Logan, a physics major who transferred from Bristol Community College, talks about UMassD's nurturing community, faculty mentorship, & peer-to-peer academic support.
Logan, why did you choose UMass Dartmouth?
“When transferring from Bristol Community College, I chose UMass Dartmouth because of the strong physics program and research opportunities available. Before becoming a full-time student, the UMassD physics faculty welcomed me to speak with them about the program and I was able to discuss with professors on an individual basis about their research activities. It was a welcoming environment from the start, and I was put on the right track immediately to make the most out of my undergraduate experience."
What was the most enjoyable aspect of earning your physics degree?
"The physics faculty convinced me from the start that UMass was an excellent option to pursue an undergraduate degree. I have had a lot of fun as a physics major, and I have made some of my best friends while in this program that shares common interests. I enjoy this major because the faculty members are incredible, I learn a lot, I spend the day with my friends solving homework problems, and it has helped me achieve and get closer to reaching my goals.”
How has UMass Dartmouth prepared you for life after graduation?
“I will leave with a bachelor’s degree in physics with a concertation in astrophysics, two internship experiences, one REU, and two UMass Dartmouth research experiences. I have gained skills in python through class and research, Linux, using a 3D printer, Vector Network Analyzer, and hands-on laboratory experience. UMass has provided me with every tool to be successful, and for the UMass Dartmouth experiences, all I had to do was ask. As a student here, I took advantage of every possible opportunity, and this has made me a strong candidate for the next step, graduate school, and the workforce. UMass didn’t only prepare me for an excellent career, but a career of my choice.”
What do you like most about attending UMass Dartmouth?
“My favorite thing about UMass Dartmouth really is seeing my friends and working with them to be the best student I can be. If it wasn’t for them, this major would be difficult, but I was never alone at any point. I strongly feel that we hold each other accountable for getting homework assignments done on time, and we always make each other aware of opportunities that will point us in the right direction. I enjoy the company of the friends I had made here.”
Which internships did you pursue during your undergraduate studies?
“The first internship-like experience I had as a student at UMassD was at Cornell University’s Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. For this project, I had the chance to work with Professor Britney Schmidt, who is one of the top astrobiologists in the field, and an excellent mentor. I was also invited to present my results to the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Additionally, I was accepted for the Woods Hole Oceanographic – UMass Dartmouth Blue Economy internship. And this summer, I will work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. for an internship in solar astrophysics.”
Tell us about your leadership experience.
“I am a club officer in the Society of Physics Students with the position of treasurer. Here I manage the funding for the club and assist with payments that make club activities possible. This will prepare me for life after graduation because it has given me experience with planning, funding events, and managing funds.”
Tell us about your research.
“My research experience at UMass Dartmouth was with Professor Robert Fisher. In this project, we aim to look at what conditions cause Carbon-Oxygen and Oxygen-Neon white dwarf mergers that result in the detonation of a Type Ia supernovae. This was my first research project and possibly my greatest learning curve as a student at UMass Dartmouth. This experience immensely prepared me for any internships I had, and laid my foundation as a researcher.”
What are your plans for after graduation?
“After commencement, I will remain at UMass for another year to finish a master’s degree in the 4+1 program. Later I will apply for a PhD program to pursue research in an astrobiology-related field. I would either like to be a professor or work for an organization that conducts research in the search for life beyond Earth.”