Physics and Astronomy – Outstanding Senior 2021

Chelsea Weaver

Pullman, WA

Degrees and Majors:

  • Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy

Summa cum laude

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • Chelsea is committed to modeling civic engagement in the community while raising her son.

Internships and Employment

  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Human Development
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant for Optical Pumping & Spin Dynamics Laboratory
  • Starbucks, Shift Supervisor and Barista (Tulsa, OK)

Undergraduate Research

Optical Pumping and Spin Dynamics Lab Group

Awards and Recognition

  • Physics and Astronomy Textbook Scholarship
  • Paul A. Bender Endowed Scholarship in Physics
  • Tom and Diana Dickinson Physics Fellowship

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Brian Saam, Physics & Astronomy
  • Fred Gittes, Physics & Astronomy

Faculty Comments

Chelsea is a gifted physicist who raises the level of teaching, research, and collegiality in our department. Teaching: She participates in the Physics and Astronomy club by attending weekly activities like movie nights, guest speakers, and study sessions. She reaches out to incoming students by leading a Q&A session in our “First year seminar” class. Her academics are first-rate; one student claimed she “single-handedly got the class through E&M [electricity and magnetism].” Research: After spending some months stabilizing a sensitive device, she gave a research talk wherein she wrote she had achieved measurements with “notably lower standard deviations and … higher signal-to-noise ratio.” Collegiality: Overall she is a level-headed, calm, dependable person who brings a high degree of scholarship, common sense, and energy to whatever she does. We were thrilled to have her. Physics Faculty

Personal Statement

I feel honored and thankful for this award. While I have had tremendous support from the entire Physics and Astronomy department, I would like to specifically thank Drs. Fred Gittes and Brian Saam. These two faculty members have lent me support and provided me guidance that has fundamentally shaped my undergraduate career and will continue to influence me throughout my journey though graduate school and beyond. I would also like to thank my family for their support and constant encouragement. I look forward to starting the graduate program in the fall!

Future Plans

Accepted to the WSU Physics and Astronomy PhD program.

Long-term she would like to work in a national lab to be involved in fundamental physics research, specifically in atomic molecular and optical physics.