PGSS 1986 Virtual Reunion

Seventeen members of the PGSS class of 1986 met for a 35th reunion via Zoom on March 20, together with Program Director Barry Luokkala, who first joined the PGSS faculty as the physics lab instructor in 1986. They included Darren Blue, Ann Corsi, Matthew Fisher, Brian Hart, Yumi Ijiri, Souheil Inati, David Jablonski, Susan (Jackson) Quick, Richard Junod, Lisa (Kreger) Hetrick, Timothy McHugh, George Moellenbrock, Michael Pirrello, David Reiley, Michelle Szpara, and Akila Viswanathan. In a 90-minute meeting, we had time for each attendee to share for several minutes about what they\’ve been doing for the past 35 years. We learned about each other\’s families, careers, hobbies, and side hustles. A sampling of our careers includes radio astronomy (George Moellenbrock),  IBM Watson deep learning (Brian Hart), nanoparticle physics (Yumi Ijiri), venture capital (Scott Lenet), environmental health and safety (Michael Pirrello), healthcare project management (Richard Junod), cell biology (Ann Corsi), and ophthalmology (Susan Quick). Our geographic distribution included California (3), Arizona, New Mexico (2), Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania (4), Maryland (3), and North Carolina. Because it was a rare sunny day in March in Erie, Lisa Hetrick shared views of her yard, including a creek, ducks, and chickens, giving many of us nostalgia for Pennsylvania. Barry Luokkala shared with us that questions from our PGSS class inspired him to return to graduate school to earn his PhD in physics. David Reiley, a scientist for SiriusXM Pandora, closed the meeting by singing a rendition of Cole Porter\’s 1933 song “Experiment.” –David Reiley