2022-23 Physics Mentors

About the Program

The Miami University Department of Physics is dedicated to ensuring all new and current students get the most out of their undergraduate experience. Our department is uniquely distinguished by our commitment to undergraduate teaching, our high volume of involvement in undergraduate research, and our various departmental programs and clubs into which students are encouraged to get involved.

We are pleased to be able to offer a mentoring program to our incoming freshmen, transfer students, and students new to the department. The mentor program was implemented by students for students. It is comprised of upperclassmen student volunteers. The program's goal is to aid new students in their transition into the department by acting as a bridge between students and faculty, providing guidance on class scheduling, aiding in the involvement of undergraduate research, and diminishing the social gap between upper and underclassmen.

The Department of Physics is a closely knit community and our goal is to ensure all new and current students feel welcome. Future students...we look forward to meeting you!

Contact Olivia Kline or Kyra Stillwell to become a mentor!

Anthony Bennett

My name is Anthony Bennett and I am a senior here at Miami. I am currently going for a BS in Engineering Physics with minors in Computer Science and Geology. Outside of being a physics mentor, I do research in Dr. Brudzinski's seismology lab, I am the president of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). Outside of the department I am a SEAL Ambassador, a member of MAP, and I am on the Howe Writing Center Support Staff. I wanted to be a mentor because I care a lot about the physics department here and I want to help others feel at home in this department.

Tyler Blanker

My name is Tyler Blanker and I am a sophomore physics major with a minor in business. I am a member of the Society of Physics Students as well as a couple other clubs on campus. I decided to become a mentor because I realized that many of the problems I faced last year could have been solved by simply approaching my mentor last year. I want to make sure that the incoming students in the physics department have a much smoother time transitioning to the college life. Becoming a mentor is also a great way to get more involved in the physics department.

Grant Brown

My name is Grant Brown and I'm a Physics Major, Social Justice Studies Minor. I am a member of the Society of Physics Students, The University Honors Program, and I am involved in physics research as a member of Dr. Bali's Cold Atom Lab. I'm excited to be a mentor because I want to do for this freshman class what my physics mentor did for me. They were a great resource for just about anything even if it was just a quick question about an intro physics class. I love the department here at Miami, so I hope we can be a resource to help you navigate your major, the department, and your college experience as a whole!

Gabie Dawson

I am a junior Physics major minoring in Aerospace Studies. I am part of the University Honors Program, the Bridges Program, AFROTC, and have been in Dr. Blue's Physics Education Research Lab since last fall semester. I joined Physics simply because I liked taking it in high school and both the community within the Physics program and the classes themselves kept me in the department. I wanted to be a mentor because I wanted to do my part in providing support to incoming Physics students. I am happy to talk about any extracurriculars I am in, the Physics program, and Miami life as a whole.

Jacob Horley

I am a sophomore who is majoring in Biological Physics with a Pre-Optometry Co-major. I was involved in the mentoring program last year as a mentee, as well as a member of Society of Physics Students (SPS). I am also a member of the Honors College. This year I’ve joined a few new clubs such as the Global Medical Brigades, the Outdoor Adventure Club, and the Astronomy Club. As a mentor I hope to help provide an easy transition into the physics program for our entering freshman as the mentors did for me last year.

Olivia Kline

I am a senior biological physics, pre-med major and excited to start my third year as a physics mentor. In addition to mentoring, I am very involved with Dr. Vishwanath's research group where I work with pediatric hydrocephalus patients. I also have experience tutoring as well as contact tracing and I am a proud member of Miami's chapter of Delta Epsilon Mu. I am in the University Honors Program and have been a member of Paws 4 a Cause and College Democrats on campus. I selected biological physics on a whim, expecting to change my major early in my studies, but my love for physics has only grown thanks to my experience within the department. I am grateful for the wonderful group of scholars that I have met in my time at Miami and I look forward to expanding that network further as a 2022-23 physics mentor. I am always eager to chat about classes, coursework and of course physics and it is my hope that I can impart what modest knowledge I have gained onto the next group of Miami physicists!

