Directions - Online News

Directions Online helps the department maintain contact with our alums. As our Alumni, you are very important to us because you spend a significant and enriching period of your life with us and then you go out into the world as our ambassadors. We are always in process of writing the next issues of our Directions Online . Please be sure to email Grace Johns (johns@phy.ilstu.edu) with your alumni update information and "action" pictures of you doing your job.

And Alumni also help current students understand the breadth of career opportunities that await them through Alumni Lectures and ISU Physics Alumni Day Career Panel presentations. If you would like to return to campus to talk about your career with Physics Majors and others, please contact Grace Foote Johns, Asst. to the Physics Chairperson (johns@phy.ilstu.edu). And, don't forget to keep us updated about your current contact information by emailing Grace or phoning her (309-438-8758).

Finally, ISU Physics Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Students--and ISU Physics Department friends--may find our now official "ISU Physics Alumni & Friends" Facebook affinity "closed" group on Facebook page. The "closed" type means that people can see that our group exists and who is in it, but only members may view the posts and make posts to the group page. Just make a join request when you go to that page and Grace Foote Johns will add you to the group. And we also have a Department of Physics Facebook page--so please remember to "like" your Physics Department. Thanks!​

Select a date below to see the corresponding Newsletter. The newsletter will appear below the table.

Select Year - See List Below
May/June 2012
January 2011
May 2011
September 2011
March 2010
September 2010

May/June 2012


Department News

Dr. Khondkar R. Karim Retires

The Physics Department came together on Friday, June 1, to celebrate 23 years of service by retiring faculty member Dr. Khondkar Karim.

Dr. Karim joined the faculty of ISU in 1989 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1983. He served in a postdoctoral capacity there and at Kansas State University until arriving at ISU. Dr. Karim came to the USA in 1978; his home town is Rajshahi, Bangladesh. During his first year of retirement, Dr. Karim will teach PHY 102 during autumn semester and PHY 284 during spring semester. We all wish Dr. Karim a long, happy, and healthy retirement.

-by Dr. Carl J. Wenning-

Mini Modeling Workshops Held During June 2012

Using departmental funding, Ken Wester, Carl Wenning, and Tom Holbrook (University High School) hosted two 3-day workshops for in-service high school physics teachers during June. The focus of the workshops was the Modeling Method of Instruction - an inquiry-oriented approach of teaching introductory physics; the subject matter was constant and accelerated motion. Participants were involved with such activities as Barbie Bungee Jumping (see image) and Demolition Derby. A total of 39 teachers from across Illinois attended this year and 36 others did so last year. Workshops are presented as part of an ISU-based Local Physical Science Alliance.

-by Dr. Carl J. Wenning-


For more information about these and other ISU Physics Department programs or events, please contact our Physics Department Office at (309) 438-8756.

Intense Laser Physics Theory Unit Receives NSF Grant of $300,000

Distinguished Professor Rainer Grobe and University Professor Q. Charles Su have done it again by securing National Science Foundation funding to support their research for the next three years. Dr. Su--who is co-director of ILP with Dr. Grobe--said "It is a tremondous honor for ILP to be recognized six times in a row by the prestigious NSF funding agency." For more on this award by ISU Media Relations, please click here.

For more about the National Science Foundation, please visit https://www.nsf.gov/


Student News

Congratulations to our May 2012 Physics Department Graduates (* indicates double major; # indicates an August 2012 Graduation Candidates)

Graduating with a B.S. degree in Physics:

Jacob A. Barham *
Adam P. Bourjaily
Alexander P. Gross
Colin R. Matthews
Justin R. Maxwell
Tyler J. Rainey
Benjamin J. Rogers
Daniel L. Russell
Michael D. Sawyer, Jr.
Daniel J. Tomera #
Joseph E. Trimble

Graduating with a B.S. degree in Computer Physics:

Jacob A. Barham *

Graduating with a B.S. degree in Physics Teacher Education:

Steven G. Clayton
Mackenzie G. Kelley #
Sara A. O'Toole
Sarah E. Pfluger


(As more information is known, this section will be updated.)

