Profiles of former Penn State University Physics majors

The former undergraduate PSU Physics majors linked below have provided feedback on a variety of topics related to their experiences while students at Penn State, their current careers, how their Physics degree helps them, and advice for prospective and current Physics majors. We thank all who've given us information based on their PSU experiences and from their current career trajectories.

  1. Daniel Abercrombie (2014) -- Graduate student in Physics at MIT
  2. Joshua Albert (2006) -- Graduate student in Physics at Duke University
    1. 2014 update: Ph.D. (2013) from Duke University and postdoctoral research at Indiana University
  3. David Atlee (2005) -- Graduate student in Astronomy at Ohio State
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2011) from Ohio State University and postdoctoral research associate at NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory)
  4. Brian Bahn (2004) -- High school Physics teacher 
  5. Samhita Banavar (2013) -- Graduate student in Physics at UC Santa Barbara
  6. Jason Bartell (2011) -- Graduate student in Physics at Cornell University 
  7. Lena (Bradley) Bartell (2011) -- Graduate student in Physics at Cornell University 
  8. Danielle (Perry) Bassett (2004) -- Postdoctoral researcher (neuroscience) at UC Santa Barbara
    1. 2014 update: Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation (Bioengineering) at UPenn
    2. 2014 update: Winner of a MacArthur ('Genius') Award
  9. Lee Bassett (2004) -- Postdoctoral research (condensed matter physics - quantum computing) at UC Santa Barbara
    1. 2014 update: Assistant Professor (Electrical and Systems Engineering) at UPenn
  10. Chris Bernotavicius (2007) -- Naval officer (and M. S. in Mathematics) 
  11. Nick Bevins (2007) -- Graduate student in medical physics at UW Madison
    1. 2014 update: Senior staff imagining physicist at Henry Ford Health System
  12. Chris Billman (2011) -- Graduate Student in Physics at the University of Florida 
  13. Andrew Biss (2000) -- Product Manager at Saab Sensis Corporation (Aerospace) 
  14. Mark Bolden (2006) -- Air Force (civilian) scientist -- Associate Physics at Air Force Maui Optical Services
    1. 2014 update: Physicist at Air Force Research Laboratory (2006-2012) - Scientist at CENTRA Technology (DARPA SETA)
    2. 2015 update: Also Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State University
  15. Michael Bowne (2007) -- Physicist at FRABA (sensor technology company)
    1. 2014 update: Director of Technology Marketing at PI North America
  16. Terence Bretz-Sullivan (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Minnesota 
    1. 2016 update: Postdoc in Physics at the University of Minnesota
  17. Michael Brewer (2012) -- Graduate student in Physics at Drexel
  18. Marshall Calhoun (2008) -- Scientist at Advanced Research Systems (cryogenics)
    1. 2014 update: Regional Sales Manager for Lake Shore Cryogenics
  19. Benjamin Campbell (2002) -- Laser Physicist at the Electro-Optics Center
    1. 2014 update: Assistant Professsor of Engineering at Robert Morris University
    2. 2016 update: Associate Professor of Engineering at Robert Morris University
  20. Jeremy Cardellino (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at the Ohio State University
  21. Landon Chambers (2011) -- Graduate student in Physics at Texas A&M University 
  22. Rosemary (Shupp) Ciletti (2010) -- Energy Marketing at Direct Energy Corporation 
    1. 2016 Update: Cash Trader at Eclipse Resources
  23. Kristina Colladay (2007) -- Naval Research Lab, M.S. at Johns Hopkins, and graduate study in Physics at Cornell 
  24. James Dalessio (2006) -- Graduate student (in Astrophysics) at U Delaware 
  25. David Deaven (1988) -- Executive, Quality Engineering at GE Healthcare 
  26. Scott Delone (2009) -- High school teacher in West Chester, PA
  27. Jonathan D'Emidio (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Kentucky 
  28. Rachel Dicht (2004) -- Physicist at Naval Research Lab 
  29. Gregory Diehl (2008) -- Physicist at NAVAIR (China Lake, California) 
  30. John Diehl (2007) -- Physicist at Naval Research Laboratory 
  31. Robert Dimeo (1991) -- Staff Scientist at NIST - Director of Neutron Scattering Facility - Former advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 
  32. Michael Doncheski (1985, 1990) -- Professor of Physics (Penn State Mont Alto campus) 
    1. 2014 update: Director of Academic Affairs (Penn State Mont Alto campus)
  33. Matthew Doty (1998) -- Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of Delaware 
  34. John Draskovic (2008) -- Graduate student in Physics at Ohio State University 
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2014) from OSU and Project Engineer at Intel Corporation
  35. Michael Drelich (2014) -- Radiation protection technician 
  36. James Durgin (2008) -- Clinical residency in medical physics at Ohio State University
    1. 2014 update: Masters of Medical Physics (2010) from UPenn and Medical Physicist at Center for Neurosciences, Tucson, Arizona.
