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Saint Mary's University 

There are big advantages to getting a Bachelor of Science at a small school.

click to enlarge abbie-salyzyn.jpg

Abbie Salyzyn

I am a fourth-year Honours Physics Student

I was unsure what I wanted to do after high school. During my senior year of high school, one of Adam Sarty's research students had tutored me in calculus. I often asked her questions about her program at Saint Mary's. I've always been curious about how the world works, plus I loved labs or anything hands-on. I figured I would give it a try, and now I'm here.

The program has definitely been challenging, but also very rewarding. The workload of a physics student is heavy, but it has taught me amazing time management skills. Going to a small school has also allowed me to feel comfortable sharing my ideas in class and close relationships with professors mean my questions never go unanswered.

This past summer, I was sent to Newport News, Virginia, to work at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. I got to work with physicists while I conducted research for my honours thesis on the construction and testing of a new big radiation detector. I got to help assemble the detector itself and my research is currently on confirming all components are working using cosmic ray signals.

My goals for a future career would involve something where I can combine my love for hands-on experimentation and also helping people. I see myself leaning towards something with sustainability (as the environment is a passion of mine) or something medical physics related as I really want to help people. My degree has allowed me to develop great analytical thinking skills. I am able to apply my way of thinking to many of the world's problems—that aren't solely physics-based.

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Vol 24, No 27
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