ISU Solar Car Vehicle Mercury IV Heads to Monticello, NY in July 2012 for start of the 2012 American Solar Challenge

Illinois State University Solar Car Team Members official photo for the American Solar Challenge 2012 (with an early CAD drawing of Mercury IV).

To view these and more pictures and news about--and how you can become involved with--the ISU Solar Vehicle Project and the ISU Solar Car Team, please visit them on Facebook at "ISU Solar Car Vehicle Project": https://www.facebook.com/ISUSolarVehicleProject


Alumni Career UPDATE News

Peter Hui , BS'89 (Physics) is employed by the Waters Corporation (www.waters.com) as an LC/MS/SFC Field Service Engineering.

Sara A. O'Toole, BS'12 (Physics Teacher Education) accepted a physics teaching position at Hampshire High School to begin Fall 2012.

Sarah E. Pfluger, BS'12 (Physics Teacher Education) accepted a math teaching position at Richwoods High School in Peoria to begin Fall 2012.


ISU Physics Alumni & Friends Facebook News

We view our two distinct Department Facebook page presences each uniquely:

1) Our ISU Physics Alumni & Friends Group (closed) allows a means for you and us to exchange information about career opportunities and department news that you might be interested in. Grace Johns updates this group page about weekly, as information becomes available. Thanks also to alumni who share news about job vacancies by posting in the group page so that their fellow alums may be made aware of them.

2) Our Department of Physics at Illinois State Facebook "page" is a bit more formal as "the face of our Physics Department" for prospective students. It is a one way communication tool--we share the most interesting department related topics that come up. This especially pertains to important scholarship deadlines for prospective students.

Department News

ISU's Solar Car Team

Mercury Captures 2nd Place at Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) Track Rayce

It was an exciting, gripping, and nail biting time for those of us at home following the progress of ISU's Solar Car Team Mercury at the FSGP track rayce held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ISU was solidly in 2nd Place for most of the three day rayce. Although, Northwestern University made a valiant push past us in laps one day.

The 2011 ISU Solar Car Team Mercury was one of the most interdisciplinary teams we've had to date with students representing the following majors: Biological Sciences, Engineering Physics, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Physics, Renewable Energy, and Technology.

Mr. Dunham and Dr. Rutherford were two of the Faculty and Staff SC Team Mercury Mentors that travelled with the team. Not pictured above are Dr. Dan Holland, Lead Faculty SC Team Mentor, and Derek Roach, Physics Major, who did not travel with the team.

For laps and other FSGP info, visit (though their URL says 2010, it is the 2011 info): https://americansolarchallenge.org/

Miscellaneous Faculty and Staff Recognitions and Awards

Both Dr. Q. Charles Su, University Professor and Professor of Physics, and Ms. Grace Foote Johns, Assistant to the Chairperson in Physics,were recognized as one of the 75 Founders' Day Bell Ringers in February 2011.

Ms. Grace Foote Johns was also honored to receive ISU's Outstanding Staff Member Committment to Diversity Award in April 2011 for her Physics Department women in science outreach projects as well as involving community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington- Normal and the American Association of University Women.


Alumni UPDATE News

January 28, 2011 (2-3pm) NASA Engineer Jeff Fitch (BS'83 Physics) visited ISU Physics and chatted with Physics Faculty and Students and toured ISU Physics facilities

Physics Alumnus Jeff Fitch (BS'83), was the featured speaker at the January 28, 2011 (7:30pm) Challenger Learning Center 25th anniversary commemoration of the Challenger Shuttle disaster. The event was held at Heartland Community College's Astroth Community Education Center Auditorium. A NASA engineer, Mr. Fitch is also a Normal Community High School graduate who spoke on the topic, "From Normal to Space and Back Again"

Our ISU Physics Alumni Day Career Panel was Friday, October 15, 2010. Our Alums coming back this year were:

Heather Dowd, BS'97 Physics
Paul Lucido, BS'92 Physics
Fred Retter, BS'95 Engineering Physics

We so enjoyed having Heather, Paul, and Fred back to campus to talk about their careers.


Student News

Physics Students Win Major Scholarships and Awards

Sam Krueger wins a 2011 Noyce Scholarship

"The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at Illinois State University, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), provides scholarships and mentoring to Mathematics and Science students who will graduate and become teachers in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers in the Chicago Public Schools."

