About

I am originally from Fort Madison, Iowa, where I graduated from Holy Trinity Catholic High School in 2010. I received my BS in Physics and Mathematics from Iowa State University in 2014. During the summer of 2013, I participated in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. There, my interest grew in plasma physics and fusion energy research. That brought me to the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, where I received my PhD in Plasma Physics from the MIT Department of Physics in 2019.

Now I am a postdoc at the MIT PSFC working on the JET tokamak, sited at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy just outside of Oxford, UK.

Activities

I sing! Currently, I am singing with the OXFORD BACH CHOIR, one of the oldest choirs in Oxford. Watch my past concerts of Britten/Vaughan Williams with the MIT CHAMBER CHORUS (April 2018) and my favorite piece, Carmina Burana, with the MIT CONCERT CHOIR (May 2017). I have also had the distinct honors of singing with Jacob Collier in this Emmy-winning documentary (December 2016), as well as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Handel+Haydn Society for its bicentennial celebration (July 2015).

As a GRADUATE RESIDENT TUTOR in Simmons Hall at MIT, I lived with and mentored over 300 MIT undergraduate students. I enjoyed every minute living in the Sponge – a porous building with its own song – and getting to know some amazingly-talented, smart, and quirky kids. Read more about my experience as a GRT and playing scootah hockey here.

During summer 2017, I taught introductory Python to 80+ Palestinian and Israeli high schoolers participating in the Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET) program.  Based in Jerusalem, we met with students 5.5 days a week with the aim of fostering a welcoming, collaborative learning environment. Read more about my MEET experience with PSFC lab-mates here.

Teaching

  • TA for 22.63 Engineering Principles for Fusion Reactors, taught by Prof Dennis Whyte | Fall 2018
  • Completed Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program | Spring 2018
  • TA/Grader for 8.624 Plasma Waves, taught by Prof Miklos Porkolab | Spring 2017
  • TA/Grader for 8.613J/22.611J Introduction to Plasma Physics, taught by Prof Anne White | Fall 2015

Education

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Cambridge, MA, USA – PhD in Physics, Department of Physics, Plasma Science and Fusion Center, June 2019

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, Ames, IA, USA – BS in Physics and Mathematics, summa cum laude and with Honors, May 2014

HOLY TRINITY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, Fort Madison, IA, USA – Valedictorian, May 2010

Honors and Awards

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative Fellow | 2014-present
  • Student Marshall/Convocation Speaker, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University | 2014
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta Chapter of Iowa, Ruth and Clayton Swenson Award in the Sciences | 2013
  • National Merit Scholarship | 2010

In the news

A new path to solving a longstanding fusion challenge | MIT News | 9 October 2018

Bridging the divide with technology | MIT News | 14 November 2017

Profile in From Graphene to Galaxies: Graduate Physics at MIT | pages 4-7 | March 2017

PSFC invites the public to “Ask Me Anything” | PSFC | 24 October 2016

High-intensity fusion | MIT News | 14 October 2016

Alex Tinguely: Working toward a fusion future | MIT News | 20 November 2015

Outreach

Energy Night provides close-up look at MIT’s fusion future | PSFC | 31 October 2018

Connecting with students, teachers and research colleagues at APS-DPP | PSFC | 3 November 2017

Scientists work side-by-side with students at Bay View High School | WTMJ-TV Milwaukee | 24 October 2017

Connecting with kids at AAAS | PSFC | 22 February 2017

PSFC fusion outreach ignites in Spring | PSFC | 10 May 2016

PSFC Local Outreach Programs Follow Recent National Efforts | PSFC | 9 December 2015

Blog posts

Addir: Where scientists talk religion | MIT Graduate Admissions | April 2018

My Life as a GRT/Two Time Scootah Hockey World Champion | MIT Graduate Admissions | March 2018