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Student Testimonials

Biophysics and Optics Students

Chrystin Green

Chrystin Green A picture of me outside of my office on my first day at the U of A Chrystin is a physics major at Cal Poly Pomona. This upcoming year will be her junior year in the physics department. She aspires to get her PhD in physics and become a professor at a university. She has spent the last three months in Arizona doing astronomy education research with the...

Lindsey Kabot

Lindsey Kabot with Ashley Matsushita, Ryan Hernandez, Tanner Worden at a Poster Presentation Lindsey is a physics major who has worked with Dr. Nina Abramzon, and was a CAMPARE student. Participating in undergraduate research at Cal Poly has been an amazing experience. During the summer of 2012 I was able to participate in the CAMPARE program and over the past two years I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Nina Abramzon on several projects...

Adrian Ortiz

Adrian in the lab to test some fiber optic biosensors. Adrian is a biotechnology major who has been participating in fiber optic biosensor research in the last year. Adrian, under the supervision of Dr. Ertan Salik, received Kellogg Undergraduate Scholars Award (KUSP) to work fiber optic sensors for sensing the presence of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in food samples. As a Biotechnology student, I have...

Ted Yoo

Ted Yoo's graph We study percolation theory in the computation lab under the supervision of Dr. Alex Small. Percolation is one of the simplest phase transitions that can be studied in graph theory, yet is not well understood. The ultimate goal of our research is to apply percolation theory into other fields such as imaging. Our work is both experimental and theoretical,...

Nicholas Perez

Nicholas Perez is setting up the optical fiber for tapering. Nicholas Perez is a Physics and Astronomy major, who works in Dr. Ertan Salik's lab. He worked on fiber optic sensors. His current project is on a tunable fiber laser that will be used for sensor interrogation. I have started working in Dr. Salik's lab in Spring 2013. I fabricated tapered fiber sensors. I also learned how to do 3D design and 3D...

Matthew Witt

Matthew Witt, a Physics and Astronomy student, makes microfluidic channels for biosensing applications. Matthew Witt works in Dr. Ertan Salik's lab. His main responsibility is to fabricate microfluidics channels for biological sensing. Matthew started working in Salik Research Lab when he was a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona. I make microfluidic channels to flow liquids past the optical fiber biosensors, which has applications in healthcare and food...

Martin Sanchez

Martin Sanchez prepares optical fiber for tapering in Dr. Ertan Salik's lab. Martin Sanchez is a sophomore Physics and Astronomy major. Martin started working on fiber optic biosensors with Dr. Ertan Salik in the Spring of 2013. He has spent the entire summer in the lab. He was a co-author on two conference papers recently submitted. My experience in Dr. Ertan Salik's laboratory has been absolutely wonderful. Working over the...

Jonathan Tran

Jonathan Tran Jonathan Tran has been working with Dr. Alex Small. I am currently working as a research assistant in a computational physics laboratory under the advising of Dr. Alex Small. I have worked with Dr. Small since Fall 2011 with my classmates Ted Yoo and Shane Stahlheber investigating percolation on uniform lattices. I myself study algorithms, implement these...


Particle/Nuclear Students

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Astronomy and Astrophysics Students

Brianna Thierjung

Brianna is currently studying Math and Physics at Cal Poly Pomona University. She is enjoying her upper division courses and is very active in research and other things on campus. She spent her summer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics doing research through CAMPARE using galaxy merger simulations. This is her story. This summer in Boston...

Francisco Mercado

Francisco Mercado Francisco began his first quarter at Cal Poly Pomona in the Fall of 2013 as a Chemical Engineering major.  During that quarter he realized that his long-time hobby of reading about different areas of physics and watching countless documentaries about the mysteries of the Universe could become more than just a hobby.  Thus, he decided to...

William Nolan

Checking out the sub-Millimeter telescope Checking out the sub-Millimeter telescope William is a physics major headed to UC Santa Cruz. He went back to school to indulge a longstanding curiosity about math and physics, and developed a keen interest in astronomy along the way. William spent the summer of 2013 in Tucson, Arizona as part of the CAMPARE program studying exoplanets via the transit...

Serge Ossipian

Serge showing off his "wallpapering" skills and displaying his work. Serge showing off his "wallpapering" skills and displaying his work. Serge is a CalPoly Pomona student majoring in Electrical Engineering and pursuing a minor in Physics. He spent the summer of 2013 working at the SETI Institute under Dr. Adrian Brown, as part of the CAMPARE program, examining snow metamorphism patterns on the northern polar...