Physics Students Win Silver Medals at International Fall 2010 University Physics Competition

Mike Sawyer and Andy Gillespie

"Of the fifty-eight teams in the 2010 Competition, two teams were ranked as Gold Medal Winners, eight teams were ranked as Silver Medal Winners...The 2010 University Physics Compettion received official sponsorship from the American Physical Society and the American Astonomical Society, ..." Illinois State University Physics Chairperson, Dr. Rick Martin lauded the students and their mentor, Dr. Charles Su, "I am very pleased that Mike and Andy did so well in this international competition." (As excerpted from CASNews article.)

Matthew Ware won a 2010 Goldwater Scholarship

"The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate.

The purpose of the Foundation is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields."

Sarah Pfluger won a 2009 Barbara Lotze

Scholarship for Future Teachers

"The AAPT Executive Board offers scholarships for future high school physics teachers. These scholarships, supported by an endowment funded by Barbara Lotze, are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools.

Undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors entering such programs are eligible. Successful applicants receive a stipend of up to $2,000. The scholarship may be granted to an individual for each of four years."​

Department News

ISU's Solar Car Team

Mercury Captures 2nd Place at Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) Track Rayce

It was an exciting, gripping, and nail biting time for those of us at home following the progress of ISU's Solar Car Team Mercury at the FSGP track rayce held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ISU was solidly in 2nd Place for most of the three day rayce. Although, Northwestern University made a valiant push past us in laps one day.

The 2011 ISU Solar Car Team Mercury was one of the most interdisciplinary teams we've had to date with students representing the following majors: Biological Sciences, Engineering Physics, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Physics, Renewable Energy, and Technology.

Mr. Dunham and Dr. Rutherford were two of the Faculty and Staff SC Team Mercury Mentors that travelled with the team. Not pictured above are Dr. Dan Holland, Lead Faculty SC Team Mentor, and Derek Roach, Physics Major, who did not travel with the team.

For laps and other FSGP info, visit (though their URL says 2010, it is the 2011 info): https://americansolarchallenge.org/

Miscellaneous Faculty and Staff Recognitions and Awards

Both Dr. Q. Charles Su, University Professor and Professor of Physics (pictured left), and Ms. Grace Foote Johns, Assistant to the Chairperson in Physics,were recognized as one of the 75 Founders' Day Bell Ringers in February 2011.

Ms. Grace Foote Johns was also honored to receive ISU's Outstanding Staff Member Committment to Diversity Award in April 2011 for her Physics Department women in science outreach projects as well as involving community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington- Normal and the American Association of University Women.


Student News

Congratulations to our May 2011 Physics Department Graduation Candidates

December 2010 & May 2011 Graduates (Final)

Physics

Kurt Adams #
Neil Ekins
Andy Gillespie **
Andrea Hesselbach H
Tyler Klein
Mike Prorok
Teresa Stout
Michael Sul
Kevin Wabick
Jacob Weidner CL

Engineering Physics

Laura Chen
Colin Daly
Adam Drendel
Patrick Haddox
Nathan Loy

Physics Teacher Ed

Nick Chumbley
Matt Funkhouser CL
Andy Gillespie **
Devin Hubbard
Billy Kelley
Kevin Shane CL
Mitchell Tucker


H Honors Program Scholar
CL = Cum Laude
** double major
# Dec. 2010 grad

Some students with remaining credits to complete might have marched in the May 2011 Commencement Ceremony, but they hope to be August or December 2011 graduates. Their names will be added to a later graduates list when they become finalized by ISU after completing their graduation requirements.

