We graduated our first class of physics majors in 2010. These are some of our alumni, including those who majored and minored in physics.
Kevin Sanders graduated with a double major in physics and computer science. Kevin began doing research in his freshman year when he studied the path of an American football after a placekick. He expected that the dominant forces would be drag and gravity. However, he found through video analysis that the end-over-end motion of the football creates lift which also affects its path. Kevin continued his research in his sophomore year when he numerically determined the coefficients of drag and lift that would best fit the measured path of the football. Summer after his sophomore year, he did funded research at the Colorado School of Mines REMRSEC REU program. Kevin worked in the High Performance Computing department on ParFlow, an integrated, parallel watershed model. After his junior year, Kevin spent the summer doing funded research through a University of Michigan REU at CERN, the premier particle accelerator in the world. Once again, his programming skills were noticed and he was tasked to work in the IT-CLS-DLT (Digital Library Technology) department on the ZENODO/Invenio project, a research sharing initiative. While he was there, he acquired an additional project analyzing particle collision data from the ATLAS detector. This led to funding to do research at CERN during the Spring Semester of his senior year. While taking three courses online at HPU, he lived in France and worked at CERN. Through these experiences, Kevin found that he wanted to study particle physics. As an undergraduate student, Kevin gave eight presentations at regional and national conferences, including three presentations at national AAPT meetings. Kevin is now in the Ph.D. program in physics at Boston University and will do research in particle physics.
Andrei graduated with a triple major in physics, math, and computer science. Andrei is an excellent programmer who greatly enjoyed doing research and development projects. In electronics, Andrei created a laser harp using an Arduino microcontroller and a Python program. Andrei used eight diode lasers to emit laser beams and a circuit to detect when each beam was blocked. His Python program communicated with the Arduino and played a note when each beam was blocked. In addition to this project, Andrei did research with Dr. DeWitt where he measured the approximate age of an open star cluster. He presented his work at the Fall 2012 Meeting of NCS-AAP and the 2012 BigSURS meeting. Finally, Andrei spent the summer of 2013 doing research at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Lab (TUNL) at Duke University. He assisted with the design of a compact 1 MeV electron accelerator. After graduation, Andrei is considering working in industry or going to graduate school in physics or computer science.
Linda graduated with a B.S. in Physics. Linda completed a NSF REU at University of Michigan in medical physics. She presented her work at the 2013 Winter AAPT meeting.
After graduation, Linda was admitted to the M.S. program in medical physics at Duke University.
Nikki graduated with a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A in physics. Nikki completed a summer NSF REU at Duke University in nuclear physics. She presented research at an APS meeting in 2012, the 2012 Winter AAPT meeting, and the 2013 Winter AAPT meeting. She also presented at the 2010, 2011, and 2012 BigSURS meetings.
After graduation, Nikki was one of two students to receive a 2013 Mather Policy Internship. She worked in DC on Capitol Hill with the House Committee on Science and Technology. After her internship, Nikki attended law school at William and Mary.
Catherine graduated in 2012 with a B.S. degree in physics and a B.A. degree in religion. Catherine presented at the 2010 Zone 5 SPS meeting and the 2011 BigSURS conference.
After graduation, Catherine was admitted to the M.S. program in medical physics at East Carolina University.
Laura graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry and a B.A. in physics. In 2009, Laura participated in a NSF REU at James Madison University in materials science. In 2010 and 2011, Laura had summer internships at JPL and NASA AMES. Laura submitted two grant proposals to the NASA Microgravity research program while at HPU.
After graduation, Laura was admitted to a Ph.D. program in chemical engineering at North Carolina State University.
Colin graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Chemistry. Colin had a NSF REU internship at College of Wooster in 2010. Colin did multiple research projects at HPU and gave presentations at the 2010 Zone 5 SPS meeting, 2011 Fall NCS-AAPT meeting, and the 2011 BigSURS.
After graduation, Colin taught chemistry and mathematics at Woodlawn School in Davidson, NC.
Brielle graduated with B.S. degree in mathematics and a B.A. degree in physics. Brielle received the Big South Scholar Athlete of the Year award in women’s soccer in 2011 and 2012 for her work in the classroom and on the soccer field. Brielle received multiple scholarships from national organizations. Brielle did research with Dr. DeWitt and presented Quark Model Calculation of a Meson Spectrum at the HPU math senior seminar. She also presented research at the 2010 Zone 5 SPS meeting.
Brielle’s goal is to teach high school math and physics. After graduation, Brielle was admitted to the M.A. program in math education at High Point University.
Amanda graduated with a B.S. degree in biochemistry and a minor in physics. She did video analysis of a paramecium, and she presented at the 2012 Winter AAPT meeting. She participated in a summer NSF REU program at Texas A&M in biophysics.
After graduation, Amanda was admitted to the Ph.D. program in biophysics at Texas A&M University.