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Physics Major Jobs and Graduate School Acceptances 2020



Olivia Young 

Major: physics
Hometown: Orrtanna, Pennsylvania
Graduate School: University of Maryland
Field of Study: mechanical engineering

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?

I have learned how to think critically and apply what I have learned in many different situations.

What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?
Participating in research and attending conferences.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
Being a part of the field hockey team, and all of the friends I have made.

Ming Hua Chang

Majors: physics, psychology
Hometown: Dehiwala, Sri Lanka
Graduate School: Penn State University
Field of Study: Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics
How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?
Dickinson has provided me the opportunity to receive an extremely broad education beyond classes directly relevant to my next steps. I completed a second major and a minor in fields completely unrelated to my primary major, physics. Further, I have been able to take many classes in philosophy, languages and music. I believe that this has provided me several different perspectives on my approach to life and the choices I make, and also help me better engage with a myriad of people and problems. My academic experience at Dickinson was not simply theoretical since I was fortunate to have been able to engage in experimental research across four distinct scientific disciplines, including two independent studies. Together, these have prepared me for the academic rigor of the Ph.D. program I will begin.
In addition to the academic aspects of Dickinson, the social aspects have been equally if not more impactful. I have encountered people, ideas and philosophy that have broadened my worldview and challenged me to be a better person. Many of these people have been fellow students, but I am both humbled and thankful that many have also been faculty, staff and members of the Carlisle community. Further, the skills I have acquired with regard to interpersonal relationships, managing organizations and overseeing residents is invaluable. While it is difficult to briefly describe the skills attained therein and impossible to measure them, I know that I can approach administrative and organizational situations with more confidence.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that my faith as a follower of Jesus has broadened, deepened and become more robust. Through my experiences inside and outside the classroom, I have come to understand faith as a way of life rather than a religious practice. All these things I have listed combine to make me a more wholesome person, capable of approaching the complex, multifaceted and sometimes intimidating world. I am thankful for the resources and opportunities that Dickinson has provided to facilitate this personal development.
What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?
I am looking forward to continuing to learn and live in an academic setting. I am stimulated by the depth and variety of discourse and the opportunities for learning that exist on a college campus. Additionally, college campuses are home to an extraordinarily high level of diversity, which makes life rich and interesting. In the long-run, I am most anticipating and motivated by the opportunity to make a significant and lasting contribution to society through science.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
  • Taking "Electrons in Materials" with Professor of Physics Lars English, because it helped me know that physics was what I wanted to pursue for my career.
  • Taking classes with Thomas Bowman Professor of Religion and Philosophy Ted Pulcini (retired), Associate Professor of Philosophy Jim Sias, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Grace Larson and Contributing Faculty of Music and Voice Jonathan Hays (all who were not physics faculty) because they were some of the most intellectually stimulating, enjoyable classes I've ever taken, and also because I got to know them personally and engaged with them beyond mere academics.
  • Being part of the Dickinson Christian Fellowship. Some of the best and most genuine people I met at Dickinson were in DCF. 
  • Being a resident advisor because of the people I met and the skills I acquired.   
  • Being inducted into the Order of the Scroll and Key because I was honored with the opportunity to be a part of something larger than myself that is dedicated to the common good of the communities we find ourselves in.   
  • Obtaining departmental honors in physics. My project and thesis together were the most challenging endeavors I undertook at Dickinson, but they prepared me for graduate studies and grew my love for physics.

Rachel Krewson

Majors: physics, environmental science
Hometown: Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Employer: Triumvirate Environmental
Job title: environmental specialist

Job Responsibilities
I will be working to make sure hazardous waste is properly handled and disposed of as an environmental specialist.
How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?
Dickinson gave me research opportunities as an undergraduate that I wouldn't have had at any other institution. Additionally, its liberal-arts education allowed me to become a double major in two different scientific fields, something that has helped me have an edge in the job market and have a more holistic, interdisciplinary view on what I studied in my time there. I was also able to build my resume with my job experience at ALLARM, an organization unique to Dickinson.
What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?
I eventually want to go back to school and get my master's degree in environmental engineering but am working to gain experience and save money in the meantime.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
My research, relationships with professors and other students, departmental events and other campus-wide events will always mean the world to me.
Internship Experience
  • Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy - conservation intern in Schwenksville, Pa.; summer after my first year.
  • Dickinson student research assistant - aquatic climate change research brought me to Iceland with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Kristin Strock over the summers after my sophomore and junior years at the college and continued into a senior research project.

Amanda Baylor

Major: physics
Hometown: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Graduate School: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Field of Study: physics

How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?
At Dickinson, I was able to gain research experience in the Department of Physics which helped me to secure larger research opportunities elsewhere. I was also well-prepared by their curriculum for applying to graduate school and transitioning to higher education. Additionally, the liberal-arts education experience gave me exposure to fields I have never had opportunities to explore previously, such as classical studies and sociology. Now, I am more motivated to continue studying topics outside my main area of research, and I have a broader view of the world.
What are you most anticipating about your career or post-graduate pursuits?
I look forward to continuing my education in graduate school and gaining further experience in my field. I hope to meet new and interesting people and perform cutting-edge research.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
I gained a lot of confidence giving my own scientific talks through Department of Physics colloquia. However, what I enjoyed the most was becoming close with my professors and colleagues. I had a great network of supportive individuals, and the friends I have made at Dickinson will make a lasting impact on my life.
Internship Experience
University of Florida International Research Experience for Undergraduates in Gravitational Wave Physics (Summer 2019) - sponsored by the NSF and the University of Florida, I was sent to Monash University in Melbourne, Australia to conduct research on gravitational wave physics. I spent the summer writing code to analyze gravitational wave data taken by the LIGO scientific collaboration (LSC). The code is now being used by the LSC, and the results will be published.

Aidan Pidgeon

Major: physics
Hometown: South Orange, New Jersey
Employer: Wesleyan University
Job title: astronomy research assistant

Job Responsibilities

Analyze and coordinate photometric data on the star V582 Mon (KH 15D) obtained during the 2019-2020 observing season.
How has Dickinson prepared you for life after graduation?
Given the state of the world right now, the thing that I have gained from my time at Dickinson that is perhaps the most immediately important is a support network of incredible friends, colleagues and teachers. As much as physical laws, formulas and code, Dickinson has taught me that I can succeed and to give myself some credit for doing so.
What are some of the defining moments of your Dickinson experience?
Meeting my academic advisor; my first time observing with the Britton Telescope; meeting my best friend; joining the Queer Student Union; my trips with the Department of Physics and Astronomy to the National Undergraduate Research Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.; and so many more.
Internship Experience
I was a research intern at Vassar College through the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium's NSF-REU grant during the summer of 2018, working on follow-up observations of KELT exoplanet candidates.

Published April 29, 2020