Alumni – Where are we today?

Some photos so alumni can reminisce while current majors might recognize their current instructors. If you have one of the missing graduation pictures I’d appreciate that you e-mail me a jpeg copy. Photos provided by P. Hiack, R. Ochoa, and C. Voinier.

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94 Responses

  1. I am happy to share that I am currently teaching at LEAP Academy University Charter School in Camden. After graduating in May 2010 and before teaching, I worked at Edmund Optics in Barrington for 2 years as their International OEM sales rep. This was a great job which introduced me to many different things. I was the account manager for our international OEM customers mainly in Israel and Canada. After some time I also took over much of the sales engineering responsibility for my accounts as well. I got to review drawings for custom products, discuss the products specifications with our manufacturing sites, and finally price the products to our customers. The company was a great place to work and gave me tons of opportunities. Of course I’ve always wanted to teach, so when I was offered a job to teach at LEAP Academy I had to take it. I was able to get my standard certificate through the alternate route process very easily in my first year. The school has also given me great opportunities, I have taught general physics for 9th graders, Project Lead The Way – Principles of Engineering, and Robotics Classes. I also was given the opportunity to be the mentor and coach our Robotics Teams for the First Tech Challenge in NJ and have now completed two seasons with the team. I’m getting close to finishing my second year teaching and absolutely love it.
    I can’t believe it took more than 2 months to finally respond to Dr. Ochoa’s email to update everyone, but I’m happy I finally got the time to do it!

  2. Well I guess it is about time I update everyone on my happenings. After graduating in 2011 I started working at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ as a Science Teacher and currently am in my third year. I was just told by my supervisor that he is recommending me for tenure and that it then goes to the administration. *fingers crossed* Anyways, I started out teaching General Physics (low-level freshman physics) and three sections of full-year elective astronomy. Astronomy since then has been changed to a half-year course and I am still the sole teacher of it. This year I am teaching one section of General Physics, one fall and one spring section of Astronomy and 3 sections of Forensics! I definitely focus mostly on the physics aspects of the forensics class and try to avoid the biology parts but am currently doing Human Remains/Anthropology as my unit!

    Northern Highlands is in an affluent district and is lucky enough to have a Planetarium in use. They refurbished it to a digital projection system in 2008 and I am currently the Director of the planetarium. It was a daunting task in the beginning because I had no idea how to use the system and wasn’t formally trained but a little inquisitive nature never hurts anyone and now it is easy!(most of the time!) We have 6 shows available so if anyone is up in the area and wants to see a pre-made show or just check out the stars then let me know!

    I am absolutely loving teaching still, although there are the ups and downs on any given day. I am planning on returning to school in the fall for my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration to potentially become a department supervisor someday in the future.

    It has been a great three years and I am looking forward to many more! If anyone is looking for information about teaching, wants to share lesson ideas, or wants to borrow/steal some stuff from me just let me know! E-mail at John.Beatty10@gmail.com and I will get back to you! Hopefully going to get back down to TCNJ over my Spring break in April and stop in to see anyone who is around! Should be Monday, April 21st if you are planning on being there!

    Hope everyone is doing well!

  3. I graduated in 2012 and was the odd-man-out and went to law school after graduation.

    I came to law school with the intention of becoming a patent attorney. In order to qualify to take the patent bar, you must have a degree in the hard sciences or engineering, so it seemed interesting. After my year Hofstra Law School, I got accepted to intern at the United States Patent and Trademark Office over the summer. There were some undergraduates, but it was primarily other law students with science backgrounds. It was a great experience.

    I’ve recently been accepted to be a summer associate at an intellectual property law firm on Long Island that specializes in patent law with a good chance at full time work at that firm once I graduate in 2015.

    I’ve also learned that professors do not understand you when you use the Doppler effect to try to prove that someone is innocent.

    All in all, I truly miss learning about learning new equations in my classes, but I’m having a great time. I’m glad that my law career will involve working with inventors and with lawyers with similar educational backgrounds.

  4. Well, I have not commented in some time. Thanks for the reminder Dr. O!

    I graduated from TCNJ in…was it 2008? I betrayed my physics background and went to medical school at Penn State’s medical school in Hershey, PA.

    During med school I had considered going into neurology, but then I really would have ended up carrying around a little black bag like Dr. Pfeiffer imagined I’d be doing…(apparently only neurologists do that anymore). Surgery and many of the sub-specialties were compelling, but ultimately I found my heart was in straight up general practice.

    After 4 long years I graduated with my MD and entered residency in Family Medicine at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA. You may be familiar with the large Amish population in the area! The city is quite diverse and interesting, however. I am now in my second year of residency training, and have one final year after this before I can truly practice “independently.” For those unfamiliar with medical training, residency is a period of generally 3 to 7 years following medical school during which doctors must complete further training to become competent in their chosen field. In general, it is not a fun time in one’s life…One can then do additional training in a fellowship to become a cardiologist, for example.

    I have no plans to do a fellowship, and will be happy when residency is over! At that point I plan to do some research in addition to practicing medicine. For anyone in the biophysics world, if looking for a clinician to work with, I’d love to collaborate!

  5. It’s been a few years since I wrote, so here is a brief update!

    I graduated from TCNJ in 2007, got my PhD in Astronomy in 2012 from the University of Florida, spent a year as a postdoc at the University of Hawaii, and then moved to another postdoc position at Lehigh University in October 2013. I am enjoying my time at Lehigh and doing research here, but I am also preparing myself for a career outside of academia by doing things like taking workshops on teaching and outreach (in general I am just trying to become more well-rounded). I have a fairly up to date website now if you want to know more specifics about me, my research, and my outreach activities 🙂 (https://sites.google.com/site/knicoletheexplorer/).

    One fun fact about me is that I did an REU at Lehigh in 2005, and here I am as a postdoc at Lehigh nine years later… and there is a very good chance I will get to supervise my very own REU student here this summer! Time flies!

  6. It’s been awhile…

    I graduated in 2010 and went to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I will be graduating this May with my MD and will be pursuing anesthesiology as a career. Anesthesia is another four years after medical school plus 1 year for fellowship. It’s a real long road (just like PhD’s) and one that I have enjoyed every step of the way. Most of my work leads up till match day on March 21st where I find out where I will be going for the next four years(essentially the crux of medical school).

    TCNJ has prepared me very well to succeed in medical school. I have interviewed at top hospitals in the US for anesthesia. At every interview, my physics undergrad always came up. Anyone considering the medical field should not be afraid to apply if you are truly passionate about it. With a strong background in physics, medicine is a cinch!

    If you are interested in contacting me, ask Dr. Ochoa for my email. Wish me luck on the 21st! 🙂

  7. Well, I guess It’s about time I updated. Almost two years since I graduated from TCNJ Physics, and boy, do I miss it.

    Immediately after graduating from TCNJ I applied to a few PhD programs and had no luck getting accepted anywhere. Considering my student loans, and lack of money in general, I knew I had to stay at home until I could get back on my feet. This, unfortunately, greatly limited my job prospects, and I could not find work even remotely related to physics. But don’t worry, this post is not all doom and gloom. I want to tell all of the current students of TCNJ physics that no matter how daunting those student loans can seem, they can be beaten! Sure, I worked a terrible job and got paid peanuts for a year, but at the end of that year my loans were almost gone and I had the great luck of being accepted into a Masters program at Stevens Institute of Technology.

