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Christine Broadbridge, Southern Connecticut State University

Candidate for MRS Board of Directors

Christine BroadbrigeChristine Caragianis Broadbridge is a Professor of Physics and Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Brown University where she conducted research on alternative gate dielectrics for integrated circuit applications.

Her professional career began at Trinity College (Hartford), where as a faculty member she established an electron microscopy facility for physical and life sciences with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additionally, she founded and directed the United Technologies Corporation/Trinity College Engineering Initiative (UTCEI), a program designed to enhance the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM.

Broadbridge was appointed a Yale University Visiting Fellow (1998 to present) and in 2000 she joined the Physics Department at neighboring SCSU.  

Broadbridge served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on ten+ NSF projects and as researcher on over a dozen others, including NASA, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and U.S. Department of Energy grant-funded projects. She participated in the establishment and is a researcher and education director for the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) at Yale/SCSU, which began as an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC; 2006-2018). She is the founding Director of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Center for Nanotechnology (2013 to present) and the SCSU Office for STEM Research and Innovation. From 2016-2018, Broadbridge served as founding Dean for the SCSU School of Graduate Studies, Research and Innovation. Following her tenure as dean, she rejoined faculty as the Executive Director for Research and Innovation. In this role she guides SCSU research and innovation through oversight of the Offices of Sponsored Programs and Research, STEM Research & Innovation, Sustainability, and Research Protection.

Broadbridge is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma and Tau Beta Pi and has over 100 publications and presentations and numerous awards including the 2006 Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation. In 2008 Broadbridge was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) and after serving a five-year term on its Governance Council, she was elected to serve as Vice President/President Elect. She completed her term as President in June 2022.  During her presidency, CASE established/implemented key priorities that led to a renewed partnership with state government.

Examples of her national service include roles as Vice Chair/Chair, MRSEC Education Director's Network (2010-2012); Co-Chair, MRSEC Diversity Committee; New England Zone Councilor, AIP Society of Physics Students (2005-2011); and Diversity Chair, Society of Physics Students National Council (2010-2011)

Candidate's Statement

I am an educator, researcher, and academic entrepreneur with ~30 years of experience in program innovation and administration, and a focus on industry- academic-government partnerships in service to the state, region, and nation.  Materials Research Society (MRS) is an organization of materials researchers worldwide that promotes communication for the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. I am deeply committed to this mission and my professional experience makes me an ideal candidate to serve MRS at the international level as a member of its Board of Directors. 

I have been an active member of MRS since the start of my career. I presented at my first meeting as a graduate student, missing only two meetings since which coincided with my children’s births. I have been active in MRS service at the national level and participated on several committees, including the Diversity, Public Outreach, and Communication Task Force, and at the local level where I facilitated the establishment of an undergraduate MRS Chapter.

MRS recognizes that diversity drives innovation, and is committed to excellence, and new discoveries. I share this belief and have participated in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts not only for MRS, but for the Society of Physics Students and, most recently, initiated an effort as CASE’s President. 

MRS strategic objectives are in direct alignment with my interests, passion, and goals for productive service. As the first objective, MRS will expand to become the Materials Gateway for global communication and knowledge dissemination.  MRS must optimize modes of communication (website, social media, publications, and meetings) to achieve this objective and best meet the diverse needs of a global community. Given my past role as a MRS session organizer and chair, as well as a member of the communication task force, I understand the challenges, yet see opportunities to optimize the current mechanisms in place. 

The second objective is to support the sustainability of the field of Materials Research. This requires the active engagement of membership in communicating the importance of science to society. MRS is in a unique position to do this given the broad content and significant societal impact of MSE. In my past roles on the public outreach and communication task forces I considered these issues in the context of materials research. Additionally, I represented several professional societies at local and national levels to advocate for funding for science.  

The third objective is to proactively foster materials solutions to improve the quality of life. MSE has unlimited potential and therefore informed and thoughtful decision-making will be of benefit for the selection of technical content areas that will maximize global impact.  Workforce plays an essential role as we must consider the challenge of recruiting more individuals into the STEM professions. Additionally, our organization must provide guidance on the alignment of ethical considerations with the preparation of the future workforce.  This is an area where I have a great deal of experience to contribute.