Alumni News

October 20, 2017 at 11:23 am

Notable Alumni | Physics Alum Says Do What You Love

Costel Constantin spoke with current graduate students at as part of NQPI's "Bring OUr Alumni Back" series. Shown here sitting at a table and talking.

Costel Constantin spoke with current graduate students at as part of NQPI’s “Bring OUr Alumni Back” series.

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences launches the Notable Alumni Awards, honoring 37 Notable Alumni in 2017 for broad accomplishments in their careers, a commitment to community service at Ohio University, and valuable contributions to Ohio University, the College of Arts & Sciences, and its students.

Costel Constantin ’03M.S., ’06Ph.D. Physics

By Amanda Biederman
NQPI editorial intern

Twelve years after earning his Ph.D. in Physics in 2006 under the direction of NQPI member Dr. Arthur Smith, Costel Constantin returned to Athens to share experiences and insight with current Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute students.

Constantin’s lunch meeting was the fourth of the “Bring OUr Alumni Back” series, an effort to connect NQPI students with recent graduates who have achieved success working in academia and industry.

A group of graduate and undergraduate students attended the event. Constantin, who is now a tenured professor at James Madison University, offered advice on resume writing, meetings with potential employers, and differences between the lifestyles of careers in industry and academia.

Constantin said the culture of JMU is similar to that of Ohio University, stating that both institutions foster a welcoming, student-centered atmosphere. Constantin grew up in Romania, and he said the OHIO Physics & Astronomy Department quickly became his “first family in America.”

“They embraced us,” Constantin said. “They received us like their kids.  Everything was exciting. A lot of things were different … but I was eager to learn.”

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Constantin offered two pieces of advice to current students. First, he urged students to publish as many papers as possible in order to maximize their reputations in their field of study. Second, he advised young researchers to select career paths that work best for their personal and professional goals, rather than focusing on monetary opportunities. Do what you love, he advised, and the money will follow.

“I would look first for jobs that I can put my heart into,” Constantin said, relating that he even worked for free at JMU before being hired as a faculty member. “Then, after finding that job, I would then look for the money.”

Visit the NQPI website for information about other upcoming events.

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