    I have been working on my M.Eng in Microelectronics and Photonics at Stevens for almost a year now. Electronics was something that, while I was at TCNJ I didn’t feel a great interest in, but now having worked on it for this long I am happy to report that I feel like I made the best decision I could for myself. Sure, my classes are hard, but I really feel that TCNJ prepared me for this better than anyone else could have. A lot of the core concepts of Microelectronics involve things that I feel were taught to me very well during my time as an undergrad. (It was a great feeling when we were discussing QM in my first class and I was actually able to follow exactly what was going on!)

    This time next year I will have my degree, and hopefully a job in my field. Stevens has been very hands-on in helping me hunt for a job, and I am currently filling out applications for summer internships. I am hoping to get a job working on some sort of embedded-system, or computer hardware design/research, but I will see where the job hunt takes me and will do my best to remember to update the blog when I find out. Cheers!

  8. So I guess I’m a bit overdue for an update again! Last time I posted I was getting my PhD at the University of Washington, Seattle, concentrating on aqueous geochemistry. Well, I got that (whew! It only took me 6 years, which is pretty standard in our department) and you can read the thing here: https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/20756. Be one of the few, the proud, maybe the only person who looks at my thesis. I also got a few papers out of the thesis. You can take a look at them here:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JF002467/abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016703713001087
    …and another in review…

    After completing that milestone, I accepted a postdoctoral position in 2012 at the University of Washington (same place) working with David Catling on the geochemistry of Mars. This research looked into soluble salts in Martian soils, their potential to form liquid water at extremely low temperatures, and what this might mean for life on Mars. Check our a recent paper we got out on supercool brines: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103514000499. Recently, I was awarded a 3 year NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) postdoc working with David Catling at, you guessed it, the University of Washington. I wonder how long I can keep working at the same place? For this project I’ll continue to look into low temperature salt solutions on Mars and other icy worlds (Europa/Enceladus/etc.) using Differential Scanning Calorimetry, among other techniques. And that’s about it!

  9. After graduating from TCNJ in 2007, I eventually moved back to Long Island. In 2012 I completed my Master of Library Science degree along with a NYS K-12 teaching certification. I’m currently working p/t as a Librarian at Molloy College (Rockville Centre, NY), Queensborough Public Library, and South Huntington Public Library.

  10. MY friends,

    I figured it is now time for me to update my alumni status! As you may know, after graduating from TCNJ in 2009 with a double major in math and physics, I got accepted to the University of California:Davis after a turbulent round of graduate admissions for all. I had intended to study theoretical physics so I spent a year taking the appropriate classes and passing the physics prelim and subsequently got a masters in Physics. After achieving that I broke up with physics, then transferred to the math program also at UC Davis since I had always kind of been better at and more interested in math anyway.Just this last week I have finally finished the math prelims and now I theoretically have two masters!! I have begun researching the mathematical theory of buildings (pioneered by the French mathematicians, François Bruhat and Jacques Tits), and more broadly of geometric group theory. Also in June I am going to two summer schools, one on hyperplane arrangements in France and the other on Topology and groups in Berlin. If everything goes well I should have a math PhD in 2-3 years. If there are any physics majors at TCNJ who are cosnidering math grad school, simply send me an email!

    Live long and prosper,

    CW

  11. Hi all,

    I graduated in 2008 from the PHY-A track and have been in medical school at Penn State College of Medicine since that time. I got married last year, and my wife is also a graduate of TCNJ. It has been an arduous 4 years but I am scheduled to graduate next month! I will be starting a residency in Family Medicine at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA come July, which is a 3 year residency program (for anyone unfamiliar, residency is additional training in your specialty that you do after getting your MD). I am excited to finally be making some money (and now I can start paying off my loans) and hope to open my own practice at some point.

    • Thanks for the update Matt. Congratulations on your wedding and on getting your MD! Best of lucks with the residency.

  12. So yeah, been a while since I updated, so I figured I should stop ignoring all of those e-mails from Dr. Ochoa and quell some (potential) rumors with some confirmed facts. I’ll try to be brief though.

    The short summary (for those that enjoy Cliff’s Notes and such): I did end up dropping out of the University of Michigan’s Astronomy and Astrophysics PhD program after receiving my M.S., and I am currently employed as a software and business rules developer for Jackson National Life Insurance. Certainly not where I expected to be, but life takes some unexpected turns sometimes. It is cool to note though that I was able to get a job as a software developer, as we do a good amount of programming over the course of a physics degree, even if we have to teach ourselves sometimes (which really pays off if you get a job doing this kind of stuff, since that is what you always have to do).

    So yeah, those that knew me are probably very surprised to hear I’m not getting my PhD (or at least not yet, we’ll see down the road). Unfortunately, I got hit by a perfect storm of circumstances that sent me spiraling out and into a real job. Things were tight with my wife and I both as graduate students (don’t expect great things from that stipend, but be glad that you at least get one!) and all of those student loans she had (thank you TCNJ for awesome scholarships and being fairly inexpensive). Add on to that a heaping pile of personality conflicts with the faculty at the University of Michigan (never expected that one – made me really appreciate the professors at TCNJ). Finally, top it off with the fact that I never took the time to think about why I wanted a PhD and where I was going with it, and everything came tumbling down (more on that in the grad school blog zone to come!). Fortunately, it only takes three semesters to get a masters degree in our program (we take a ton of classes…) and so I was able to vacate pretty quickly.

    Things have definitely been looking up since taking some time off from school to work. Programming has been enjoyable, even if it isn’t quite what I am truly passionate about and certainly not a lifetime career. Still, I am developing in my programming and database management skills very quickly, which I will be able to take with me to a huge variety of jobs in the future. My wife has 2 more years left to get her PhD in organic chemistry, at which point she will get a job to support us and I will hopefully either go back to graduate school (maybe plasma physics??) or get a job more related to physics and science and start working my way back! I definitely do feel like I am prepared for all sorts of careers now after my physics education at TCNJ (I was also a SAT/GRE Tutor for a while, a planetarium operator, and of course a graduate student instructor), and employers of all sorts have looked very favorably on the skill sets I have developed at TCNJ (I’ve had great interviews with all sorts of groups from defense contractors like Northrop Grumman to the FBI, though I’ve been unwilling to relocate away from Michigan and my wife).

    So to close, I’m just staying positive, learning more things, and seeing just how far this physics degree can carry me! 🙂

    • Justin, thanks for the update. Yes, it was needed to clear some rumors or word on the street. It seems the job is not fulfilling or satisfying all your (I believe) intellectual expectations so hopefully, in the near future, you will be able to follow a path that you will find more challenging and satisfying.

      • Yeah… been a long time coming… Sorry about that! And I do very much enjoy my job for the time being, and it has been a good experience so there no regrets. I do want to make it back to the sciences, but this has been a place that has helped me grow in my programming skills immensely and has challenged me in different ways. It really has been an excellent way to expand my skills and knowledge, and I would definitely recommend taking on programming jobs to other physics majors, even just for a short time (and if anyone wants to move to Michigan, my company is always looking to hire new programmers, and are willing to train smart people!).