  37. Matthew Ebert (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at UW Madison 
  38. Andrew Eck (2010) -- Sensor engineer at Boeing Corporation 
  39. Emily (McCathran) Einsig (2009) -- Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton (and M.S. degree in Computational Science from George Mason University) 
  40. Todd Ellis (2002) -- Assistant Professor of Meteorology at SUNY Oneonta
    1. 2015 update: Assistant Professor of Meteorology at Western Michigan University
  41. Thomas Essinger-Hileman (2005) -- Graduate student in Physics at Princeton University
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2011) from Princeton Univesity and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University (2015)
  42. Leonard Eun (2004) -- Graduate student in Physics at Penn State
    1. 2014 update: Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National aboratory (2012-2013) and Quantitative Research at MSCI Inc.
  43. Scott Fackler (2011) Project manager at Xergy Inc.
  44. David Fein (2007) -- Computer software for the medical industry
    1. 2014 update: Application Analyst II at Catholic Health Initiatives
  45. Zachary Fifer (2009) -- ESL instructor in Korea and M.S. student (mathematics) at the University of Leeds (UK) 
  46. Daniil Finkel (2013) -- Artificial Intelligence Engineering at Coldlight 
  47. Padraic Finnerty (2006) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of North Carolina 
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2013) from North Carolina University and Staff Scientist at Applied Research Associates
  48. Steve Flammia (2002) -- Postdoc at Perimeter Institute (Canada) 
    1. 2014 update: Senior lecturer and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Sydney and faculty member of the Quantum Physics Group
  49. Jack Flicker (2006) -- Graduate student in materials science at Georgia Tech 
    1. 2014 update: Ph.D. (2011) from Georgia Tech in Materials Science and Engineering and Postdoctoral Appointee (2011-2014) and Senior Member of Technical Staff of Sandia National Labs
  50. Mark Foerster (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Tennessee 
  51. Jeremy Forster (2007) -- Project Physicist at Lutron Corporation 
    1. 2014 update: Senior systems applications engineer
  52. Michael Fosmire (1992) -- Associate Professor of Library Science- Head, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Technology Division, Purdue University Libraries 
  53. Tyler Frisch (2013) -- Application Engineer at Thorlabs 
  54. Nathaniel Gabor (2004) -- Postdoctoral research associate at MIT
    1. 2014 update: Assistant Professor (Physics) at UC Riverside
  55. David Garand (2009) -- Graduate student in Physics at Purdue University 
    1. 2016 update: Research Associate at Michigan State University (National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory)
  56. Matthew Gettemy (2014) -- Engineer at Belcan Engineering
  57. Samuel Gillis (2007) -- Medical imaging research associate
    1. 2014 update: Imaging Research Associate (2008-2010) and Project Manager (2010-2013) at Perceptive Informatics and IT Project Manager at PAREXEL Informatics
  58. Adam Glick (2014) -- Graduate student in medical phyics at UPenn 
  59. Craig Goldberg (2001) -- Medical physicist at Bryn Mawr hospital 
  60. Deborah Golden (1995) -- Civil and domestic human rights lawyer in Washington DC 
  61. Heather (Meloy) Gorr (2006) -- Ph. D. student in materials science and teaching Physics at a community college
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2008) in Physics from IUP, Ph. D. (2012) in Materials Science Engineering from University of Pittsburgh and Training Engineer at MathWorks
  62. Matthew Goss (2004) -- Medical Physicist
    1. 2014 update: Radiotherapy Physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  63. Chris Grigas (2013) -- Technical Support Engineer at dSpace (Digital Signal Processing and Controls Engineering)
  64. Michael Grinshpon (2013) -- Quality Engineer at Alarm.com
    1. 2015 update: Software engineer at Coldlight
  65. John Groh (2014) - Graduate student in Physics at UC Berkeley
  66. Jonathan Guild (2013) -- Officer in the US Air Force
  67. Brandon Haggard (2001) -- Civilian scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Dahlgren) 
  68. Chad Hanna (2004) -- Postdoc at Cal Tech
    1. 2014 update: Assistant Professor (Physics) at Penn State University
  69. Rachel (Peet) Hanson (2007) -- Technical services engineer at Epic Systems 
