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We are pleased 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 Chanakya Pandya to become a mentor!

Physics Mentors

Chanakya Pandya

I am a junior 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.

Umar Arshad

Meet Umar Arshad: quantum enthusiast, photon whisperer, and aspiring time traveler. When he's not busy untangling the mysteries of the universe at Miami University or presenting his findings to curious minds across the country, Umar enjoys teaching high school students the quantum way of thinking, one entangled thought at a time. Rumor has it he once tried to use Schrödinger's cat to get out of a missed homework assignment – but don't worry, no cats (or homework) were harmed in the process! As your mentor, Umar promises to guide you through the wavy world of physics, ensuring you have both fun and fundamental understanding. Just don't ask him to predict the future...quantum mechanics is still a bit fuzzy on that part.

Tyler Blanker

My name is Tyler Blanker and I am a junior 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.

Mallory Campbell

I am a junior year physics major with a math minor. I am the treasurer of SPS and Women in Physics, and the secretary of ΚΚΨ, a band service fraternity. I never got the chance to attend mentoring meetings, so I hope to be a source of advice for freshmen and a contact for any question they may have - no matter how trivial it seems.

Grayce Dyer

My name is Grayce Dyer and I am a junior Biological Physics major with a Premedical Studies co- major. In the physics department, I am in research in Dr. Vishwanath's lab working with optical spectroscopy. Outside of the physics department, I am the treasurer of the Miami Women's Club Softball Team, in the University Honors College and a member of Kappa Delta sorority. I chose to be a mentor in order to provide the same support and guidance to others that my mentor provided to me in the past.

Jacob Horley

I am a junior 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.

Emily Kolesar

I am a junior engineering physics major with an environmental science co-major. Outside of mentoring I'm the president of the Society of Physics Students, and vice president of Women in Physics. I wanted to become a mentor so I could help introduce the freshmen to our amazing department, and hopefully help them as much as my mentor did when I was a freshman!

Clark Kwun

Hello, My name is Clark Kwun, and I am a junior currently double majoring in physics and philosophy here at Miami University. I also happen to be the vice president of SPS (society of physics students) so I hope to see most of you there at some point. I know that keeping up with this major can be a real balancing act, especially when you also want such impossible dreams like personal projects or maybe even a functioning social life, so I hope that I can help you to not feel overwhelmed. I look forward to meeting all of you.

Audrey Mannella

I am a junior majoring in Biological Physics and Premedical Studies. In addition to mentoring, I do research in Dr. Vishwanath’s Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging Methods (OSIM) lab and participated in the Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) program this past summer. Outside the Department of Physics, I am part of the University Honors College and am a co-president of the Society of Women in Medicine (SWIM). I am looking forward to being a mentor this year and hope to provide as much help and support as I can.

Hannah McDougall

I am a senior 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!

Glenn Ochsner

My name is Glenn Ochsner and I am a Sophomore Physics and Mathematics major with a minor in Electrical Engineering. I do research in Dr. Mirza's Quantum Computing lab. I am a member of the Society of Physics Students, Women in Physics, Swing Syndicate, and the Lesson Coordinator for the Ballroom Dance Social Club in addition to being on the competitive Ballroom team. I have found that my experience has been much improved by being involved in the department and that having a resource I can ask questions (particularly stupid ones) has been tremendously helpful and want to pay that forward and get more people involved.

Gracie Pillow

My name is Gracie Pillow, I am a biological physics major with a minor in Mandarin. I am a senior at Miami and I am also a resident assistant in MacCracken Hall. I am a part of National residence hall honorary (NRHH), Residence Hall Association (RHA), Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta), and I am on the RA Recruitment and Selection Committee (RARS). I additionally work as a server at The Cheesecake Factory. I also love to nap and love animals. I am excited to get more involved in the Physics department and look forward to helping others. 

Catherine Kasicki-Rodriguez

Department of Physics

217 Kreger Hall
500 E. Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056