Rachel Hatch

Rachel Hatch Rachel is a geology major, with an emphasis in Geophysics at Cal Poly Pomona. She spent the summer 2013 in the CAMPARE program at working at SETI/NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. She worked with Dr. Cristina Dalle Ore on using Vims data from the Cassini mission to study one of Saturn’s icy moons, Enceladus. Here is how her summer...

Matt Young

Checking results in my office. Checking results in my office. Matt is a physics major at California State University Los Angeles. Interested in physics(of course), mathematics, neuroscience, programming, and evolutionary biology among other things. During the summer of 2013 he had the privilege of working as an intern at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,...

Mary Wakefield

Mary Wakefield Mary is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science at CSU San Marcos with a special interest in planetary science. For the 2013 summer, she worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) calibrating and archiving infrared images of Saturn in order to study Saturn’s deep atmospheric properties. This was sponsored by the CAMPARE program....

Jill Walker

Jill Walker Jill spent her summer elbows deep in argon. This inert gas is what fills each reaction cell, ensuring that any changes recorded are from reactions of the thin films in the space radiation environment. Jill is a double major in Zoology and English Language and Literature, and she spent the summer of 2013 in the CAMPARE program working at the NASA Ames...

Greta Cukrov

Greta Cukrov Greta is majoring in Physics and minoring in Mathematics and German at San Jose State University. She spent the summer of 2013 working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/Caltech sponsored by the CAMPARE program. Greta was part of the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) group, where she worked with Dr. Amy Mainzer searching for the most hazardous...

Frank Garcia

At the ATA, where I get some field experience. At the ATA, where I get some field experience. Frank Garcia is an Aerospace Engineering major at Cal Poly Pomona, with a minor and a huge interest in astronomy. He spent the summer of 2013 working through the CAMPARE program at SETI Institute. He worked with Dr. Gerry Harp, analyzing data from the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). His projects included...

El-iza El Henson

El-iza El Henson El-iza El Henson is a Physics major at California State University, Sacramento with minors in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Astronomy. He spent the summer of 2013 in the CAMPARE program working at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA. During his time there he had the opportunity to learn about Jupiter’s moon Europa. El-iza spent a considerable...

Debbie Hernandez

Debbie Hernandez Debbie posing in front of former astronaut suits at the NASA Ames Exploratorium Guest Visitor Center during the IRIS Launch Debbie is a geology major with an emphasis in Geophysics and with a minor in Math. Her love for the celestial sky took root at the impressionable age of 12 after receiving her first telescope. She pointed it to the night sky looked...

Beth Johnson

Beth Johnson Beth Johnson Beth is a physics major and an astronomy minor at San Jose State University. She spent the summer of 2013 working at the SETI Institute, as part of the CAMPARE program, processing and analyzing the January and February 2013 meteor data for the Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) project with her mentor, Dr. Peter Jenniskens. Beth...

Chris Macias

Chris Macias Chris standing in front of just one of the LBT’s two mirrors Chris is a Physics major who spent the summer of 2013 in the CAMPARE program working at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory. Not until recently did he start becoming really fascinated with astronomy and astrophysics. Once becoming part of the CAMPARE program he traveled to...

Conor Rowland

Conor Rowland   Conor is a physics major who has always had a fascination with astronomy. When he first began attending Cal Poly Pomona as an undeclared major, he wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to study. After he took his first physics course, he was confident that studying physics would be just the major to satisfy his curiosity with the...

Coty Spence

Coty Spence Coty at one of two 8.4 meter mirrors at the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona. Coty Spence is a physics major who has had a strong interest in astronomy since his childhood. He spent three years at El Camino College beginning his studies in economics before moving towards engineering and eventually physics. Coty now attends UCLA and plans to obtain a...

Jason Alonzo

Jason preparing an OREOcube sample inside the deposition system, placing an optical SiO2 window on the disk. Jason preparing an OREOcube sample inside the deposition system, placing an optical SiO2 window on the disk. Jason is an electrical engineering major who is concentrating in computer software communications and control systems. He is also pursuing a minor in physics for his passion in astronomy. He spent the summer of 2012 in the CAMPARE program working...

