You may be wondering, “Huh? Why go to UC Merced for a PhD in Physics.” Well, I will tell you.
Let’s start with a story involving the woman quoted on my home page. I was just a young physicist in the midst of my first undergraduate research experience in Texas. Details aside, I was interested in pursuing a career in optics. Off of a professional networking website (I’ll let you guess), an experienced physicist suggested I contact Dr. Garmire. After a cold email, Dr. Garmire graciously agreed to speak with me about being a woman in physics and applying to graduate school. It was she who highly recommended UCM due to it’s small class sizes (akin to SMC), erudite faculty and cutting edge programs.
I listened, and I took action. I applied to the UC Merced doctoral program in physics and was accepted. How rare in this age one gets to attend a start-up University! The program is constantly evolving, new faculty are being hired every year. The atmosphere is one of excitement for new challenges and the pursuit of knowledge.
It is at UC Merced, through the instruction and mentoring of my advisor Dr. Chih-Chun Chien and Dr. Chen-Yen Lai that I became the physicist I am today (a pretty good one I’ll add). At St. Mary’s I learned how to think, but at UCM I learned how to solve. Please see my research description for these details.
Degree Received — Spring 2018
Honors — Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Fellow Spring 2017, Physics Graduate Summer Fellow Summer 2015 and 2017