Meet Anna Marlatt: B.S. Physics/B.A. Astronomy '16
Why did you decide to major in the physics and astronomy department?
I first fell in love with physics and astronomy in my ninth grade Earth Science class. I was fortunate enough to have attended a high school with a planetarium that offered several physics and astronomy courses. Wayne State was the ideal choice for me because they offered both options.
When I was scoping out schools, I was invited to campus to take a look around, meet with professors and was even treated to dinner to discuss what I would like from my school. I was impressed with not only their capabilities but the hospitality which they treated their potential students.
What did you do after you graduated? Did you go to graduate school or get a job?
Immediately after graduating, I started working at College Park Industries, a company that designs and manufactures prosthetic devices. Originally, I applied to work in their customer service department so I could start earning money after graduation. Because of my research background, I was quickly asked to work on a research project.
That's when the engineering manager found out about my background and quickly took me in! I've been working in engineering fields ever since. Had I not had the research experience and strong math and physics background, I never would have been considered for work in engineering. Now, I am currently seeking a master's degree in engineering while continuing to work.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
All of the professors and staff at Wayne State were great during my time there. Dr. Cinabro really went above and beyond for me. I dealt with some health issues throughout my time at Wayne State and Dr. Cinabro was extremely accommodating and made sure that I could still be a successful student. He also advised me during the REU program.
Did you do undergraduate research? If so, what skills did it give you?
Yes, I participated in both the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and the Richard Barber Interdisciplinary Research Program. Nothing ever goes according to plan in research and that was my experience! Both opportunities were great learning experiences where I was able to put to work my problem-solving skills. It also gave me insight into working with teams of different technical backgrounds which is something you'll experience every day when working.
What was your favorite thing about the department?
My favorite thing about the physics and astronomy department was the wealth of opportunities that it provided its students. There were multiple scholarships, research and job opportunities, as well as student organizations and events to get together with your peers. In my time in the department, I was able to obtain scholarships, participate in two paid research programs, work with a professor under an assistantship which was also paid, participate in selecting the new department dean as the student representative and serve as an officer in the Society of Physics Students.
What advice would you give to current students?
Don't be intimidated! I was always a shy student and nervous that double majoring in physics and astronomy would be too much. I took my time and made sure to reach out when I needed more help and everyone is more than willing to accommodate.
This meant that in addition to attending classes and graduating, I was able to participate in student organizations and research projects. All of this is the reason that I am employed today! The whole department has your best interest at heart to help you reach your goals.