Being on the Titan Softball team is a great honor for me. I’m the first one in my family to get a scholarship to play a sport at a Division 1 university.Daisy Muñoz, criminal justice major and Titan Softball infielder
Stories of Impact: Daniel Martinez
I was inspired to study physics because it allows me to understand the basic building blocks of a problem. From there, I can expand on a topic and determine useful and complex applications from it.
I am currently conducting research on the materials that are used to make the mirrors for future gravitational-wave detectors like LIGO Voyager (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), which will be used to identify black hole mergers and neutron star mergers across the universe.
We are exploring one type of promising mirror coating material, which has very good optical properties. We are also investigating crystalline silicon as a new mirror material for future detectors because of its low thermal and mechanical loss at very low temperatures — as low as 4 degrees Kelvin. This research, which will be shared with scientific collaborators, can help inform which materials are selected for future designs of gravitational-wave detectors.
I have gained so much from working in the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy. I’m learning how to operate equipment like lasers and other optical systems, an industrial oven and a low-temperature vacuum system known as a cryostat.
I want to be able to solve problems — and in-depth experience with these systems as a student enables me to do so. On a personal note, the lab has taught me a lot about how I work with others. I was very shy before I joined, but collaborating with other people in the lab has pushed me to open up and have fun with my research.
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“I hope I’m setting an example. To supply the funds to advance our understanding of the world — that is amazing joy … real joy.— Nicholas Begovich (1921-2020), university supporter
Students share, in their own words, how they were empowered by their Titan education. Thanks to you, our generous community of donors, these students discovered their passions and leadership potential in academics, arts and athletics.View More Stories
The program cost was a barrier for me. I would not have studied abroad without earning a scholarship and I am most grateful to be a recipient.Jocelyn Aponte, ’20 (B.A. history), graduate student in history
I am grateful to be breaking stereotypes while challenging myself to pursue a field that will advance technology in our world.Taylor Livingston, computer science and business administration major
I want to educate students — that’s where my heart is.Jonathan Oseguera, ’21 (B.A. psychology), special education credential student
As a full-time graduate student living paycheck to paycheck, my work at the arboretum was generously supported by a donor.Alexandra Lewandowski, graduate student in environmental studies
I want to elevate the diverse stories of people.Jessica Choi, communications-journalism major
I found my voice in photography.Cassandra Caldwell, art-creative photography and experimental media major
I want to help my patients feel heard.Evelynn Dronberger, graduate student in nursing-women’s health concentration