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Ph.D. in Astrophysics Placements

Many of our graduate students continue research in astrophysics as faculty members at leading universities or as researchers at NASA and other laboratories. Here are a few of our alumni stories.

Ph.D. Alumni Stories

Joseph Rodriguez ‘16

Assistant Professor of Physics, Michigan State University

Thesis title: Probing Planetary Formation and Evolution: Transiting Planets and Occulting Disk

Adviser: Keivan Stassun



Samaiyah Farid ‘20

Scientist position at the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.

Dissertation title: Examination of Acceleration Mechanisms in Solar Coronal Jets Using Multi-wavelength Observations and Magnetic Topological Modeling: Evidence For Multiple Acceleration Mechanisms in Coronal Jets.

Adviser: Keivan Stassun

“My experience as a graduate student was non-typical. I had returned to grad school after working for a few years and I was a single parent to a 5 year-old. I often had to bring my daughter to class or rush away in the evenings for pickup. So, I was not the best student…at all. I often turned in assignments late, crammed for tests, and was mentally and emotionally exhausted 24/7. It was a blur of stress and tears. But my committee and peer mentors did not let me self-destruct. For every end-of-world crisis I faced, they helped me see another possibility. They helped me set goals and develop a solid plan to reach those goals. So, I think that that taught me a lot about the type of mentor I strive to become. Someone that doesn’t focus so much on deficiencies, but on how to move students from where students are, to where they need to be.”


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