team Lead from 2016 - 2017

Robyn became team lead in 2016 during her second year at UMD. She is responsible for building ties to the TREND physics REU program and helped GRAD-MAP to begin to transition from the original founding group to the current program. 

John Collini, Physics Graduate Student
Co-Lead from 2018 - 2019
John 27_edited.jpg

John Collini started working with GRAD-MAP in 2016 by mentoring students and assisting with the python boot-camp of the Winter Workshop. In 2017 John lead the python boot-camp and was the physics co-lead for a year.

Amy Steele, Postdoctoral Researcher
Team Lead from 2017 - 2019, Team Advisor 2019-2020

Amy became the Team Lead in the fall of 2017. In addition to being the Team Lead, Amy also acted as the Team Advisor to the new GRAD-MAP co-leads. Amy defended her thesis in 2020. Currently, Amy is an MSI Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill Space Institute studying circumstellar dust and gas around stars on and off the main sequence at multiple wavelengths.

Milena Crnogorcevic, Astronomy Graduate Student
Co-Lead from 2019 - 2022

Milena joined GRAD-MAP in her first year of graduate school in 2017 and began acting as the Astronomy Team co-lead since 2019. She is involved in a number of diversity initiatives, inside and outside the Astronomy Department, including organizing the career-path (BANG!) seminars, founding the Fermi mentoring program, participating in the department's EDI Committee, as well as being a member of Physics and Astronomy Anti-racist Coalition (PAARC).

Andrew Guo, Former Physics Graduate Student
Co-Lead from 2020-2022

Andrew has been teaching Python for GRAD-MAP since 2017. Most recently, he was the lead for the Python Bootcamp during the 2019 Winter Workshop. Andrew has been the Physics Team Co-lead starting with the 2020 Winter Workshop and has helped organize and run various activities since then. 

Charlotte Ward, Former Astronomy Graduate Student
Co-Lead from 2020-2022
Screen Shot 2021-10-22 at 10.33.20 AM.png

Charlotte has been a GRAD-MAP co-leader since 2020. In 2019 and 2018 she mentored Winter Workshop students on AGN research projects and gave presentations on time-domain astronomy for CSS visits and the Open House. She has also assisted with development of Python bootcamp tutorials. 

Amitava Banerjee, Former Physics Graduate Student
Co-Lead, 2022

Amitava helped with the application review (Winter Workshop and Summer Scholars Program 2021), gave presentations and feedback to scholars while they were preparing their talks. In 2022, Amitava served as the Physics Co-Lead.

Stuart Vogel, Professor Emeritus
Faculty Advisor, 2013-2021

From 2013 to 2021, Stuart provided general-purpose mentoring for the Summer Scholars, and he was the primary faculty support to the GRAD-MAP Team Leads. Stuart also provided funding for the Summer Scholars program through a GROWTH PIRE grant.

Tomás Ahumada, Former Astronomy Graduate Student
GRAD-MAP Volunteer from 2019-2021

Tomás was part of GRAD-MAP between 2019 and 2021. He mentored students for the Winter Workshop (2021) and has developed and given Python lectures during the 2019-2021 Winter Workshops.

Dr. Paul Syers
Dr. Sonali Shukla
bottom of page