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New Faces in the Department

Dr. Kristin Kulas is our new renewable-term Lecturer and teaches our astronomy courses. She completed her B.S in Physics at UC San Diego in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Astronomy at UCLA in 2013. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Kulas worked as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow before coming to SCU. Her research interests include examining how galaxies form and evolve over cosmic time. In addition, she has worked on astronomical instrumentation for telescopes used at the Keck Observatory and in the NASA SOFIA project. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her husband, young daughter, and dog, as well as playing tennis and cooking.
Dr. Omid Ahmadi-Gorgi is our new Senior Laboratory Instructor. He is from the “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois, where he received his Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2011. His research topics included High-TC superconductors and the role of antiferromagnetic spin fluctuations as the pairing glue mechanism in cuprates, along with computational analysis of tunnel junctions, ARPES, and inelastic neutron scattering experiments. His current interests involve many-body physics, space-time physics, lab development and physics pedagogy.
Dr. Sucheta Jawalkar is an Academic Year Lecturer for 2015-2016. She is originally from Mumbai, India -- home of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Bollywood, and a population of over 11 million people. Her family home is in the suburb of Bandra which was an old fishing village and still has very strong Portuguese influences and a large Anglo-Indian population. Dr. Jawalkar received a B.S. from Truman State University in May 2006 and was awarded a Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary in January 2012 in the field of experimental nuclear/particle physics. For her Ph.D., she studied proton spin structure using a 6 GeV electron beam at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia. After graduate school, Dr. Jawalkar spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher with the Medium Energy Physics Group at Duke University where she was involved in experiments in which Helium-3 was polarized in a solenoid magnet in order to study neutron spin structure. Dr. Jawalkar is currently interested in real-world applications of nuclear structure in medical physics and detonation forensics. At SCU she teaches PHYS 31-33, and she is focused on improving instruction for first generation students. In her spare time she enjoys reading, good barbecues, good sandwiches, and traveling with her husband.
Dr. Nathan Williams is an Academic Year Lecturer for 2015-2016 teaching General Physics, primarily to Biology majors. He grew up in Kansas City, living on both the Missouri and Kansas sides of town. His love of science was fueled by a high school biology teacher who focused on making the learning experience enjoyable and entertaining. Dr. Williams received his B.S. degree in physics, mathematics, and astronomy from the University of Arizona in 2005. He then went to the University of Rochester to study theoretical quantum optics, where he earned a Ph.D. in 2011 investigating the use of weak quantum measurements for amplification and control of quantum systems in solid state and optical environments. After graduating he spent two years teaching at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he also found time to continue his work in theoretical quantum optics and developed an undergraduate lab to perform single-photon and quantum weak measurement experiments. Outside of the academic setting he enjoys disc golf, ultimate frisbee, hiking, backpacking, and science fiction. Each summer he works towards completing his goal of climbing every mountain over 14,000 feet in California, although this summer he will be taking a break from climbing to marry his fiancée.