  13. I’ve been meaning to post for a while, finally got around to it. I graduated in May 2011 from the PHYA track. Going into my senior year, I was really lost about what I wanted to do when I graduate. I felt like job opportunities were slim, and I didn’t think I could get my foot in the door anywhere for a job related to my degree, especially with just a bachelors. I wasn’t sure about committing to graduate school, but it seemed like my best option. I took a few courses in Mechanical Engineering the summer before, and they were interesting, particularly fluid mechanics, so I applied to PhD programs in MechEng. I was offered a fellowship at Rutgers and a few other schools, but decided on Rutgers. I got excited about it as the opportunity approached, but I think a part of me still wasn’t so sure. Unfortunately, as time passed through my first semester, my reluctance only grew. After talking to other students and experiencing it myself, I really think graduate school is all about how much you want to be there. You have to accept, or really embrace, that you will have to sacrifice weekends and social events and sleep, and dive into what you are doing academically. If that’s what you do and that’s what you want, you will do fine. You will find the way to make the grades, everyone does. My grades were fine, but I quickly found myself miserable and lonely. As shocking as it sounds, there are very few females in mechanical engineering graduate school. To put it in perspective, another grad student told me I was the first U.S. female to be accepted into the program and funded in 5 years. I don’t know if that is accurate, but there sure wasn’t anyone around to contradict it.

    Anyway, I started looking for job opportunities, and ended up on this very blog and stumbled upon Brian Whitehead’s email about an opening at ThorLabs. I got in contact with Brian, and long story short, I left grad school (gasp!) and started in January as the Manufacturing Engineer in the optics division. A lot of my responsibilities are in quality control and manufacturing, which includes stuff like improving production processes and methods, as well as time in the lab coming up with tests to examine product quality. I also get to do some design work, coming up with new products, like different types of lenses. I use a lot of the stuff found in the optics lab at TCNJ, which I once told Ochoa I would never use again, and a lot of the stuff from class, which I told him I would never need to know, including programming in VisualBasic, which I told him was useless and never used in the real world. I ate my words. I am also very happy at my job. I don’t know where this will lead, or if I will continue my education part time. But for now, I don’t regret my decisions.

    Here are a few things about grad school I picked up along the way:
    – If you want to find out about a potential advisor, in addition to talking to their students, email a student (or two) that has a DIFFERENT advisor. Students are at the will of their advisor and may not want to give the truth about them; if something bad they said somehow gets out, they are screwed. Other students know the gossip, they can tell you the general consensus on that professor.
    – Find a study group. Misery loves company.
    – Read the PhD comics.

    I apologize for the novel, but if my story helps even one student out, it was worth all the typing. Other alumni may disagree with anything I said about grad school, its just what I found, I guess to each his own. If any current students are looking for advice from a not so knowledgeable alum, feel free to shoot me an email: Noelle.Gotthardt@gmail.com. I would be happy to help anyone out if I can.

    • Noelle, Very brave of you to let others know about your experiences. I’m sure it should help others think very carefully about what they want to do after college.
      I was under the impression that engineering grad school had more female students than grad physics programs. We all learn something new every day.
      Thanks for sharing.

  14. A little bit of news from Florida… some of my PhD research was featured on a National Geographic blog! Here’s the link:

    http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/17/young-explorer-searches-for-another-earth-from-la-palma/

    And, for a quick update, I’m currently applying for postdocs (!!!) and I’m aiming to defend my thesis by August 2012… wish me luck 🙂

    • Congrats Knicole! everyone should check out the article…you are pretty famous! The article should be of interest to the many students interested in exo-planets and in research in general. Thanks for the link.
      Bets of lucks in your defense.

  15. While I was an undergraduate physics student at TCNJ I was working part time at Dow Jones and Co. After I graduated from TCNJ, I completed an MBA at Rutgers. I’ve held a number of positions at Dow Jones including running the consulting business. Today I am the Director of Business Planning at Dow Jones. My background in physics shaped my analytical thinking skills, and they have ensured my continued success in the business world.

  16. I graduated from the Biomedical Physics track in May of 2010.

    Last week I presented a poster at the International Congress of Human Genetics/American Society of Human Genetics in Montreal. The poster was on a case-control association study involving Lymphoma susceptibility in DNA repair pathways. I am the first author on that study, as well as on a study involving breast cancer and epigenetic regulatory genes. I worked at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from August of last year until April of this year, then when the head researcher of that lab got his own PI position at NYU Medical Center I went with him. I am the lab manager of the lab now, which is part of the Environmental Medicine department.

    I plan on applying to MD-PHD programs within the next year.

  17. Hello!!! I graduated this past May 2011 and got a job right out of school. I was in the PHYT track so I graduated with a BS in Physics Education. I now work at Clearview Regional High School in South Jersey. I have both the Physics cert and Chemistry cert, which combined is a Physical Science cert. I teach Advanced Physical Science to freshman and absolutely love it. I feel that the PHYT program at TCNJ was amazing and beneficial in that I was able to become dual certified. I now realize how frustrating it is when a student isn’t paying full attention in class or doesn’t have good work ethic which keeps them from reaching their fullest potential, so I apologize to my professors for when I was lazy 🙂 Anyways, college was great but I do enjoy being a “real” person now with responsibility and bringing in some $$. If any PHYT majors out there have questions for me, do not hesistate to ask! Good luck!

    • Congratulations Cyndi! Do let us old professors know your secret for controlling students that enjoy texting 24/7…:)

  18. Hi all,

    Just wanted to update everyone on life these days. I’m a 2009 graduate and am in grad school at Drexel. I passed my written qualifiers last Sept. and my oral qualifier on Monday, so I am officially a PhD candidate! Assuming all goes well and I don’t bomb my last final I’ll have my masters in June and I’ll be set to do research for the next few years!

    For those interested, I’m doing simulation work for Double Chooz (a neutrino detector in France) but the first of our detectors is up and running and we’re getting Real Data now, so I might have picked going to grad school at just the right time to get data for a thesis! 🙂

    – Erica

    • A bit late but congratulations Erica! You are doing quite well and have passed the most difficult stage of your path to the doctoral degree. I am sure you got your MS.

  19. In 2005, I graduated from the Computer Physics track and pursued a software development career. My senior year I combed the job boards at http://www.aps.org/careers and http://aas.org/career. I received an interview with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for an entry-level computer programming position in the Chandra X-ray Center. Five years later, I am a senior-level software developer working with astrophysicists and astronomers on the latest software tools for X-ray astronomy and data analysis. SAO is affiliated with the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the position comes with great perks like tuition reimbursement. I have recently been accepted in the ALM in IT software engineering Master’s program at the Harvard Extension School. I plan to complete my thesis and graduate in May ’12. My hiring supervisor tells me that the determining factor was my undergraduate degree. I have the physics program at TCNJ to thank.

  20. Hi all TCNJ physics people,

    This is my second year as a physical science and advanced chemistry teacher at Deptford High school. Everything is great so far. Its always fun to bring mathematica into the classroom just blow some minds. I’m getting married to Amanda Kita on July 10th, 2010 (she was a tcnj chem major, so she is okay). I will also start a masters program in administration sometime next year. I wish all of my fellow grads and future grads good luck.