Congratulations to our Spring 2011 Physics Department Student Award Winners

Jacob Weidner, Outstanding Graduating Senior
Teresa Stout, Outstanding Undergraduate
Andrea Hesselbach, Outstanding Service
Sara O'Toole, Outstanding Teaching Assistant

Congratulations to our Spring 2011 Skadron Computational Physics Award Winners

Ben Shields, For Research
James Becker, For Class Achievement
Joe Trimble, For Class Achievement

Congratulations to our Spring 2011 Skadron Prize Award Winners

The programming competition this year focused on "Snowboarding Down a Ski Trail".
Matt Ware, 1st Place
Andrew Gillespie, 2nd Place

Congratulations to our Endowed Scholarship Award Winners

Michael F. Canney Scholarship Given In recognition of your hard work, motivation and entrepreneurial spirit:
Matthew Morris, 2011

Kenneth E. Jesse Award for Experimental Research

Given in recognition of your experimental research project:
Cameron Knight, 2011

Robert C. Shears Scholarship

Given in recognition of your hard work and motivation and demonstrated interest in energy and environmental issues:
Mid-Hat Abdulrehman, Spring 2011
Quinton Skilling, Fall 2011

The Physics Department was especially delighted that both Alumnus Bob Shears and Emeritus Professor of Physics Ken Jesse were able to join us for the Awards Banquet and Ceremony. And Michael Canney had hoped to join us again, but his travel plans conflicted with our date.


Student International News

Two students have had Study Abroad experiences the past year--Sarah Pfluger went to Ireland for Fall 2010 and Matthew Ware spent the whole year in Hong Kong. So we've asked each of them to send us a photo and a quote about their international travel experiences that we'll post here in future issues.


Alumni Career UPDATE News

Philip Andris, BS2002 (Engineering Physics) shared with us recently that he is employed as the Energy Engineer for the William S. Middleton Memorial Hospital, Department of Veterans Affairs in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information about his employer, visit www.madison.va.gov

Jon Bengston, BS2009 (Physics Teaching) shared that he's been teaching at Wabash High School in Wabash, Indiana for the past two years. He enjoys teaching their physics, chemistry, and Integrated Chemistry & Physics courses. He remembers his days as an undergrad with us fondly and says "I don't think I could've asked for a better group of classmates to go through the physics curriculum with. The physics room was always a place I could go to relax, have fun, and get work done at the same time. I hope everything is going well in Normal, IL!"


Alumni International News

David Wischhusen, BS 2010

(Computer Physics) Visits Turkey in May 2011: In his own words

It's been quite an adventure in Turkey, I've been on the road a TON and seen a lot of interesting places! Last week I was in primarily western Turkey (mainly Istanbul and Ankara) and toured some of the famous mosques and other religious sites. This week I'm in central Turkey, mainly in the Mediterranean region (the view from my hotel is gorgeous!)

This is the Mausoleum of Ataturk. He is like Turkey's George Washington. Very much a national hero. The mausoleum is extremely large and very striking, definitely makes one feel that Ataturk was a great man. Here's a Wikipedia article on Ataturk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Kemal_Atat%C3%BCrk

My most significant takeaway from Turkey so far is that it is definitely a country in the midst of an exciting transition. Their major cities are far more sprawling and modern than I had ever anticipated. Their streets are packed full of new cars. Their citizens are largely well dressed and fashionable. The wealth and development in the major cities stand in stark contrast of some of the more traditional elements of their culture that can be observed further out in the countryside. I'm assured by locals that Turkey has changed very much in the last 20 years and if their cities are any kind of a leading indicator, Turkey in 20 years from now will be a truly incredible site to see.


ISU Physics Alumni & Friends Facebook News

Assistant to the Physics Chairperson Grace Johns informally started an unofficial "ISU Physics Alumni & Friends" Facebook group in February 2011 on her personal Facebook page that has quite "taken off". Alumna Rebecca Wenning Vieyra was the first Physics Alum Friend. As an initial foray into social media for alumni networking, Grace posts career/job searching news, ISU news and other news of interest to our alums and future alums. So, please consider "friending" Grace Johns and joining this unofficial "ISU Physics Alumni & Friends" Facebook affinity group.

