Carnegie Mellon University class of 2006: B.S. in physics, B.A. in
philosophy. University of Arizona M.S. in astronomy, 2008.
Doctoral candidate at University of Arizona in astronomy.
Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar, Eagle Scout. Publication: 10 micron nulling interferometry of
omicron & beta leo (in prep)
PGSS was the most important influence of my high school years. This is not a claim I make lightly, or without first taking a long time to consider the influences in my years at Souderton Area High School. My friends, who remain close to me even though we have scattered across the country and the world, were important. The years of service as a boy scout was important. The teachers who were my mentors for 4 years and who I regularly visit when I travel home were important. But none of them were as important to my well being, my citizenship or my education as PGSS. PGSS gave me confidence in myself and my abilities. It challenged me both academically andsocially. It let me, for the first time in my life, feel comfortable around people my age. I even met my first sweetheart there. In truth, I was a socially awkward child prior to PGSS. I did not know how to act around others and as a result was very introverted. PGSS brought me out of my shell by allowing me to interact with others who loved to learn and experiment. In high school, despite the best intentions of teachers, curiosity and scholarship are often shunned by fellow classmates. At PGSS these attributes were strengths, not weaknesses. Without the confidence I gained from my experience there, I doubt I would have gained the friendships I did during my last year of high school, the very friendships that are so important to me now. I would not have had the fortitude to complete my scouting career and achieve the highest rank of Eagle. I would not have appreciated the work that my high school teachers put in each and every day for my and my classmates education. I am not just a smarter person because of PGSS, I am a better person. Such programs as can achieve that are rare and precious.