Student Accomplishments

StuDENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS


Our physics and dual-degree engineering students accomplish some amazing things during their time at Berry College.  In addition to their accomplishments in the classroom, they conduct research, gain valuable work experience, and engage in meaningful service.  These activities help to prepare Berry students for great things after they graduate.  This page highlights what a few of our students have done during their time at Berry and after they graduate.

research presentations

Berry physics and dual-degree engineering students engage in research with Berry faculty or at other locations over the summer.  Many of these students then present their work at the Berry Symposium on Student Scholarship or at regional or national professional meetings.  Here are a few recent off-campus presentations co-authored by Berry students:

  • In January 2017 an incredible group of ten students gave research presentations at the Winter Meeting of the AAPT in Atlanta, GA.  These presentations are listed below.
    • Rachel Bibbey presented her work with Dr. Hilbert, Eric Vanderwolf, and William Newman entitled "Slow Sound Via Dispersion in a Closed Tube."
    • Tadan Cobb presented his work with Daniel Steinwachs, Dr. Carr, and Dr. Hilbert entitled "Band Structure in Coupled Oscillators."
    • Andrew Lockhart and Erin Bassett presented their work with Dr. Hilbert entitled "Progress Report on Exciting Non-Harmonic Resonances."
    • Alex Skinner presented her work with William Newman and Dr. Hilbert entitled "An Acoustic Analog to Avoided Crossing of Energy Levels."
    • Daniel Steinwachs presented his work with Andrew Lockhart, Alexandria Skinner and Dr. Hilbert entitled "A Classical Demonstration of Avoided Crossing Using Springs."
    • Parker Roberts presented his work with Alex Skinner, Dr. Carr and Dr. Hilbert entitled "Band Structure from Atomic Orbital Analogs."
    • Austin Amandolia presented his work with Dr. Lane entitled "Untangling the Coefficients of the Lorentz-Violating Standard-Model Extension."
    • Kelli Little presented her work with Vedant Mehta, Brinkley Edge, and Dr. Le entitled "Quasi-Static Plasma Flow Along the Pole of a Neutron Star."
    • William Newman presented his work with Brinkley Edge and Dr. Le entitled "Continuous and Episodic Relativistic Outflows in Advection-Dominated Accretion Flows."
  • Four Berry students presented their research at the January 2016 at the Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in New Orleans, LA.  Mitchell Crum and Marissa D'Onofrio presented "Acoustic Analog to Quantum Mechanical Band Gaps" and William Newman and Alex Skinner presented " Acoustic Analog to Avoided Crossing of Energy Levels."  All four students were mentored by Dr. Hilbert.  All four students won awards for outstanding presentation.  The same month, Alex presented her work at the American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics in Atlanta, GA.
  • Also in January 2106, Vedant Mehta presented his research with Dr. Truong Le, entitled " On The Redshift Distribution of Gamma Ray Bursts in the Swift Era: Revisited," at the American Astronomical Society 227th Meeting in Kissimmee, FL.
  • Adam Jarrell was a co-author on "The Rotation of the Milky Way Galaxy" presented by Dr. Timberlake at the Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in College Park, MD in July 2015.

student co-authored publications

Some of the excellent work done by Berry students gets published in professional journals.  Here are a few recent publications co-authored by Berry students:

  • William Newman and Alex Skinner co-authored a paper with Dr. Hilbert entitled "An acoustic analog to the avoided crossing of energy levels" that has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Physics.
  • Vedant Mehta co-authored a paper with Dr. Le titled "Revisiting the Redshift Distribution of Gamma-Ray Bursts in the Swift Era" that was published in the Astrophysical Journal.
  • Marissa D'Onofrio and Mitchell Crum co-authored a paper with Dr. Hilbert and three other authors titled "An acoustic analog for a quantum mechanical level-splitting route to band gaps"that was published in the American Journal of Physics.
  • Seth Camp co-authored a paper with Dr. Timberlake titled "Decay of wave packet revivals in the asymmetric infinite square well" that was published in the American Journal of Physics.
  • Molly Nelson co-authored a paper with Dr. Timberlake titled "Quantum signatures of non-Newtonian orbits in the asymmetric infinite square well" that was published in Physical Review E.

student awards

Lots of people recognize how awesome Berry physics and DDE students are.  Our students have won major awards here at Berry as well as from national organizations.  Here are a few examples:

