Alumni Stories
Alumni Stories

The Department of Physics & Astronomy alumni have accomplished astounding achievements since exiting the halls of our departments. Alumni are invited each year to the annual Spring Recognition Banquet to share their successes. Recent news is also published in the departmental alumni newsletter.

Want to share your success story with today’s students?

Rebecca Richards-Kortum Delivers Undergraduate Commencement Speech

Nebraska Today: Rebecca, (B.S., 1985) encouraged the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's largest ever graduating class to find people who believe in them and let no setback deter them. Richards-Kortum told the graduates to avoid narrow-minded, unimaginative people, find people who believe in them and, in turn, support others.

Richards-Kortum also received Nebraska's Charles Bessey Medal during the morning ceremony. The award recognizes distinguised achievement in the sciences or fields grounded in the sciences from Chancellor Ronnie Green.

Read more and watch her speech in the Nebraska Today news release.

Xi He Research Highlighted in Nature Letter

Research by postdoctoral researcher Xi He, a former department Ph.D. student, was the subject of a Nature Letter in August 2016. Nature News & Views also featured the Letter as well as several other science news sources.

He and a team of Condensed Matter physicists at Brookhaven National Laboratory studied how copper oxide superconductors (cuprates) operate at temperatures much higher than traditional superconductors. They found that the temperature at which cuprates become semiconductors depends on the superfluid density (density of superconductive electrons), rather than the strength of electron pairing interactions as formerly believed.

Read more about He's research in our department news release.

We Heard That...

  • Eric Jones (Ph.D. 2019) joined Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, as an Academic Laser Scientist and is in charge of the Laser Teaching Center.
  • Zach Rohde (B.S. 2019) began a position with Spectral Energies LLC in Beavercreek, OH, as an optical engineer.
  • Andrew Vikartofsky (Ph.D. 2019) is currently a Senior Data Scientist at Lowes in Mooresville, NC building a data-driven supply chain optimization web app using primarily Python and ReactJS.
  • Zhengzheng Zhang (Ph.D. 2011) is currently a science writer in English and Chinese for the American Institute of Physics in College Park, MD.