Gregory Villar III

Gregory Villar III Gregory Villar III. Gregory was a physics major who graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2009 and is currently working at JPL and applying to Astronomy graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. He has done a number of Astronomy research projects as an undergraduate. He first participated in a research project with Dr. Joe Carson of JPL and Dr. Alex Rudolph of CPP...

Vicente Gonzaga

Vicente Gonzaga Vicente Gonzaga at the SETI Institute. Vicente is a Mechanical Engineering major who is also pursuing a minor in Physics, with an emphasis in Astronomy. Vicente spent the past summer working at the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California. His work involved looking for man-made interference at the Allen...

Steffi Valkov

Steffi Valkov Steffi on board the DC-8 at NASA Dryden Research Center. Steffi is an Aerospace Engineering major who is also pursuing a minor in Physics, especially Astrophysics. Steffi spent the summer of 2010 working at the SETI Institute. Her project, California Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS), consisted of creating a safe structure for an array of cameras used to...

Ashley Curry

Ashley Curry Ashley in the lab showing the apparatus used to prepare samples of ethane or ethane/water mixes for infrared spectral analysis. Matching these laboratory spectra with astronomical spectra of objects in our outer Solar System will help determine if these objects contain ethane. Ashley is a biology major who became interested in the SETI program after...

Hector Saldivar

Hector Saldivar Hector standing at a distance from one of the radio telescopes on Kitt Peak. Hector is a Physics major who is interested in public outreach and astronomy education research which may lead to a possible teaching career. This past summer, Hector had the opportunity to work as a Camp Counselor at the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Camp, as part...

Gabriela Serna

Gabriela Serna Gabriela Serna at Kitt Peak National Observatory on a very cloudy not-good-for-observing day. Gabriela is working on a physics major and math minor at California State University, Fullerton. Her true passion lies in astronomy and she hopes to, one day, become a professor of physics or astronomy to share her passion. In the summer of 2012, she participated...

Lindsey Kabot

Lindsey Kabot Lindsey looking at the 6.5 meter primary mirror of the MMT Lindsey is a physics major who came to Cal Poly Pomona as a political science major expecting to become a lawyer. After one quarter, she realized that her interests lay elsewhere. After thinking long and hard about what she actually wanted to do, and what she could be happy doing with the rest of...

Austin Cole

Austin Cole A picture of myself standing in front of the primary mirror for the LSST in the U of A Mirror Lab. Austin is an aerospace engineering major who has always been fascinated by astronomy. He often stays up late at night to catch meteor showers or lunar eclipses, and when he goes camping he often brings his telescope with him to have a better view of the...

Heather Chilton

Heather Chilton Left to Right: Alex Baldwin, Sara Peacock, and Heather Chilton at the Allen Telescope Array, Har Creek Radio Observatory, CA, July. Heather is a double major in geology and physics at CSU Fullerton, focusing on the application to planetary science. For the 2012 summer, and sponsored through the CAMPARE program, she worked with Dr....

Aaron Castellanos

Aaron Castellanos Aaron with 3 of 42 antennas of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). Hat Creek Radio Observatory. July 2012. Aaron is an electrical engineering major concentrating in robotics and system controls and is also pursuing a physics minor with an emphasis in astrophysics. He spent the summer of 2012 working at the SETI Institute, as part of the...

Alex Baldwin

Alex Baldwin Pondering about better ways to streamline data analysis. Alex is a computer engineering major interested in science, learning opportunities, and software development. He is most interested in working with scientists and tailoring code to their needs to aid in research. This past summer 2012, Alex had a chance to do exactly that. Working for Gerry Harp,...

Jessica Maldonado

Jessica (right) sporting a Cal Poly Pomona Physics Club T-shirt. Although I do not have everything planned out for my future I do know that it will involve decisive goals and a passion that keeps burning for understanding the universe. I may not have all the credentials yet but with focus and determination I know I could learn whatever the mentors have to teach me. I’m inspired by what has yet to be...

Stephanie Zajac

Stephanie (shown at left) and Courtney pose in front of the LSST mirror at the University of Arizona Mirror Lab. Stephanie was a physics major who graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2011. During summer 2010, she worked with Dr. Josh Eisner at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory as part of the CAMPARE program, investigating the stellar accretion rates of young, pre-main sequence stars. Based on this work, Stephanie was selected as one of the...

Steven Jasso

Steven and Clint Hawkins investigating the physics of mirrors. Steven was a physics major whose astronomy courses left him hooked on the new frontier that lies in outer space. During the summer of 2011, he participated in the CAMPARE program at the University of Arizona Steward Observatory, working with Drs. John Bieging and Yancy Shirley, studying the California Molecular Cloud. He has now...

