Elena Alaix

Madrid, Spain

Why did you choose to major in Physics?  Since I was a kid, I have loved to know how nature works.  Then, when I was a little bit older, I started taking physics classes in school and everything started to click.  It was the class I was always looking forward to.  I haven't always known what my major was going to be, but physics has always been my safety net. 

What has been your favorite Physics class and why? My favorite Physics class was Modern Physics because I love nuclear physics.

Favorite hobby: My favorite hobbies are photography, painting and basketball.  Even though I don't know if basketball can be considered a hobby when you are playing it in college.

One unique fact about you: I love to travel and learn about different cultures.

Elena Alaix with trees

Sophia Gielniak

Shelby Township, Michigan

Why did you choose to major in Physics?  I was always an art, English kind of kid, and I used to watch philosophy videos on Khan Academy and Youtube trying to figure out how the world works. This led to the natural progression of me realizing philosophy is just dumbed down math and science. For example, science more empirically answers questions about time, our sense of reality, and the origins of the universe. Ergo, overall, I’m majoring in physics because it’s religion for intellectual atheists, as Stephen Hawking has once said.

What has been your favorite Physics class and why?  I actually haven’t taken a formal physics class yet. Everything I know is from books I found on the street in New York on String Theory and Einstein, from the last book Stephen Hawking wrote before he died, and from teaching myself through Khan Academy and Youtube. The Quantum Mechanics I taught myself this summer, we actually went over in my Chemistry class this past semester.

Favorite hobby: My favorite hobby is researching because the goal is to become a real life Rick Sanchez (from Rick and Morty).

One unique fact about you: I realize regardless how much we attempt to emphasize our individualism, we are all much more alike than we are different. No one is inherently special more than anyone else. We are cosmically insignificant and only mean something subjectively to those who love us.

Sophia Gielniak photo

Abby Hein

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Why did you choose to major in Physics? I actually knew I wanted to be a Physics Major since the summer after my sophomore year of high school.  I took my first Physics class sophomore year and liked it a lot.  It was just a general Physics class, which made it pretty easy, but I had a great time in it and enjoyed the curriculum.  My friend actually persuaded me to take AP Physics C the next year, and after getting really close with my teacher and doing some work with E and M I fell in love with it and officially declared it my major.  When I toured at Northern I met Dr. Donovan and saw the Physics hallway, and I knew I made the right choice.

What has been your favorite Physics class and why? So far my favorite class has been Optics.  I took it having a fairly basic understanding of it, but not really knowing what to expect.  Dr. Jacobs made it fun to learn and easy to understand.  If you've had Dr. Jacobs before you'd know his passion for science is perfectly displayed while talking about a topic like Optics, and it made the class my number one favorite (so far).

Favorite hobby: I would have to say it's between playing video games and reading books.

One unique fact about you: I have had almost every color of the rainbow in my hair (intentionally or unintentionally). I have been sticking with blue for a while though because I think it looks cool.

Abby portrait

Bryson Krieger

Portland, Michigan

Why did you choose to major in Physics?  I chose Physics because I have always had an interest in engineering. The school offers a Physics major with an engineering focus and I thought that that was a good fit for me.

What has been your favorite Physics class and why?  I have not taken any major Physics classes so far. I have only taken the basic prerequisites.  However, out of those I would say that Basic Chemistry has been my favorite because I really enjoyed the labs that we did.

Favorite hobby: One of my favorite hobbies (other than hiking) is theatre, both the technical and performing sides. 

One unique fact about you: I have worked/lived in many amazing places including Otavalo, Ecuador, Murdick's Fudge Shop on Mackinac Island, Mi, and at Colvig Silver Camps in Durango, Colorado.

Bryson Krieger Photo

Noah Shevy

Marquette, Michigan

Why did you choose to major in Physics?  I chose physics because I have always been naturally good at math. When it came time to choose a major, I was stressed because I really wanted to make a positive impact on the world, but I didn’t know how. Eventually, after trying out a few different things, I landed on physics and I fell in love with the unique perspective of a scientist.

What has been your favorite Physics class and why?  I’ve really enjoyed calculus because it’s cool to look back at the history and think of all of the applications of each equation. It’s also been the most satisfying class to complete. 

Favorite hobby:  I enjoy going out into nature and discovering new things. Mushrooms have always been a unique interest, and I stumble across new ones fairly often.

One unique fact about you:  I know how to do a front flip.

Noah Shevy photo

Haley Ann Teske

De Pere, Wisconsin

Why did you choose to major in Physics?  I chose to be a physics major because I always had fun in my physics classes in high school. I love learning about physics and all of its applications. 

What has been your favorite Physics class and why?  My favorite physics class so far has been Thermodynamic and Statistical Physics. It was my first upper-level physics course, so it was my first real test of my abilities. It was challenging and it took a lot of time and effort, but the topics we explored were very interesting to learn about. I felt that everything we learned had a “real life” application, so the topics were even more captivating.

Favorite hobby: I love to read in my free time! My favorite thing to do in the summer is to hike to somewhere scenic, set up my hammock, and read a good book. 

One unique fact about you: I’ve never broken a bone.


Haley Teske photo