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Student inductees with the Physics faculty

Four outstanding students were inducted into the oldest and only academic honor society for physics and astronomy, Sigma Pi Sigma.

Colin Walters ’25 (Hilliard, Ohio), Aditya Shah ’25 (Birgunj, Nepal), Nick Haught ’24 (Marietta, Ohio), and Madeline Aszalos ’25 (Sharon, Pennsylvania) were invited to join the honorary on the basis of their Physics courses, their GPAs in those courses, and their overall GPA, said Rickey Professor Dr. Dennis Kuhl.

“Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor achievement, encourage interest, and promote service in physics and astronomy,” Kuhl said. “For example, some years, our chapter hosts a public science lecture on a topic of general interest. Some of the topics in the past have included the Physics of Toys and the Physics of NASCAR.”

Walters, a Physics and Mathematics major, and Shah, a Physics and Computer Science major, are also Rickey Scholars.

Shah was filled with an immense sense of pride and gratitude when he learned his academic achievements were being recognized — and he was quick to credit the Physics faculty and staff for their contributions to his success.

“This journey, marked by its fair share of challenges and triumphs, has been profoundly shaped by the unwavering support and guidance of the Physics Department at Marietta,” Shah said. “The department has been my pillar of strength, providing a nurturing environment that fostered my growth and resilience. From the hard times to the good times, they have been there, never leaving me behind but rather pushing me toward new challenges that furthered my development.”

The students expressed gratitude toward the faculty and staff in the Physics Department, as well as for the support from other departments on campus.

“After completing my undergraduate studies, my goal is to earn a position in the material science industry researching batteries for electric vehicles,” Walters said. “Most likely in the early years of my employment, if not directly after graduating from Marietta College, I will pursue an advanced degree in Material Science and Energy Systems. A dream of mine has always been to take the entrepreneurial route and start a company after gaining a lot of experience in my field. I’m not yet sure what form this might take, but I’m looking forward to pushing our society toward a more electric future!”

Haught, who is majoring in Applied Physics and Computer Science, is participating in the 3+2 Engineering program and will attend Washington University in St. Louis for the Electrical Engineering and Management Master’s degree.

“I chose Marietta College primarily for its small, tight-knit community, as I believe it fosters strong connections and more personalized experiences with both faculty and peers,” Haught said. “Furthermore, Marietta College has provided me with incredible opportunities for my physics career that I firmly believe would not have been as accessible at a larger institution. Here, I’ve had space to shine and be recognized for my achievements, whereas at a large college, it’s easy to become just another face in the crowd.”

Aszalos, a Physics major pursuing a Certificate in Leadership Studies, also chose Marietta because of its strong sense of community and personalized education.

“Through research opportunities and being able to attend conferences, I have been given many opportunities to reach my potential during my time here, which was one of the things I hoped to achieve over these few years,” Aszalos said. “I am grateful to be recognized for it. Some of the physics courses I have taken the past couple of years have been difficult, so it is nice to receive something that shows that I was successful in them.”