Remington Sexton

Remington standing in front of the primary 6.5-m LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) mirror at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. Remington is a physics major whose curiosity for the physical world began before he could read, when the pictures of various astronomical objects in a popular text on astronomy fascinated him. That initial curiosity became a quest for an understanding of the universe and the ultimate driving force for his pursuance of a career in astronomy. He spent the...

Nicole Sanchez

The Heinrich Hertz Submilimeter Telescope (SMT), a radio telescope in eastern Arizona. All of the data I processed came from here. Nicole began as a child covered in finger paints. She grew up with marker-stained hands, a passion for pencils and paper, and a dream of becoming an animator. Little did she know science was stalking her from the shadows, biding its time. It only took one college Astronomy course to turn her. She went from armloads of charcoal-smudged sketchbooks to...

Mario Cabrera

Mario standing in the entrance of ipac at Caltech. Mario is a physics major who is pursuing studies in astronomy to be part of the continuing effort to get explore space, and to be part of the research community that has provided us with information about the universe and how it has developed into what we know now. A native of a small town in Mexico, he came to the U.S. at age of ten, where overcoming the...

Courtney Lemon

Courtney with the Director of Astronomy Camp, Dr. Don McCarthy Courtney is a physics major who wanted to be involved in education and public outreach as part of the CAMPARE program. She spent the summer of 2010 as a counselor at the University of Arizona's Astronomy Camp. While there she worked with groups of all different ages helping them learn the wonders of real astronomy with real...

Clint Hawkins

Me standing by the 90” Bok Telecope, in the process of refilling the FSPEC Dewar with liquid nitrogen. Clint Hawkins is a physics major interested in astronomy who worked with Dr. Josh Eisner at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory as part of the CAMPARE program, continuing the work of Stephanie Zajac investigating the stellar accretion rates of young, pre-main sequence stars. This is his story.  Over the summer...

Anoush Kazarians

Anoush Kazarians Anoush joined the pool of Cal Poly Pomona students in the Fall of 2011, as a sophomore majoring in physics. Interested more in astronomy and astrophysics than in general physics, she knew that she would have to push through the basic requirements of the major to get to the classes she had always been looking forward to taking. She found that learning...

Alec Vinson

Alec poses in front of a scale model of the Cassini spacecraft, which provided the data used for Alec's work on Titan Alec is physics major for whom astronomy has been a passion since Junior High school, when his father introduced him to one of his favorite shows, Carl Sagan's Cosmos. He has always been intensely curious about how the world works, and he participated in the CAMPARE program this past summer 2012 at JPL, to give himself the...


Physics/Astronomy Education Research Students

Tharindu Jayasinghe

Tharindu Jayasinghe Tharindu Jayasinghe is a Physics major working with Dr. Homeyra Sadaghiani on Physics Education Research. He is also a Learning Assistant for the physcis department. He is currently working on investigating student difficulites with using integration of charge distributions in introductory physics( Electricity and magnetism).

Seth Hilliard

Seth Hilliard Seth Hilliard is a physics major with a minor in math here at Cal Poly Pomona. Seth has worked in a biophysics lab and is now currently working with Dr. Sadaghiani doing Physics Education Research. His work focuses on finding supplementary ways to help students retain information better. One project he is working on is to evaluate the effectiveness of...

Lauren Kim

Lauren Kim Lauren Kim is a physics major who works as an LA and does Physics Education Research with Dr. Sadaghiani. Her work focuses on studying the impact of LA genders on the student learning experience. She has prior experience working with Dr. Salik in his biophysics lab and is currently about to finish her third year at Cal Poly Pomona. Although she is unsure...

John Santiago

John Santiago John Santiago, a transfer student originally from Santa Monica, is a physics major here at Cal Poly Pomona. It is only his first year here but he is already working with Dr. Ryan in order to create web-based computer coaching programs for intro physics classes. John aspires to be the best student he can be and is dedicated to gaining a deep understanding...

James Munteanu

James Munteanu James is a Physics major working with Dr. Homeyra Sadaghiani on Physics Education Research. He has been a Learning Assistant for over a year, and is a strong advocate for the LA program. He is passionate about helping people learn physics and truly believes that anyone can be good at physics with the right combination of hard work and good...