    Most importantly remember this great quote from Dr. Richard Feynman “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

    Sincerely,

    Scott J. Nagele
    Science Department
    Deptford Township High School

  21. In September I passed my written preliminary exams at UC Davis!!! The test was 12 hours long and covered topics from classical mechanics, E&M, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and lab methods (the only reason I got the lab methods question correct was because it was on propagation of errors which Dr. Ochoa made everyone calculate in the Faraday Rotation Lab in PHY451). I studied all summer and it was the hardest (physics) test I have ever taken. One cool question we had to do was to calculate e^M where M was the matrix:

    0 3 0 0
    3 0 0 0
    0 0 0 1
    0 0 0 0

    Many were fooled by trying to diagonalize M and then performing the usual method to calculate e^M, however one small issue was that the sum of the dimensions of the eigenspaces didn’t equal 4…so you can’t diagonalize M (you must find some pattern for M^n)! This is a good question for a math-physics final!!!

    Anyway, now I have my Masters degree in Physics and I transferred to the math department in order to study mathematical physics.

    Hope all is well in New Jersey and good luck to all the seniors applying to graduate school (Davis is a pretty cool place).

    Live long and propser,

    WESTY

  22. After graduating the program in 2009 I took up a position with the Army at Fort Monmouth. My position deals with testing satellite communications equipment for on-the-move applications.

    I am also currently on a rotation to another lab in which we model RF gain from antennas. Simulations are run on CAD models using Finite domain time domain calculations(FDTD). We also bring the actual antennas to anechoic chambers for testing.

    And finally I am currently going through Stevens WebCT program for a masters in Systems Engineering.

  23. After graduating from TCNJ in 2007 (physics teaching track), I taught high school physics in south Jersey, decided I really didn’t like teaching high school, and roamed around with different jobs for awhile. In 2010, I began my Master’s in Library Science (MLS) at CUNY Queens College, and I expect to complete my degree in 2012. Now, I’m working as a Librarian Trainee in South Huntington Public Library on Long Island where I happily work with other librarians and many children who swallow picture books by the poundful.
    -Christine Pennacchio

  24. After graduating from TCNJ in ’03, I started in the NIH funded MD/PhD program at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, AL. I finished the two basic science years of medschool and then joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics to pursue a PhD in 2005. I successfully defended my thesis in November of 2009, and was offically awarded a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology in May of 2010. I started back in the clinical clerkships of med school a few days after finishing the PhD and am currently applying to anesthesiology residency programs to start in 2011.

    My classmate Thomas Holdbrook, who is way too cool for blogs, enrolled at Jefferson Medical College in Philly after TCNJ and graduated from there in 2007. He is finishing up his residency in Pathology at Jefferson, as a chief resident, and will be starting a fellowship in Surgical Pathology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

  25. After graduating from TCNJ in December of ’08 with a double major in Chemistry and Biomedical Physics and a minor in Math, I did an internship at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA (Silicon Valley). I worked in a lab developing software to interpret spectral data from Spitzer Space Telescope. In spring of ’09 I was accepted to a PhD program at Georgetown in Washington, DC and was able to link up my NASA internship with another internship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaitherburg, MD in the theoretical physics lab developing software for Hartree-Fock atomic energy level calculations. Unfortunately, the one advisor I really wanted to do my PhD with at Georgetown left academia in January to work for Genzyme so I decided to end with a Masters in Molecular Bioinformatics at Georgetown and pursue a PhD at NYU Courant Institute of Mathematics and GSAS in Computational Biology (biomolecular design). I was able to complete my masters thesis at the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health developing a high-throughtput protein motif discovery algorithm for use on the NIH Biowulf linux cluster. I will continue to work at the FDA/NIH for the summer developing miRNA cellular pathway targeting software for use in miRNA engineering/design. I am also hoping to start work soon on the Rosetta ab initio protein structure prediction software package which I hope to further develop in my PhD research at NYU.

    Hope all is well with everyone else,
    Tim Craven

  26. Hi all,

    Just wanted to post a quick update on life these days.

    I am working an internship this summer in Washington, but many of the details about the position are classified. I am highly excited about it and was in Washington DC over break, which besides the traffic is a pretty enjoyable place. Graduate school is going very smoothly and Rutgers is a great University not quite like TCNJ, but what is. The transition from physics to EE&CE hasn’t been too overwhelming, I really enjoy the material and catching up has taken a lot of reading but that was to be expected.

    Currently thinking about doing a PhD, but the opportunity in DC is too good. I should graduate with an MS and work full time starting next January or so.

    Does anyone know of a solid PhD program tailored to full time working engineers? Curious, if anyone has any experiences or suggestions. Work would compensate for any expenses.

    I also recently got engaged, the wedding should be ~June 2011. Should be a lot of fun… time goes by so so so quick. Hope everyone is doing well.

    Cheers,

    Will S.

  27. Hey all,

    I figured I should post something to make Dr. Ochoa happy. I graduated from TCNJ with a BS in physics (teaching track) in the Fall of ’05. I did my student teaching at Ewing High and I don’t wish to discourage anyone, but I had a pretty rough time. The support from my co-op teacher was pretty much non-existent. Therefore, I found myself up all hours of the night working on lesson plans, etc. It was miserable. I also did not enjoy the disciplinary aspect of teaching. However, I will say there were some very rewarding moments in the classroom. HS teachers are vital to set the math/science foundation that many kids are lacking.

    When I finished, there was a reasonable demand for high school physics/science teachers. I even went on two job at Milville and EHT high in South Jersey. I pretty much declined the job offer based on my student teaching experience, which left me wanting out of teaching for the time being. I am certainly poorer, but hopefully happier for the decision.

    Instead I applied to graduate programs in physical oceanography. Ultimately I ended up in the oceanography department at Florida State University. I will graduate with an MS some time this Spring. I initially planned on a PhD, but my major professor (and financial support) has left to take a position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. FSU has been a great fit for me. My thesis is related to turbulent mixing and the dissipation of energy in the surface ocean under atmospheric forcing. I have begun looking for job opportunities upon graduation, but in the mean time I have also applied to several PhD programs to begin in the Fall.

    I’d be happy to give advice to anyone who is interested in oceanography of meteorology programs. Feel free to contact me.

    Later,
    Bryan

  28. I have been putting this off for quite a while, but since it’s Christmas Eve and I’m one of maybe 3 people at work today, I figured I’d go ahead and post.

    I finished up my Physics BS at TCNJ in Dec 1999 and walked with the 2000 graduating class. Tangent: Since TCNJ was still named Trenton State College when I was a freshman (it changed between my freshman and sophomore years) I received 2 diplomas at graduation – one with TCNJ on it and one with Trenton State College on it. Thought that was kind of cool. Also, does anyone else remember that they spelled New Jersey wrong on the sign when they changed the name (they had New Jeresy on the sign)? I probably shouldn’t make fun because I am not the world’s greatest speller by any means.

    Anyway, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life after graduation and couldn’t understand why people weren’t lining up to hire me for all these jobs I knew nothing about. Eventually I was hired by a small company in West Philly to be an optical thin film technician. I ran their physical vapor deposition and magnetron sputtering thin film systems and had a ton of freedom to tinker with new coatings and really learned quite a bit. I also started working on my MS at Drexel while there. Stayed there about a year and then ended up getting hired by Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, NJ which is where I am currently employed. Finished up my MS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel way back in 2003. I have done a variety of things at LM, but for the past few years I have essentially held several different Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead roles – essentially project management type positions. I have traveled all over the US for work, including Hawaii several times and have been to Japan probably 15-20 times over the past 5 years.

