Originally from Altoona, PA, Michael completed his bachelor’s degree in physics at West Virginia University. He just completed a gap year in training as a post-baccalaureate research assistant before moving into his PhD program this fall.
Michael chose a gap year in between his bachelors’ program and his graduate program to fully immerse in research, allowing him to grow as a self-sustaining researcher.“I was able to audit graduate level classes and keep engaged as a student but wasn't completely overwhelmed with the change in magnitude of the courses.” His research advisor was Dr. Maura McLaughlin.
Looking back at his research opportunities, Michael notes “my advisor has given me tools and taught me how to use them so I can pursue independent research, write papers, and thrive in the challenging academic environment that is graduate school. WVU Astronomy, along with my advisor, has shown me how to develop any skill necessary to succeed as a scientist.”
Of course, he loves his research, but he also appreciates the passion and unity of the people around him.“We are bound together by our mutual, profound respect and fascination with the nature of our universe” states Michael.
He will be moving to Montana where he will be studying physics at Montana State University in their physics PhD program. He hopes to study galaxy evolution and super massive black holes.
We wish Michael continued success in graduate school!