  70. Andrew Harris (2009) -- Project manager at Microsoft Corporation 
    1. 2014 update: Program Manager II at Microsoft
  71. Phillip Hochendoner (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at Virginia Tech 
  72. Greg Hoppa (1994) -- Senior Principal Systems Engineer at Raytheon 
  73. Joshua Howe (2009) -- Graduate student in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley 
  74. Ping Huang (2007) -- Graduate student in Math (actuarial) at U Illinois 
  75. Beth Hutchinson (2003) -- Postdoctoral research in neuroscience 
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2010) and postdoc (2009-2012) at UW Madison (Department of Neurology) and Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health
  76. Jason Hwang (2009) -- Graduate student in Astronomy/Astrophysics at Northwestern University 
  77. Matthew Jaffe (2012) -- Graduate student in Physics at UC Berkeley
  78. Yifan Jiang (2014) -- Graduate student in EE at UC Berkeley
  79. Robert Johnson (2004) -- Postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania 
    1. 2014 update: Lecturer and lab coordinator (Physics) at the University of Pennsylvania
  80. Therese Jones (2007) -- Graduate student in Astronomy/Astrophysics (Berkeley)
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2013) from UC Berkeley (Astrophysics) and Pardee RAND Graduate School (Science Policy)
    2. 2016 update: Contestant on Jeopardy (Feb. 2016)
  81. Dennis Just (2007) -- Graduate Student in Astronomy at U. Arizona
    1. 2014 update: Postdoctoral fellow (Astronomy) at University of Toronto
  82. Megan Kephart (2014) -- Graduate student in materials science at University of Illinois, Chicago 
  83. Matt Kinsey (2011) -- Graduate student in physics at Georgia Tech University 
  84. Daniel Kluskiewicz (2010) -- Graduate student in geosciences at the University of Washington 
  85. Brandon Koger (2011) -- Graduate student in medical physics at the University of Chicago 
    1. 2014 update: M. Sc. student at University of Calgary (radiation oncology physics)
  86. Kris Krack (2006) -- Civil engineering to architectural engineering and back 
    1. 2014 update: Project engineer at Vanalt Electrical Construction
  87. Emily Kremmel (2011) -- M.S. in medical physics and resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital 
  88. Praj Kulkarni (2003) -- Ph. D. (Stanford in Applied Physics) and a AAAS government science advisor (EPA) 
    1. 2014 update: Solution Engineer (2012-2014) and Customer Success Manager at Intapp
  89. Nathan Kurz (2004) -- Graduate student in Physics at U. Washington 
    1. 2014 update: Ph.D. (2010) in Physics from the University of Washington, Staff scientist (2011-2012) at Nion Co, and Senior Optical Engineer at Lockheed Martin Aculight
  90. Tyler Landis (2005) -- Graduate student at LSU
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (Physics) from LSU and Business Intelligence Developer at Epic Systems
  91. Meagan Lang (2010) -- Graduate student in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Vanderbilt University 
  92. David Lehr (2004) -- Data and customer specialist for health care software company
    1. 2014 update: VP Product Development Maven Medical
  93. Jessica Leonard (2004) -- Graduate student in Physics at UW Madison -- CERN/LHC experiments
    1. 2014 update: Ph.D. (2011) in Physics from UW Madison and postdoc at DESY/Zeuthen (working on the CMS detector at CERN)
  94. Tina Lin (2007) -- Graduate student in Physics at Harvard
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2013) from Harvard University and Associate at McKinsey and Company
  95. David Lishego (2006) - Investment Associate at Innovation Works (and MBA from Carnegie Mellon) 
  96. Matthew Lohr (2007) -- Graduate student in Physics UPenn
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2014) from UPenn and Senior Scientist in the Skincare Innovation group at Johnson & Johnson
  97. Clay Long (2013) - Graduate student in ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) at Carnegie Mellon University 
  98. Ryan Lynch (2006) - Ph.D. from University of Virginia (2011), postdoctoral scientist at McGill University (2011-2014) and postdoc at Naval Research Labs 
  99. Gregory Mahlon (1987) -- Assistant Professor of Physics (Penn State Mont Alto campus)
    1. 2014 update : Associate Professor of Physics (PSU Mont Alto)
  100. Logan Marcus (2006) -- Graduate student in Physics (acoustics) at Ole Miss