Blake McClain

My name is Blake McClain. I am a senior biological physics and biochemistry double major with a premedical studies co-major. I am the president of the Miami Bowling Team as well as the Vice President and Service Chair of Epsilon Tau Pi. Additionally, I am a part of Miami MED, SPS, MPACT, Appalachian Service Project, do research in Dr. Urayama’s lab, and I work in facilities at the Rec Center. I want to be a mentor because it gives me a great opportunity to get to know the new physics students and my mentor was helpful to me when I was a freshman, so I just want to give back.

Hannah McDougall

I am a junior majoring in engineering physics and computer science. On campus, I skate on the senior varsity synchronized skating team. I am involved in Theta Tau (a professional engineering fraternity), Women in Physics, and Redhawk Council. I also work as a supplemental instructor for physics and as a figure skating coach at Goggin. I am working on research with Dr. Mirza. I'm excited to be a mentor because I have really enjoyed my time in Miami's physics department. I want to welcome new students and offer any wisdom I might have!

Chanakya Pandya

I am a sophomore Physics, Computer Science, and Mathematics major. Why I did this to myself is still something I’m questioning, but outside of school, I work in Dr. Samir Bali’s Cold Atom Lab, which is still *technically* the coldest spot in Ohio. Outside of academia, I enjoy powerlifting, playing guitar and piano, solving Rubik’s Cubes and meeting new people. I’ve loved Physics since I was a little kid, and I love the Physics department here at Miami! Some of my best memories were made in Kreger Hall. I want to be a mentor because I want to pass on the excitement I felt coming here as a freshman and help the newer members of the department with whatever they need.

Kyra Stillwell

I am a senior physics major minoring in mechanical engineering, and this year will be my third as a mentor. I’m a member of the University Honors Program, the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, and the Society of Physics Students, as well as a math and physics tutor through Schwartz Tutoring. I also participate in research with Dr. Khan’s lab, exploring the characteristics of novel magnetic materials for purposes like superconductivity and magnetic refrigeration. The physics department offers a ton of resources and opportunities, and having guidance from upperclassmen my first year really helped me to take advantage of them and make the most out of my education. I’m always excited to share what insight I’ve gained so far and get to know some of the newer members of the department!

Neha Sunil

I am a senior majoring in physics and minoring in philosophy. I am currently the vice president of the Society of Physics Students, the physics department's undergraduate representative, a member of the Astronomy club, and this is my second year as a mentor. This will be my third year in the experimental group of Dr. Samson's Bose-Einstein Condensate research lab. I came to Miami with my major undecided and tried several different classes from politics to economics as well as clubs from Miami Mock Trial to boxing. I decided to major in physics my second semester freshman year so I felt a little behind. Thanks to this department being full of sincerely kind and helpful faculty and peers I caught up in no time and I have felt supported ever since. I want to do my part to pay back what I received as an underclassman here and show others how amazing this department can be.

Sumit Tripathi

I am a sophomore majoring in Physics, Philosophy, and English Literature with a minor in Mathematics and the Urban Cohort Certificate Program. I am in the Honors College and the Prodesse Scholar Programme. I joined Dr Urayama’s lab in Spring 2022. I am an SI Leader for PHY192 with Dr Mirza. I am also a part of the Honors Student Anti-Racism and Social Justice Advisory Board (HARSJAB), DEI Council, Office of Residence Life Advisory Board, Student Equity Ambassador, and I am also a student member of the Mental Health Task Force. I love the Physics Department. Everyone is super kind and helpful. I would love to share the awesomeness with the new members of the department.

Danny Wingert

My name is Daniel Wingert, and I am a second year grad student in physics, having received a BS in Engineering Physics from Miami. I have been a member of the honors program here since my freshman year, and joined Dr. Samir Bali’s optical research lab in the spring of 2020. Additionally, I participate in several intramural leagues, including broomball and soccer. In the summer of 2021, I had the privilege of being an Undergraduate Summer Scholar, performing research with the physics department, and am a member of the Society of Physics Students. In my time at Miami, I have worked both in the physics department as a research assistant, and in the engineering department as an undergraduate assistant. I hope to be able to share my experiences in both departments with incoming students, as I believe Miami’s engineering physics program is an excellent option for students who have a passion for both fields.