  • The Berry chapter of the Society of Physics Students was named an Outstanding SPS Chapter for the 2015-16 academic year.
  • Physics majors Frank Petruzielo and Aaron Ostrander won prestigious Goldwater Scholarships.  Frank was also awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Grant to pay for his graduate study at Cornell University.
  • Alexandria (Alex) Skinner won a 2017 Society of Physics Students Leadership Scholarship.
  • Physics major Chris Whitmire paired with business major Josh Cutter to win first place and $2,000 at the Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference Venture Pitch Competition March 4 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Their winning proposal involved software for custom-printing 3D prosthetic hands.
  • In 2017 Berry inducted its first group of students into Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society.  The 2017 inductees were Alexandria Skinner, Alex Crouchman, and Chris Whitmire.
  • Physics majors Chris Whitmire (2017) and Harrison Daniels (2014) were winners of the Martha Berry Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement.

What do our students do after graduation?

Physics majors can pursue a wide variety of careers in physics, physics teaching, engineering, and technology.  Physics majors are equipped to succeed even in fields not closely related to physics, like health professions or journalism!  Here are a few of the thing our physics majors have done after graduating from Berry:

Graduate study in physics.  For example:

  • Frank Petruzielo earned his PhD from Cornell University.
  • Carly Donahue earned her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
  • Sarah (Earl) Crews earned her PhD from Vanderbilt University.
  • Irene Sain Cappa earned her MS in engineering physics from the University of Maine.
  • Seth Camp earned his PhD at Louisiana State University. 
  • Aaron Ostrander is working on his PhD at the University of Maryland
  • Marissa D'Onofrio is pursuing her PhD at Indiana University.

Graduate study in mathematics. For example:

  • Milo Taylor earned his MS in applied mathematics from Iowa State University.
  • Kylie Berry is pursuing her PhD in mathematics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Engineering. For example:

  • Tyler Coats earned his MS in civil engineering from Georgia Tech and now works for Schnabel Engineering.
  • Molly Nelson earned her BS in civil engineering from Georgia Tech (after her double major in physics and English at Berry!) and now works as an engineer for the National Park Service.
  • Robbie Gill earned his MS in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and now works for Gusto!
  • Adam Jarrell is pursuing his PhD in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University.
  • Ian Carey and Mitchell Crum both work for Savant Engineering.
  • Vedant Mehta is working on MS degrees in both aerospace and nuclear engineering at Georgia Tech.

Physics Teaching

  • Wes Taylor is a high school teacher at Walton (GA) High School.
  • Justin Harvey taught high school physics in Cartersville before returning to Berry to earn his MEd degree.  He now teaches at Dacula (GA) High School and was selected as a Master Teaching Fellow in the I-IMPACT program at Kennesaw State University which is funded by the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.
  • Amanda (Stiefel) Wells earned her MEd at Jacksonville State University and now teaches at Fort Payne (AL) High School.
  • Sarah (Hammond) Brown teaches physics at Rome (GA) High School just down the road from Berry.

Other amazing things

  • Aitana Vargas earned her MA in broadcast journalism from Staffordshire University (UK) and her MA in political journalism from Columbia University and is now an award-winning freelance journalist in the Los Angeles area.
  • Susanne (Galyon) Earl earned her MD from Mercer University and now works as a physician in California.
  • Tricia Steele started her own web development company which she recently sold.  She co-founded the Makervillage in Rome (GA) and is currently building new startup companies.
  • Harrison Daniels earned his MS in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech and now works for Otis Elevator Co.

what do our DDE students do after graduation?

Our DDE students typically find jobs at engineering firms after completing their engineering degrees.  Here's what a few Berry DDE alumni have done:

  • Judy (Cook) Duvall earned her BS in civil engineering and her MS in civil engineering from Georgia Tech.  She now works as a structural engineer for Hargrove & Associates, Inc.
  • Barbara Tomai earned her BS in industrial and systems engineering from Georgia Tech and then worked as a portfolio performance analyst at Credigy Solutions in Atlanta and as a Data Modeler at the Centre for Workforce Intelligence in London, UK.  She is now an Associate with Alvarez & Marsal in London.
  • Grace (Parker) Padgett earned her BS in chemical & biomolecular engineering from Georgia Tech and now works for OFS, a manufacturer of telecommunications and specialty optical fibers, in Carrollton, GA.
  • Ethan Garreau earned his BS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and now works as a manufacturing engineer at Pratt & Whitney, a manufacturer of aircraft engines.