That said, ISU, likes to have "official" alumni affinity group Facebooks sites--though it is not required. The Alumni Relations Office tends to "co-manage" these official Facebook sites and other ISU and Alumni news unrelated to Physics appears on them. What do you think are the pros and cons for you of staying informal and unofficial versus not? If you would prefer to have an "official" ISU Physics Alumni & FriendsFacebook affiinity group, please let Grace know by emailing her (johns@phy.ilstu.edu). If we have enough alums interested in joining an "official" Physics Facebook affinity group page, Grace will look into setting that official page up. Hopefully, there would be a way to easily "migrate you" over to it. Of course, we could always have both! We'll keep you posted.​

Department News

Fall 2011 ISU Physics Alumni Day Career Panel Features Four Physics Alums on Friday, October 14, 2011 (3:00pm in MLT 214)


Colin C. Daly, BS'11 Engineering Physics
Nicholas T. Koehn, BS'07 Computer Physics
R. Todd Miller, BS'96 Engineering Physics
Rebecca R. Santana, BS'07 Physics

The event will be held Friday, October 14, 2011 from 3 - 4pm in Moulton Hall, room 214. This event is free and open to the public. A reception for the Alum Panelists will occur after the event in MLT 309.

Physics Alumni Lecture Features Fermilab Scientist on Tuesday, October 18th (4:00pm in MLT 214)

Martin "Marty" Murphy, BS'94 Physics, will give a talk titled "Career Paths in Accelerator Physics". "Fermilab conducts basic research into particle physics to advance the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy. The lab possesses the world's second-highest-energy particle accelerator next to the CERN project in Europe." This event is free and open to the public

Physics Alumni Lecture Features 2nd Accelerator Scientist on Tuesday, October 25th (4:00pm in MLT 214)

James J. Woods, BS'99 CPY will return to campus to present the lecture "Here and Back Again with Accelerator Physics". This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about these and other Physics Department events, contact our office at (309) 438-8756.


ISU Physics Alumni & Friends Facebook News

We just reached our 100th ISU Physics Alumni & Friends affinity group member with Alumnus Dan Tomera joining on 10/06/11! If you would like to join the closed affinitygroup, please friend request "Grace Foote Johns" on Facebook and she will put you into the group. For more information, please contact Grace at johns@phy.ilstu.edu or (309) 438-8758.


Student News

Congratulations to our Fall 2011 Physics Freshman Merit Scholarship Award Winners

Robert D. Young Physics Scholar Award (worth $2,000)

Logan D. Nelson, PTE Major

Physics Alumni Scholar Award(worth $1,500)

Derek J-L Jennings, PHY Major

Dale M. Shulaw Physics Scholar Award (worth $1,000)

Derek J-L Jennings, PHY Major

Physics Book Scholar Awards (worth $500)

Erik R. Fjeldheim, EGP Major
Chris G. Stark, PTE Major
James F. Turley, EGP Major

Congratulations to Sarah E. Pfluger, 2011-2012 Armed Forces Scholarship Award

Here is what Physics Teacher Education Coordinator, Ken Wester, said about Sarah's scholarship:

The AFCEA STEM Teacher Scholarship is awarded each year to outstanding college students actively pursing an undergraduate degree for the purpose of teaching STEM subjects at a US middle or secondary school. The scholarship is provided through the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. 57 $5000.00 scholarships were awarded for the 2011-2012 academic year.

In addition to the $5000.00, recipients will receive $1000.00 for the next three years to be used by their future schools to purchase science-teaching tools. More information concerning the scholarship and other winners can be found by clicking here.

Congratulations to our August 2011 Physics Department Graduate

Jeffrey P.Gustafson graduated with a B.S. degree in Physics.


Alumni Career UPDATE News

Mark W. Castleman, BS'89 (Physics) earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1997. He currently teaches science at Boulder High School in Boulder, Colorado.

Trisha M. Blood, BS'06 (Physics) Teaches Mathematics at Illinois Valley Community College (www.ivcc.edu) in Ottawa, Illinois.

Ryan M. Fitzpatrick, BS'09 (Physics) works for Rubincon Technology (www.rubicon-es2.com) as a Crystal Growth Operator in Des Plaines, Illinois.

James S. Kristoff, BS2002 (Engineering Physics) is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Arizona State University. James is working on his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. While there, he works in the Biomechatronics Lab. Click here for a short video in which the Lab Director "Veronica Santos discusses recent robotics and prosthetics research being performed at the Biomechatronics Lab" and James demonstrates the robotics.

Dr. Craig M. Lennon, BS'03 (Physics) is employed as a Physicist by the US Army Night Vision and Electonic Sensors Directorate (NVESD: www.nvl.army.mil) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He earned his Ph.D in physics from the Univrsity of Illinois in Chicago in 2010.