    Last but not least, I live in Lumberton, NJ on the Rancocas Creek and found out on 4/16/07 that the creek tends to flood when a Nor’easter sits over NJ for several days and dumps inch after inch of rain on us. I was in Japan at the time and my wife ended up getting evacuated. Ended up with just under 3 feet of water in the entire 1st floor of our house and we pretty much lost everything, but luckily we had flood insurance which doesn’t pay for everything, but surely helps. You may have seen me on the news in my acting debut, just about every local news station was at my house and interviewed me since the damage was so extensive. My wife and I decided we weren’t going to deal with another flood, so we ended up getting our house lifted up 8 feet and put in a new foundation and now we have a garage under our house. The flood was no fun, but in the long run we are definitely better off now. One last interesting fact: we had our first (and only, so far) child, Dominic, on 4/16/08 – a year to the day from when our house flooded.

    OK, I had no intentions of writing a romance novel length post today and somehow this evolved into one. Happy holidays everyone.

    Gene

  29. Hi All!

    I guess it’s my turn to leave a post here too! I graduated TCNJ in 2002 and took a position at South Brunswick High School after I student taught there. I’m currently in my 8th year here and loving it! This May (’09) I received an MA in Counselor Education from TCNJ and am thinking about becoming a guidance counselor somewhere down the road…
    Oh, and the name change…I married one of my fellow colleagues (a math teacher) on 8/15/09 and we live in Plainsboro, NJ. We took a helicopter into the Grand Canyon and got married just 1,000 ft. above the Colorado River – the pictures are amazing!

    – Alison AKA “Big Al” 🙂

  30. Hi all,

    I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and this seems like the perfect time: I’m on a geophysical survey vessel in the eastern Mediterranean Sea just south of Cyprus with a few hours transit to our next location.

    After I graduated from TCNJ in 2002 (Physics/Earth Science Track), I joined the Geological Sciences Department at Rutgers to pursue a MSci in Geophysics. After the MSci, i stayed on at Rutgers for a PhD, and a I am currently all-but-dissertation (ABD), but its a work in progress and I won’t be so bold as to claim a finish date.

    While in grad school, I did a two internships with Chevron in Houston, one was more geological (3D seismic imaging and analysis of recent channel-levee turbidite systems) and one was technical geophysics (3D tomographic analysis for solving for velocity and anisotropy in seismic imaging applications).

    Just over a year ago, I took a job with Tyco Telecommunications (Morristown, NJ) as a manager in the Route Survey Group. The job is a fairly even split between submarine fiber optic cable route engineering and geophysical and geotechnical survey activities.

    Its a pretty good gig with lots of international travel and great exposure to lots of real geology in interesting places. And I get to live in NJ (the major reason I didn’t go in to the petroleum industry)!

    If anyone is leaning towards the marine geology or geophysics sides, let me know if you have any questions.

    Cheers,
    ~Ryan


    Ryan J. Earley
    ryan.j.earley@gmail.com

  31. Hey, figured I could update people on things:

    I am a 2009 graduate from TCNJ and am now in a PhD program for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (GO BLUE!). I have been here in Ann Arbor with my wife for a little over four months now and love the area/school, though with winter coming soon we are already feeling the cold very keenly. I officially started as a student almost 4 weeks ago now, and am in the thick of things with classes and research.

    Over the summer I had the opportunity to start doing research here and was working on disks around stars, specifically transitional disks and pretransitional disks (disks with holes/gaps in them that seem to have been swept out by something). My job was to confirm the presence of various gases in these disks and to try and identify unknown gas lines in our infrared spectra. It was interesting, but too much data analysis for me and not enough physics.

    With the start of the semester, I switched projects and am looking at the thermodynamical concerns in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. These include the interactions between cold gas in the disk and hot gas in the halo, disk “evaporation” and the mysteries concerning temperatures observed versus those predicted by theory. In order to investigate these things, I am building a galaxy (using FLASH code). At current I am putting together stellar, cold gas, and dark matter distributions with initial conditions to attempt to form a stable galaxy that will be able to let run for a long time and remain together and operating properly. From there I will be adding warm gas, magnetic fields, and other processes like conduction to create the most complete galactic simulation ever made. To do this, I will be using both my advisors local supercomputer cluster (~300 computers near campus) and NASA’s Columbia and (eventually) Pleiades supercomputer clusters (the 58th and 4th faster computers in the world, respectively). All in all, it is really exciting and I am truly enjoying my time here in grad school thus far.

  32. I should have done this a while ago, but I hate to write.

    I graduated TCNJ in 06′ and am currently at the University of Florida Physics Department. Good news… I am going to get my MS soon but I am still here for the PhD long haul. I work for the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory) group, and am doing my part to detect the first gravitational wave. My thesis work is on evanescent wave cooling which is cooling an object by near-field radiation. If a hot object is within a thermal wavelength (determined by Wien’s Law) of a cool object, then the heat transfer between the two will grow exponentially from the far-field limit (Stefan Boltzmann Law) to the conduction limit as the two objects get closer. A reason for this is that when you get closer to the hot object the cooler object gets into the evanescent field of the total internal reflected photons that are produced from the blackbody radiation. For those of you who can understand what I am talking about, congrats… have a cookie. The interesting thing is I remember Dr. Ochoa showing us in optics class the same thing but with a laser instead of blackbody radiation.

    It is nice to see that so many of us alumni are doing well.
    ~Rich

  33. Hey everyone. A bit overdue for posting on this wall. I’ve graduated in 2006, though I consider myself to be part the class of ’05. It took me a while and a bunch of non-physics related jobs, but now I’m back in college going towards a Master’s in physics at Bowling Green. First day of classes and it feels great to be back.
    – Michael

  34. I dropped out in after the fall of 2003, and took 5 years before returning to complete the 3 classes needed to graduate this past May. I just got married and moved to Colorado where I am currently doing freelance computer work. I’m currently at a nexus and am looking for advice on which path to take.

    I now have a B.S. in Physics with an Earth Science with a final GPA of with a 2.67. I know I want to do something related to climate and the environment, but don’t really have it narrowed down much more than that. At this point, to get into grad school, I’m going to have to be very aggressive, but I’m worried about fighting to get into a program and realizing I don’t really want to do it. So I’m thinking about going back for a second bachelor’s degree in geology or environmental engineering first. That would let me gain education at a broader level before setting on a specific concentration.

    I’m just not sure if this is a good idea or a waste of time and money.

    ED

    (Dr. Ochoa, please feel free to move this to whereever may be a better spot for this post)

    • Ed,
      Don’t fret too much on grad school. I’ve been out for three years, had a 2.78 GPA, didn’t have that good of a GRE score, yet still got in.

      I would recommend looking into the Master’s programs. You don’t have to be as specific about what you want to do and you might have a better chance at getting into one as compared to a PhD. Though, this is just from my experience in the application process. I still have about 7-9 months before I need to finalize my decision on a Master’s thesis, though I do have a general idea on the topic, kinda like yourself.

      In addition, they are paying for my education, so if you have shaped up and are committed to doing well, it should cost a lot less than another Bachelor’s degree. Plus, Master’s usually only take two years, at least my program is only two years, so its sort of like a buffer zone to decide whether you like it or not. If you don’t like it, it is only two years and you have a Master’s to tout around. If you do like it, you can either go into the field or continue onto a PhD.