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2012) from University of Mississippi and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oak Ridge Associated Universities
  101. Kelly McCarthy (2008) -- Teach for America and high school teacher in Philadelphia 
    1. 2014 update: Physics teacher at Lourdes Regional High School
  102. Patrick McClanahan (2009) -- Graduate study in neuroscience 
  103. David McLaughlin (2010) -- Medical Physics M.S. (2013) from LSU - Engineer at eV Products (CZT radiation detectors) 
  104. John McManigle (2008) -- M. D. - Ph. D. program at Duke University and Oxford University 
  105. Brian McNally (2006) -- Process engineer at Johnson Matthey 
  106. Sean McWilliams (2003) -- Postdoc at NASA Goddard
    1. 2014 update: M.S. and Ph. D. (2008) from University of Maryland, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2010) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Postdoctoral Fellow (2010-2013) at Princeton University and Assistant Professor (Astrophysics) at West Virginia University
  107. Scott Metzler (1992) -- Research Associate Professor of Radiology (University of Pennsylvania) 
  108. Robert Miller (1999) -- Product Manager for Reporting and Analytics at ZirMed
    1. 2014 update: Process Manager at Humana
  109. Drew Milsom (1986) -- Director of Undergraduate Studies (Physics) at University of Arizona 
  110. Zachary Modig (2008) -- Civilian Scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division 
  111. Ronald Moore (1992) -- Tevatron Department Head (2005-2011) and Associate Division Head (2011) at Fermilab -- Accelerator Physics at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2011-2014)
    1. 2014 update: Senior Physicist at ProNova Solutions
  112. Robert Morasco (2002) -- Electrical engineer at PJM Interconnection 
  113. Danielle Norcini (2012) -- Graduate student in Physics at Yale University
  114. Christopher Palma (1994) -- Senior Lecturer in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Penn State University 
  115. Tushita Patel (2008) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Virginia 
    1. 2016 update: Medical physicist at Hologic Inc.
  116. Daniel Pearson (2011) -- Graduate student in Physics at Colorado State University 
  117. Michael Peth (2010) -- Graduate student in Astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University 
    1. 2017 update: Ph. D. in Astrophysics
  118. Shanna (Simmons) Pervola (2005) -- Medical Physicist (medical consulting group) 
    1. 2014 update: Medical physicist at Ohio Medical Physics Consulting
  119. Zachary Pierpoint (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at UW Madison 
  120. Nik Podraza (2003) -- Research Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering (Penn State)
    1. 2014 update: Assistant Professor (Physics) at University of Toledo
  121. Michael Prikockis (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at Ohio State University 
    1. 2016 update: Senior Professional Staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  122. Chengzhi Qi (2013) -- Graduate student in mechanical engineering at UPenn 
  123. Paul Ricker (1991) -- Associate Professor of Astronomy/Astrophysics at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) 
  124. Jedidiah Riebling (2014) -- Graduate student in Physics at Purdue University 
  125. Joseph Roberts (2007) -- Graduate student (in Mathematics) at U. Michigan
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2013) in Mathematics from the University of Michigan and Lecturer/Postdoc at Penn State University (Mathematics)
  126. Casey Robinson (2009) -- Graduate student in computer science at Youngstown State University 
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2012) in Computing and Information Systems from Youngstown State University and Software Developer at WiTopia
  127. Zachary Robinson (2012) -- Digital signal processing engineer at Boeing
    1. 2016 update: Seminarian, Archdiocese of Baltimore
  128. Nicholas Roman (2014) -- Data tabulation manager for market research company
  129. Phil Roth (2004) -- Ph. D. from U. Maryland and Physicist at User Systems Inc. (synthetic aperture radar company)
    1. 2014 update: Data Scientist at Endgame
  130. Jennifer (Fischer) Rotolo (2004) -- High school physics teacher 
  131. Kevin Rotz (2008) - Graduate student in math at Purdue University 
  132. Nicholas Rubert (2007) -- Graduate student in medical physics at UW Madison
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2013) from UW Madison in medical physics specializing in ultrasound imaging.