Erin M. Stefanik, BS'09 (Physics Teacher Education) is in her third year of teaching physics at Huntley High School. According to theNorthwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Erin was named "a 2010 Fellow of the New Science Teacher Academy which is run by the National Teachers' Association. The Crystal Lake resident was one of 48 science educators nationwide selected into a yearlong program ..."


Student International News

Physics Major Matthew Ware Enjoyed His Study Abroad Experience in Hong Kong During the 2010-2011 School Year

Studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong, I worked twelve to sixteen hours a day in order to stay on top of the bell curve, and stories of other exchange students scoring 90% and above on quizzes and being curved down to failing grades because of a high average kept me working hard. I passed up trips to exotic destinations like Indonesia and the Philippines to keep up my grades, and I gave up weekends in order to complete projects like designing computer servers and writing proofs for theorems in my mathematics courses. However, my time spent in China was also the most socially active period of my life. Whenever possible, I’d go out touring the city, eat at Mr. Wong’s restaurant, or try to hike the 100 kilometer long MacLehose trail—all with the international group of friends I built during my time abroad.

Department News

How do you like the redesigned ISU Physics web site? Contact Dr. David Marx (marx@phy.ilstu.edu) to share your thoughts.

Also, we are in process of writing the next issue of our Directions Alumni magazine. Please be sure to email Grace (johns@phy.ilstu.edu) with your alumni update information and "action" pictures of you doing your job.


Alumni Update News

From Ryan Allured (BS'08 PHY):

I am a second year Physics PhD student at the University of Iowa (that's me in the lab below). I am still working on the NASA Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) project. Our satellite's launch date is set for the end of 2014.

I am the Instrument Manager of the student experiment, a Bragg Reflection Polarimeter (BRP) sensitive to X-rays at ~500eV. Specifically, the BRP is going to be used to test predicted models of the polarization of X-ray emission from black holes that have been updated using general relativity.

The mission as a whole will study a broad range of targets, including but not limited to stellar mass black holes, quasars, pulsars, and supernova remnants. Once completed, GEMS will become the most sensitive X-ray polarimeter flown to date in the 2-10keV energy band. I will most likely stay on the project after I graduate, and I hope to stay in the field of astronomy instrumentation throughout my career.


Alumni News

Thanks to Allen Lewis (BS'03 CPY) for his February 23, 2010 Physics Alumni Lecture "From Redbirds to Railroads: An Unusual Physics Career Path." Currently a Senior Analyst with Amtrak, he is reponsible for codifying train operating saftety procedures and regulations as well as review of instances of deviation from those regulations, and training operating personnel. etc.

Allen's love of trains started in his youth when he and his Dad and brother would take twice yearly trips on the train. Then, during his Summers at ISU, Allen worked as a Train Attendant responsible for passenger needs. After graduation, Allen seriously considered graduate school in physics. But he heard of Amtrak management positions opening up and applied. After a training period, Allen became a Conductor responsible for the whole operation of the train, and then later a Train Engineer himself. He maintains his Engineer Operator Certification to this day.

Allen gave a great talk about following your dreams (his love of railroads), finding new dreams when you hit a roadblock (such switching from music and coming to ISU as an EGP, then CPY major), and always believing in yourself. Thanks Allen!

Thanks also once more to our four alumni who shared their career presentations at ISU's Fall 2009 Alumni Day Physics Career Panel:

John D. Bergmann (BS'97 PTE)
James E. Karch II (BS'97 EGP)
Bud Schultz (BS'88 PTE)
Mark S. Zimmerle (BS'99 CPY)


More Alumni News

ISU is celebrating our 20th AnnualExpanding Your Horizons Through Math, Science, and Technology Conference at ISU on Saturday, March 20, 2010. Our 20th on the 20th!

And, this year's 20th Annual EYH Conference Keynote Speaker this year is our very own Rebecca Wenning Vieyra (BS'07 PTE). Rebecca had attended EYH Conferences as a young girl, gave EYH Student Career Workshop presentations for PRISM and ISU Physics while she was at ISU. And, now as an educator, Rebecca brings her own students to attend our EYH Conferences. Rebecca's EYH participation and career pathways embodies the spirit of our EYH Conference philosophy: helping the next generation of educators and scientists through hands-on career activities lead by women professionals as role models.