      I am planning on using my Master’s two main ways, both to increase my knowledge and as a sort of proving ground, I’ve got my break and now I will be showing potential PhD programs that I can handle the work as my undergraduate work was not as stellar as it could have been. I hope this helps.
      – Michael

  35. The following is an excerpt from Andrew’s e-mail about his new job. He should be posting soon 🙂 (Dr. O.)
    “I’m working on a contract for the FAA as an aerospace engineer at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City airport. I’m pretty excited as the work seems to have a lot of potential for opening doors in the industry plus giving me the experience that I desperately need. I’m working on the FAA aircraft simulation team and our job is to maintain old and new aircraft cockpit simulators such as Boeing, Airbus, and Embraer. It’s one of those jobs where you could be doing something different every day and can be quite physical at times so it’s definitely not for everyone. One day I could be working on overhead panel circuitry. The next day I could be modifying/constructing parts in the metal shop or building the visual
    systems that utilize LCDs, projectors, and amazing optics that you would appreciate. These cockpits use a C++ flight model that requires constant tweaking so there is even some programming involved.”

  36. Graduated in 2008 through the teaching track with a CEAS in Physical Science. Accepted a job at Ridge High School (part of Bernards Township School District) in early May 2008 (so i was officially employed before graduation!). I am also the assistant girls varsity soccer coach…and we are currently 2nd in the state for Group IV. Just finished my first year of teaching all four classes of CP Mathematical Physics (Juniors). I now have my NJ Teaching Certificate in Physical Science. In the process of figuring out graduate school (so i can get on the next pay scale as soon as possible haha)…thinking of obtaining my MEd in Educational Research and Statistics.

    fellow teachers or student teachers who need/ would like ideas for physics lessons/labs, don’t be shy!

  37. I’m overdue for writing here:

    I was accepted in a PhD program at the University of Washington in geophysics, but I soon switched over to environmental geochemistry. My research is in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, looking at evidence of past glacial fluctuations in soils. Yes, I have been to Antarctica twice, and no, I haven’t seen penguins, and no, there are no polar bears in Antarctica. Research is going well and I should have my PhD in a year or two.

    I now have a fiance too, we’ll be married this December!

  38. Graduated in spring 2009, with a job!! I landed a job in April as a high school physical science teacher in Deptford high school. I just found out today that I will be teaching five classes. Four classes of physical science to freshmen and one honors chemistry class. I wish the best for all of the other physics majors, and if anyone has any chemistry lab ideas, please let me know. I hope everyone has a good summer.

  39. I think this is my first Blog ever…anywhere. So I am not even sure if this is the correct window to type in. It’s says LEAVE A REPLY. Leave a reply to where? To Whom? I just want to create a New Blog Entry. Where’s that window at?

    Anyway…

    I graduated in 1995 from TCNJ. To this day I still only have a B.S. in Physics. I’m really sad about that. I did attend Rutgers for 1 semester after graduating, in their PhD program, and that was my dream: to earn my PhD and become a Physics Professor. It’s all I ever wanted to do with my life. and still is. So I’m not living my dream. I’m currently 37.

    I envy each and every college student right now. Especially the young ones that are 18, 19, and in their early 20’s. I remember my life back then. So much potential. So much hope. So many dreams. So many decisions and so many opportunities. and Hardships too. But you know what? When you get older, it seems the Hardships are still there, but the dreams fade away and the opportunities are less.

    If my Blog sounds depressing, it might be a reflection on my current mental state. I’m not a depressed person, at least not clinically. I’ve never suffered from depression. But I do seem to be more depressed these days. This is what happens to people when they get older and they don’t follow their dreams.

  40. Since graduating in ’05, I moved to Orlando, FL and taught middle school physical science for two years. For the past two years, I’ve been teaching Physics at a great high school in Oviedo, FL. My administrators believe science is valuable, and all students are required to take physics! Sean and I were married in March ’07. We both attend the University of Central Florida. I’ve almost completed my MEd in Science Education, and Sean is pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering. While life after TCNJ has been fun, we also reminisce about the good ‘ole days and our great physics professors.

  41. Hello TCNJ Physics Department,

    The Blog Bully (uhh, I mean Dr. Ochoa) finally put the pressure on me as well……….and I am also happy about that…….So…

    My grades in college were not too good – I suppose at the time I had other things that were higher on my priority list than physics studies – my calculus and programming skills were a bit weak – Working in the Library on campus, I would always ask to shelve books in the “Q” section – I’d take a cart down and end up just reading “Brief History of Time” and “In Search of Shroedinger’s Cat” – Not many books were shelved. Regardless of my grades, I was truly interested in physics and all the possibilities it offered. I love the subject and thinking about it, but PhD’s just aren’t for everyone, and I knew this was true for myself at that time – I needed some time away from school……..

    Immediately after graduating in ’99 I continued working as a pizza delivery driver for a couple of months……(come to think of it, I actually really miss that job)……Didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to do. Thought I would apply to Officer Training School for the Air Force — Figured there were many opportunities there for someone with a B.S. in Physics, and I wanted to travel. Maybe satellite communication – something like that……..The Air Force accepted me, until I failed my physical – I had cracked my skull open about a year before (I’ll spare everyone the details)…….So I was sending out resumes all over the place to random companies I knew nothing about.

    Eventually I got hired for an entry-level position as an engineer for a company that did contract work for the government. I learned how to configure routers, bridges, laptops, set up amps and antennas, etc., and helped to set up Flying Local Area Networks between about 8 aircraft. It was a cool job, got to do testing on the Parkway using military Hummers and then go on a couple flights with the troops and test out these networks. I enjoyed it, worked there for almost 2 years, but I knew the whole network TCP/IP thing wasn’t for me, and I missed summers off!

    Ready for something new, I quit my job and drove out west to California. Still not knowing what I really wanted to do, I recalled Dr. Gleeson’s words during a lecture in General Physics II. He told the class that if any of us ever were confused about what path to take concerning a career, try teaching. He said it was a really good, enjoyable way to make a living, and it was extremely rewarding. Only 18 or 19 at the time, and kind of shy, and deathly afraid of any type of public speaking, teaching was the last thing I would have thought about — But coming from Dr. Gleeson, I kept that in the back of my mind.

    Quick side note on Dr. Gleeson – He was the reason I originally changed my major from Mechanical Engineering to Physics after my sophomore year, and he was the reason I ended up becoming a high school teacher down the road. He taught with an honesty, integrity, and sincerity that I greatly respected. So – Thank you Dr. Gleeson – You were a great positive influence on my life!

    Anyway, I got a busboy/waiter job (and a couple others) and got enrolled in the Teacher Credential Program at Cal State in Long Beach. After completing ten classes, student teaching, and jumpling through a nearly infinite amount of hoops, I was a certified high school physics teacher.

    I then taught two years in CA, moved back to NJ and received a math and physics certification, and taught for two more years, and now I am back in CA (San Diego) teaching – my 5th year. And Dr. Gleeson was right – It is a great way to make a living. The other teachers and numerous students i have been able to meet and work with are unbelievable, and I feel fortunate to have taken this path.

    I think I have already written too much (even though I left so much out). I will also leave a note in the teachers corner section with any advice.

    Best regards,
    Dave

  42. After graduating in 05 I immediately started working for a smallish DoD Contracting company specializing in laser countermeasure systems and EO/IR sensor design and testing. I have worked on a variety of projects and programs that tested my ability to adapt and learn very quickly. I had the pleasure of working with Chris Voinier on a couple of projects until he defected to the government side of things, where he could have more responsibility and headaches.

