News from the Chair

The Graduating Class of 2020

By Dilys Ruan, '20

This class has seen a great change in scenery within the past years.

Regener Hall
First, many of us began our studies in the gritty halls of Regener.

Lobby of Physics building at Yale and Lomas
Then, we migrated over to PandA and got comfortable in the lobby.

And in 2019, we found ourselves peering over at an entirely new, shiny building: PAÍS.

But finally, like a book-ending, we found ourselves back where we started: at home.

Although our class will not have an in-person commencement ceremony, we're working on a video commencement. Our future plans will be announced in the video, but allow me to share some of the exciting plans lined up for our class.

This class consists of people with widely different and fascinating research interests. Some of us have been accepted into graduate programs to conduct research in a specialized field, including:

  • Ivey Davis - PhD @ California Institute of Technology for Exoplanet Research
  • Ryan Gibbons - PhD @ University of California, Berkeley for High Energy Experiment
  • Bruno Guimarães - MS @ UNM Nuclear Engineering Department for MR Imaging Research
  • Matthew Loftus - PhD @ UNM Department of Physics & Astronomy for Biophysics Research
  • Sanjna Mahobia - PhD @ University of Exeter for ISM Research
  • Eric Putney - PhD @ Rutgers University for High Energy Theory
  • Kyle Ritchie - PhD @ University of California, Berkeley for High Energy Theory
  • Dilys Ruan - PhD @ Rutgers University for Cosmology
  • Amy Soudachanh - PhD @ University of Oregon for Experimental Quantum Information
  • Brady Spears - MS @ Baylor University for Solid Earth Geophysics

Many in our class are also considering graduate school, but will pursue other interesting avenues before applying.

  • Bryce Donaldson will continue his work with Dr. Stephen Boyd in Low-Temperature Physics Research, consider STEM jobs at Sandia National Labs, and likely go to graduate school afterwards.
  • Julie Campos will take a year off to continue her research with both Sandia National Labs and Dr. Ivan Deutsch in Quantum Control, and may even volunteer with the Peace Corps.
  • Ryan Stairs has a three-prong plan: make a family compound, apply to the Air Force Space Command at Kirtland Air Force Base, or apply to graduate schools in the fall of 2021 for Aerospace Engineering & Geophysics

Hindsight is 2020. If we'd known that the Friday before spring break would be the last day to personally bid farewell to our professors and peers, we certainly would’ve made it count.

But in our virtual worlds we continue on, and we greatly thank everyone in the UNM Physics & Astronomy department for all that you have done for us.

Congratulations to our graduating class!

Department of Physics and Astronomy
The University of New Mexico
Physics, Astronomy, and Interdisciplinary Sciences building (PAÍS)
210 Yale NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-277-1520 fax