ISU Physics staff help to organize these EYH Conferences each year. And, many of our Physics Department Faculty, Staff, and Alums have helped give career presentations at EYH Conferences over the years. For more about this year's EYH Conference, visit www.eyh.ilstu.edu

Department News

We are in process of writing the next issue of our Directions Alumni magazine. Please be sure to email Grace (johns@phy.ilstu.edu) with your alumni update information and "action" pictures of you doing your job.


Alumni Update News

Congratulations to our December 2009 Through August 2010 Graduates!

Computer Physics

Isaac L. Goodin
Erin E. Lindsey
Ryan J. Linton
David T. Wischhusen

Engineering Physics

Scott D. Chenoweth
Timothy P. Garvin
Marc A. Hamende
Michael A. Hamende
Garth W. Hopkins
James S. Kristoff

Physics

Bradley J. Dale
Ryan M. Fitzpatrick
Emily R. Gospodarczyk
Jacob R. Vavra

Physics Teacher Education

Michael J. Cliff
Michael S. Maita
Kaitlyn D. Monbrum
Christopher D. Reis


Alumni News

Our ISU Physics Alumni Day Career Panel is Friday, October 15, 2010. Our Alums coming back this year are:

Heather Dowd, BS'97 Physics
Paul Lucido, BS'92 Physics
Fred Retter, BS'95 Engineering Physics

Here are some of the Recent Grads Updates that we have received so far:

From Andrew Becker, BS 2009 Physics

Andrew is currently a software Applications Specialist for kCura Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He tells us that “kCura are the developers of the civil litigation software, Relativity. Relativity is a web-based application servicing the analysis, review and production stages of the EDRM. kCura helps corporations and law firms with e-discovery challenges by installing Relativity on premises, as well as providing hosted on-demand solutions through a global network of partners in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. My job is to master the ins and outs of our software and provide support to our clients with the front and back ends of Relativity.”

From Amy Erxleben, BS 2009 Physics Teacher Education and Computer Physics double major

“I just became a volunteer at the Adler Planetarium [in Chicago]. This is probably the most exciting thing I have going on at the moment. My official volunteer title is Activity Cart Coordinator. I spent about a month teaching (primarily 7th grade science) out in Arizona last August, but due to many different circumstances I left Arizona to return to the Chicagoland area.” Amy is working in retail at the moment while she applies to and interviews for jobs at schools and government labs in Northern Illinois. “At this time what I truly believe I want to do is to work in an informal/semi-formal educational setting. Ideally, I’d like to work as an educational director or educator in a museum.” She attributes her career focus to the enjoyable “time I spent helping out with the [ISU] Physics Club and the Physics on the Road events.”

From Ryan Lodes, BS 2009 Physics Teacher Education

Ryan shares that he is a Physics Teacher at Lincoln-Way Central High School in New Lenox, Illinois. The school’s website proudly proclaims their students’ academic achievements by pointing out that “For the school year 2009-2010 we learned Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way North scored in the top 10.9% in the state of Illinois for the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE).”

From Brian Mariani, BS 2009 Physics Teacher Education

“I am doing well, and since graduation and I went to Jackson Hole Bible College, for a one year program to earn a Degree of Biblical Foundations. I am now continuing to work with them this year on a research project concerning the intelligence and sophistication of Ancient cultures back about 4,000 years ago. I am not sure how long I will be working on this project." He also shares that, in the future, he hopes to look for a physics teaching position at either a public or private school.

From David Wischhusen, BS 2010 Computer Physics

“I had some luck looking for positions as a computer programmer ... was offered a position but turned it down to pursue graduate studies in Project Management at Illinois State University. Hopefully, that was the right choice and I’ll be able to find a position during round two [of job hunting] in about two years from now.” David shares that he is interested in “Computer Programming, specifically with an engineering focus.” And, that he has an entrepreneurial bent by trying to launch some startups. Currently, David holds a Graduate Assistantship in Student Affairs Information Technology at Illinois State University.​