  133. Kevin Rybicki (2009) -- Graduate student in medical physics at Duke University 
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2012) in medical physics from Duke University and Seismic Processing Geophysicist at GeoCenter LP
  134. Tarik Salameh (2013) -- M.D. - Ph.D. student at Hershey Medical Center 
  135. Krysten Scheidler (2008) -- High school physics teacher in Virginia 
    1. 2015 update: High school physics teacher in Pittsburgh, PA
  136. Brett Scheiner (2012) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Iowa 
    1. 2017 update: Ph. S. (2017) and now post-doc with Plasma Theory and Applications group (XCP-6) at Los Alamos
  137. Rachel (Barry) Scheitrum (2004) -- High school Physics and General Science teacher 
    1. 2014 update: Science teacher at Walshingham Academy
  138. Christopher Schmid (2009) -- Peace Corps and Solar CV specialist at Silicon Energy 
  139. Joseph Scholz (2006) -- Masters student in Engineering Science and Mechanics -- Juggler and magician 
    1. 2014 update: Science educator at Da Vinci Science Center
  140. Stephen Segal (2003) -- Senior Scientist at Cymer (San Diego)
    1. 2014 update: Laser Development Engineer at Thorlabs
  141. Charles Shapiro (2001) -- Ph. D. in Physics and postdoc at the University of Portsmouth (UK) -- Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.
    1. 2014 update: NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013) and Staff Scientist (2013-) at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  142. Deirdre Shoemaker (1994) -- Associate Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech University 
  143. Michael Skocik (2012) -- Graduate student in Physics at Penn State University and Research Scientist at the Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division
    1. 2016 update: Ph.D. from Penn State/Physics - Advanced Computational Scientist at Manada Technology
  144. Alan Slipak (2009) -- Medical school at the Temple University School of Medicine
    1. 2014 update: M.D. from Temple University Medical School
  145. Brandon Smith (2006) -- Graduate student in nuclear engineering at UW Madison 
  146. Jacob Smith (2006) -- Technical consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton 
  147. Eric Sokolowski (2001) -- Physicist at Adaptive Methods (formerly called Applied Hydroacoustics
  148. Natalie (Hepler) Strand (2003) -- Postdoc in Physics Education Research (PER) -- Physics Ph. D. from U. Illinois 
  149. Zachary Stum (2001) -- Physicist at General Electric 
  150. Marcy Stutzman (1994) -- Staff Physicist at Jefferson National Laboratory 
  151. David Sutton (2010) -- Medical Physics M. S. program at UPenn (2010-2012) - Residency in medical physics at Roberts Cancer Center
    1. 2014 update: Medical physicist at University of Pennsylvania Health System
  152. Matt Sutton (2008) -- Medical Physics M. S. program at LSU (2008-2010) - Residency in medical physics
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2013) in Medical Physics from LSU, medical physics resident (2011-2013) and medical physicist (2013-) at HealthQuest
  153. Quendella Taylor (2005) -- M.S. in medical physics (East Carolina University) and practicing medical physicist 
  154. Scott Thaller (2003) -- Graduate student in Physics at the University of Minnesota 
  155. Roger Thompson (2008) -- Physicist at the Army's Night Vision and Electronic Senor Directorate (NVSED) 
  156. Joshua Tobolewski (2007) -- GEOEYE (satellite imaging company) 
    1. 2014 update: Systems Analyst II at RadiantBlue Technologies
  157. Jo Uesugi (2004) -- Business owner of American Linear Technologies, LLC 
    1. 2014 update: Operations Manager at NB China Co. LTD
  158. Patrick Ulrich (2005) -- Graduate student in environmental engineering at UC Berkeley
    1. 2014 update: Ph. D. (2011) in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University
  159. Michael Vertuli (2008) -- Entrepreneur/start-up educational company in China 
    1. 2014 update: Founder and Executive Director of Newton China (Shanghai)
    2. 2017 update: Upper School Math Teacher London School
  160. David Vidmar (2012) -- Graduate student in physics at UC San Diego 
  161. Rhiannon Vieceli (2013) -- Graduate student in geosciences at Penn State University 
    1. 2017 update: Intern at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  162. Vince Viscomi (2008) -- Computer/software engineer at a financial services company 
  163. Michael Wang (2011) -- Graduate student in electrical engineering at Princeton University 
    1. 2014 update: Summer internship at Hewlett-Packard while in graduate school.
  164. Ryan Wendt (2010) -- Graduate student in Physics at Arizona State University
    1. 2014 update: M.S. (2013) from Arizona State University, Quantitive Developer (2013-2014) Chopper Trading LLC and Junior Developer for Akuna Capital
  165. Mary (Battershell) Whalen (1991) - Teach for America, M. Ed from Ohio State, and high school teacher in Ohio 
  166. Christopher Wolf (2010) -- Flight dynamics engineer at Intelsat 
  167. Stephanie Zonak (2002) - M.S. in Astrophysics from University of Maryland and scientific programmer at NASA Greenbelt 


Last updated 01/11/2019
For more information (or comments), contact 
Prof. Richard Robinett

Associate Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Studies 
Department of Physics 
Penn State University 
rq9@psu.edu