    I plan on beginning a masters program at rowan for Engineering Management in the summer.

    and Dr. Ochoa guilted me indivdually to post here, but im glad he did.

  43. It’s been four long hard years since graduation, and not a day goes by I don’t appreciate everything I learned. Well, maybe not everything, this teaching stuff is hard work and no amount of education classes can prepare you the way real experience does. Although the best class was methods. I give a lot of respect to all my former teachers and professors

    I am just around the corner, still teaching here at Lawrence HS. It takes a special person to be a teacher and I am trying to be that person, but it feels like it is so hard to stay above water. There are a lot of federal programs and state mandates weighing you down sometimes.

    However, after several years of saving up, I am in a small place of my own. I may have only been to Disney once since graduation, but it is worth it to have your own place… The work is tough, the paper work is frustrating, but wen you get in front of those students it can be so much fun. When you have fun give and earn respect from these kids, this can be a very rewarding job!

    I have also been coaching the Science Olympiad team the past two years. The kids won first place in the Southern Regional this year!

    I have been giving a lot of thought to grad school. But I am not sure whether I want to do it for education, admin, or earth/space science.

    I want to leave a shout out “Oscar” Romulo Ochoa. When I found out his real first name is Oscar… all those Sesame Street References about the dell laplachian (sp?) suddenly made sense. Anyway, he as been houding me to blog and here I am blogging away. I plan to leave one in the teacher’s corner as well.

    Also a shout out to the classes of 04 and 05, of which I belong to both, and to any WDW CP’s out there.

  44. After graduating TCNJ in 2000, I received an MS degree from The College of William & Mary in 2002. After looking into jobs and failing to get a high school job where I could actually teach physics, I applied to schools again and am now finishing up my PhD at Michigan Technological University.

    My degree is under the Engineering Physics program and my dissertation topic is growth, modification and intergration of nanomaterials into working devices, namely FETs, sensors and molecular electronics (though it is far more impressive sounding than the work is.)

  45. I was one of the two graduates in the 1991 photo in the above slideshow. I attended graduate school in atmospheric sciences at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO, and graduated with a Masters degree in 1994. I worked for a little while at CIRA in Ft. Collins. Since 1995, I have been working in the Climate & Radiation Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. I have been improving and using land-surface and atmospheric general circulation models to study soil moisture, snow cover, droughts, and precipitation.

  46. After graduating in December 2001 I took a teaching job in Bergen County (Northern Highlands as a maternity replacement and then 6 yeahs at Mahwah High School). While living up there I received my Masters in Educational Technology from Ramapo College. This past fall I started I took a different teaching position at Jackson Liberty High School.
    TCNJ did an excellent job teaching me to teach (and the Physics content as well). Thanks!!

  47. Update: I passed my Qualifying exams and I’m now a PhD candidate at Rutgers 🙂 My research will probably be looking for evidence of supersymmetry at the LHC at CERN.

    • I just got back from a week of meetings at CERN. I hope our department historian will confirm that I’m the first alumnus to visit the behemoth that is the LHC 🙂
      Also, it saddens me greatly to hear about the end of the TCNJ Physics Club Unreal Tournament era… it will be a challenge to find a suitable replacement hehe

    • OK so I’ve made a bit of a turn… As of Fall ’10 I’m out of the particle physics game and I’m now studying physics education. I got a Masters for my work in particles, but now I’ve switched advisors and fields for a PhD in Physics Education Research. I’m training to be a physics professor, hopefully at a small liberal arts college (are you reading, Dr O?)

  48. I graduated from TCNJ in 2003. I am in my 6th year teaching physics at Northern Valley @ Demarest H.S. Without the help of Dr. Ochoa and Spaz, I would never have been able to graduate as a Physics major. I am also the head baseball coach and assistant football coach. I am engaged to be married in July 2010 to a girl I met at TCNJ.

    I also wanted to inform any physics teaching major that Demarest (located in bergen county, New Jersey) is anticipating an opening next year. If interested, you can email szobota@nvnet.org.

  49. Spaz…

    Glad to hear all is going well with you. Haven’t talked to you since college and was curious how you were doing. Congrats on getting married. I’m engaged, and plan to get married in July 2010. I’m teaching Physics at NV Demarest H.S. and I am the head baseball and assistant football coach here. Aside from Dr. Ochoa, you are the other reason why I was able to pass those 300 physics classes during college. Best of luck finishing med school.

  50. I graduated in 2003 and enrolled in the MD/PhD program down at the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham. I’m working on finishing up the PhD part right now. My dissertation work uses computational and experimental methods to study ion channel inhibitors in the context of brain tumors and neuronal pathology.

    I got married a year or so ago to a southern belle. No kids on the way, but I’ve got a few cats if anyone is looking for one. I’ve been enjoying the lifestyle of a student quite a bit, but I reckon I’ll probably have to start finishing up these degrees. I’m shooting for 2011, but reality tends to diverge from my optimistic expectations. Maybe when I graduate I’ll swing back up north, but I think we’re both in love with the warm weather and slower lifestyle south of the Mason-Dixon.

  51. I graduated in 2005 from the Liberal Arts track. After a little searching and a few odd-jobs, I started working in November 2006 for a consulting company at Fort Monmouth, NJ. I started off in an infrared laser lab. After about a year, I moved over to doing work in a Radio Frequency lab. As of a week ago, I am no longer with the consulting company but working directly for the Army as a civilian employee. I’m still in the same RF lab.

    I’ve been married since November 2005 and our first child is due at the end of May!

  52. After graduating in May 2007, I have been attending grad school at the University of Florida. I will be getting my Master’s degree in Astronomy this coming May (2009), and then after I take (and pass!) the qualifying exam I will be working on my PhD in Astronomy. My current research involves studying transiting planet systems and how best to constrain the orbital and physical parameters of those systems. So far, so good! 🙂

  53. I taught physics, chemistry, and physical science, with a smattering of earth science and biology for twelve years in Hamilton Township, Trenton, and with the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya and Papua New Guinea. I received my masters in multicultural science education from UW-Madison in 2001, came back to teach some more in Trenton and started the PhD program in Teacher Education here in Wisconsin in 2005. I am currently collecting data for my dissertation on preparing secondary science teachers for student diversity. I expect to finish in either 2009 or 2010 and seek an academic position in science teacher education either in the U.S. or abroad.

  54. Some graduation photos (slide show) have been posted at that top of this page.

  55. After graduating in 2004, I worked at Picatinny Arsenal for the Army as a Pyrotechnic Project Engineer (researching and developing really big “fireworks” for military applications). I’ve been married for almost three years, and left Picatinny last fall to follow my husband Sam (who is an Army Aviator) to his post in Arkansas. We are expecting our first child any day now :o)

  56. After graduating in ’04, I headed off to Rutgers. I’m currently studying for a Ph. D. in High-Energy Experimental physics, although I haven’t passed my qualifier exam yet 😛

  57. I’ve spent the past 3 years teaching a variety of sciences to grades 5-9 and earning my MS in Exceptional Student Education and Reading from the University of Miami in Miami, Florida where I currently reside.

