Class of 2018 Outcomes: Zack Hutchens Pursues Doctorate in Physics

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With another successful commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are preparing to commence prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the Class of 2018:

Name: Zack Hutchens

Hometown: Thomasville, North Carolina

Major: Hutchens graduated with a B.S. in physics and a minor in mathematics.

Post-graduation plans: Hutchens attends The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in physics.

How HPU helped you get there: “HPU’s physics department cultivated my curiosity and love for physics and astronomy. Beginning with a research project on cosmic ray detection which began before my freshman year, to being able to present at an international conference in stellar astrophysics, the department’s emphasis on research and mentorship helped me find my passion. The coursework was intellectually challenging and has prepared me for graduate study.”

Most impactful mentor at HPU: “My most impactful mentors at HPU were Dr. Aaron Titus and Dr. Brad Barlow. Dr. Titus got me interested in research and helped me polish my skills in teaching and pedagogy as I worked with him both as a student instructor and in the context of physics education research. Dr. Barlow was my advisor for a long-term research project on CS 1246, a rapidly pulsating hot subdwarf star, and he helped me find my passion for astrophysics and observation.”

Most impactful moment at HPU: “Our department’s annual HPUniverse Day was always one of my most long-awaited times of the year. The majority of the faculty and students in HPU’s College of Arts and Sciences volunteer at the event to help get kids excited about astronomy, physics and science. That is a real testament to the community we share in the physics department.”

Advice for underclassmen: “Be diligent and work hard; the education you receive at HPU is a privilege. I found that the achievement of my goals followed naturally from my passion for physics, so feed your curiosities and let that guide you toward success. Appreciate the classmates and friends that you have. From early morning exam studying, to late nights at the oscilloscope, my friends and peers were there for me every step of the way.”

 

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