  58. Graduated May 2008, and now at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I am in the PhD track for nuclear engineering. I’m currently working on projects related to Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors (SFR’s) / high-temp sodium materials compatibility.

  59. Graduated May 2008 and got a job with Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. I’m currently part of the defensive systems sector working on infrared lasers. I’m looking to get my masters in the next few years since they pay 100% of tuition for related degrees.

    • I recently was promoted to optical engineer from laser technician at Northrop Grumman. Now that I’m in the engineering dept. I’ll be sure to post any job openings as well as internships. If you are interested in the defense industry let me know. It’s one of the few industries that’s still hiring in large numbers.

  60. I graduated in Dec. 2001 with a BS in Physics, Earth Science track and a minor in Math. Unfortunately I wasn’t successful at find a job within the industry but managed to find a work in the science field. I’m currently a food technologist at Firmenich located in Plainsboro, NJ flavoring all beverages from alcohol to water. I recently got married this past August and I’m now living in King of Prussia, PA.

  61. I graduated from TCNJ in 2004 with a BS in Physics. I went right into the workforce landing a job at Thorlabs, Inc. which makes a wide variety of products for the Photonics industry. My current position is the Manufacturing Engineer for the Optics Division. In Jan of 2008 i started to go back to school pursuing my ME in Manufacturing Engineering from Stevens part time and plan on being done sometime next year.

  62. I graduated from TCNJ in 2007 with a BS in Physics – Earth Science. Since then, I’ve been taking classes in an ASL/English Interpreter training program and am hoping to eventually become certified. I’m also in my first year of a PHD program in Physics at Drexel University.

    • Figured I should update this, since I’m not at Drexel anymore. Instead, I’m in a Geoscience and Astronomy Masters program at West Chester University. So far, I’m really enjoying the interdisciplinary science nature of the program, and I feel like it’s a much better fit for my interests than the Drexel Physics program was.

  63. I work for the Elsevier Publishing Group in Amsterdam. I am the account manager for Italy and Israel. I sell access to scientific and bibliografic databases in Science (Science Direct for those who still do research).

    I like in Rome and I am married since 2002

    Here’s my mail if you want to touch base with me:

    c.colaiacomo@elsevier.com

  64. After dragging out my BS at (then) TSC, I got my MS in Physics/Medical Physics in 1998 at Wright State U in Dayton, Ohio doing MRI research and teaching. I earned my PhD in Biomedical Engineering (Imaging) in 2004 from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in balmy Rochester, Minnesota. I am currently a Senior Research Physicist at Merck Research Laboratories living north of Philadelphia. When I am not being bribed with lunch to speak at TCNJ, I apply MRI to preclinical drug discovery.

  65. Physics (Teacher Prep. track) Class of ’00- Taught at Elizabeth HS for three years. After my HS Physics teacher retired, I took his job, and have been teaching Physics at Rahway HS ever since. I’ve been married for 3 years, and am pondering where to go for my Masters (probably in administration).

  66. After graduating TSC in 1993 with a BS in Physics, I went on to the University of Delaware with the intent of earning a Ph.D in Physics. After 4 painful years of coursework and research, I realized that a Ph.D was not for me and I wrapped up a MS in Physics in late 1997. I got a job at the Xybion Corporation in Cedar Knolls, NJ, doing sensor analysis (mostly signal processing) and some embedded programming. In 2000, I begain working at the MITRE Corporation’s office in Eatontown, NJ, where I work today. In 2004 I completed an MSEE through Walden University. MITRE is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) like some of the national labs and the Aerospace Corporation. At our facility in NJ we perform analytical work in support of Army communications. This takes the form of modeling and simulation, “physical layer” communications analysis, system engineering and acquisition tasks, and more. There are several physicists on the staff who regularly chide me about turning to the “dark side” of electrical engineering.
    I am married (to TSC sweetheart Elizabeth Mazur) and have two girls, 5.5 and 3.5.

  67. I graduated from TCNJ in 2002 and immediately went on to graduate school at Michigan State. I did research in the field of psychoacoustics. I graduated in June of 2008 with a Ph.D. in Physics, plus a second M.S. in Electrical Engineering. I have since moved back to New Jersey and am now a professor of physics at Stockton College. I am in the process of developing an acoustics research lab there.

  68. TCNJ Graduate: Class of 1996
    Post Graduation: ME (Engineering Physics) Stevens Institute

    Since leaving school, I have been working as an electrical engineer. I have spent most of my time as an RF systems engineer. I am currently working for BAE Systems in Wayne, NJ. I am the technical lead for a classified program (sorry, can’t tell you about it).

    I am married with two boys (17 and 4). Incidentally, my older son is about to apply for early admission to TCNJ with a focus on Psychology. Let me know of anyone has any back doors through admissions.

  69. After graduating from TCNJ, I received a MS in Environmental Science from NJIT. The large variety of courses available in the Earth Science track of TCNJ’s physics program provided a wonderful background to enter into the Environmental field. I am currently working as an environmental consultant for PMK Group, a subsidiary of Birdsall Services Group, and am planning to marry a fellow TCNJ alum on Febuary 21, 2009.

  70. While I was an undergraduate physics student at TCNJ I was working part time at Dow Jones and Co as an Integration Specialist, helping large companies define what relevant information was for their employees. After I graduated from TCNJ, I went right into an MBA at Rutgers and my responsibilities and skills at Dow Jones have increased constantly. Today I run a large portion of the consulting arm of Dow Jones. My background in physics shaped my analytical thinking skills, and they have ensured my continued success in the business world. I’m engaged to be married to the love of my life, Dixita.

  71. After graduating, I taught high school chemistry and physical science for a few years. I received an MCSE certification in 2001 and have been the Technology Coordinator and Network Administrator in Absecon Schools since then. I am currently working on a Masters in Instructional Technology.

    On a more personal note, I have been married for 10 years to a fellow TCNJ grad. We have two wonderful kids and live in Northfield, NJ.

  72. After TCNJ I attended Boston University School of Theology where I received a Masters of Divinity in 2007 and Masters of Sacred Theolgy (with a concentration in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) in 2008. Also while in Boston I met my wife (also a School of Theology student), and we were married in 2007 (a couple months after Rich and Morgan). Currently I’m substitute teaching in Tennessee while I am applying for Ph.D. programs in Hebrew Bible.

  73. I graduated in 2004 with Rich & Morgan, and came to Penn State (University Park). I’m hoping to defend my thesis in the spring and graduate in the summer. I’ll be out here for at least a year after that.

    • I successfully defended my thesis this morning so I will be getting my Ph.D. in August. I start work as an instructor out here on 5/15 (I’ll be teaching the calc-based introductory mechanics, our analogue to 201).

  74. After graduating TCNJ in 2004, I attended Rutgers and received my MLIS (Library & Information Science) in 2006. I now work as a Reference Librarian/IT Specialist for Edison Public Library in Edison, NJ. My husband Rich and I were married in 2007, and we currently live in Clinton.

  75. After graduating TSC, I obtained a MBA in Professional Accounting from Rutgers, worked at a Big 6 Accounting firm for three years, and have been doing IT auditing / compliance work ever since. I am married with two kids (girl – 6, boy 1.5) and living in Hillsborough, NJ.

  76. After leaving Lehigh University with a MS in Physics, I took a job at Lafayette College as a User Services Specialist (computer support). Morgan and I got married, and are currently living in Clinton, NJ.

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