June 12, 2020 at 4:07 pm

Physics & Astronomy Alumni Chronicles, 2000-2020


Bassem Sabra (Ph.D. 2000, Shields) writes: “I am still at Notre Dame University – Louaize in Lebanon. I was promoted in September of last year (2018) to full professor. I recently completed a 10-week continuing education on space systems engineering. I will be taking part in building the Lebanese space program through cubesat technology.  I have two kids: Judy (7) and Mohamad (5). Both want to be astronauts but Moh is afraid of rockets! My wife, Rania, is a physics professor at the Lebanese University. Sometimes it feels like a physics department at home, especially during finals. Poor kids.”

Chieh Jen (Jerry) Yang (Ph.D. 2010, Phillips) writes: “I am currently doing postdoc in Chalmers University, Sweden.”


Keith Hawkins (HTC Astrophysics, B.S. 2013) returned to campus in October to receive the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award at the OHIO Alumni Association’s 78th annual Alumni Awards Gala. He also gave an invited astrophysics seminar talk. Keith serves as a member of the Honors Tutorial College’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and was a Simons Junior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University.

Keith is now an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, where he focuses on galactic & stellar archaeology, chemical composition of stars, stellar spectroscopy, and galactic structure.

Yashashree Jadhav (HTC Astrophysics, B.S., 2014) moved to Seoul, South Korea where she is starting a new position as a Researcher at Seoul National University. Jadhav received a Ph.D. from Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2019.

Mahvand Khamesian (Ph.D. 2018, Neiman) is now a Physics Lecturer at Loyola University Chicago.

Larousse Khosravi Khorashad (Ph.D. 2017, Govorov) writes: “After a Ph.D. in 2017, I went to start my professional career in San Diego in theoretical and computational physics in the University of California, San Diego in Prof. Liu’s Group. After one year, I came back to Ohio University to work in Prof. Govorov’s group as postdoctoral researcher. Meanwhile, I received the NQPI Dissertation Award based on the quality and breadth of my work.”

Pratheesh Jakkala (Ph.D. 2017, Kordesch) returned to campus to conduct summer research in Marty Kordesch’s lab. Jakkala was an Assistant Professor of Physics at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. This coming year Jakkala will return to the state of Ohio where he has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Cincinnati.

Sean Krupa (Ph.D. 2016, Stinaff) writes: “I have a few small tidbits to report. First, my fiancée, Leann, and I will be getting married this Oct. 12. Secondly, I’ve just accepted a position at Penn State University’s Electro-Optics Center, part of their Applied Research Laboratory, as a Research and Development Engineer. I start with Penn State in November.”

Sean McGraw (Ph.D. 2016, Shields) writes: “Upon finishing the Ph.D. program at OHIO in 2016, I spent eight months as a postdoctoral research fellow at Penn State University, where I studied appearance and disappearance events in absorption lines using data from a large spectroscopic survey. I then relocated to join my wife, Andra, in beautiful Switzerland, and I have been working as a risk modeling & analytics specialist for UBS bank since January 2018.  At UBS I am tasked with validating models related to monitoring & surveillance, financial crime, and more recently artificial intelligence.” Sean is married to Andrada-Oana Mandru (Ph.D. 2016, Smith), and the couple dropped by to see Joe Shields in his office during the summer when they visited campus.

Editor’s Note: The Department’s YouTube video of Sean McGraw sharing tips to prepare for a successful Three-Minute Thesis 3MT® presentation has received more than 48,000 views. Visit us on YouTube at ‘OhioUPhysics’ and search ‘Winning Tips’ to watch Sean.

Anup Pandey (Ph.D. 2017, Drabold) is a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Greg Petersen (Ph.D. 2013, Sandler) Petersen returned to campus this past summer to lead a three-day workshop for physics and engineering students and faculty (pictured) that focused on software systems design and architecture. Greg lives in Minneapolis, MN, where he is Lead Engineer for Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling at TSI Inc., where he specializes in machine learning, mathematical modeling, data analysis, physics-based simulations, system building, and software development.

Brett Ragozzine (Ph.D. 2013, Clowe) writes: “I visited OHIO earlier this year to speak to students about transitioning from academia to the field of data science. I have had a great career in data science for the past six years. It was very nice to visit and spend time with faculty and students alike, talking about my career in data science and what others can do if they are thinking about doing the same. My work this last year has been contracting with two companies. I have built models of the top-producing product lines for ZAGG (a mobile accessory company). I am finishing that contract this summer. My attention now is working in the role of Chief Data Science Officer for (provides lead enrichment and insights), which has recently become my full-time job. My family in 2013 (after graduation) – Wife (Angie) and 3 boys (Skyler 7, Wesley 6, Brigham 1)

Andrea Richard (Ph.D. 2018, Crawford) Andrea graduated in May 2018 and started working at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University. She is currently a Nuclear Science and Security Consortium postdoctoral fellow working on constraining neutron-capture cross sections for basic research, astrophysics, and applications using beta-decay total absorption spectroscopy. Andrea works closely with collaborators from the University of Oslo in Norway where she spent some time this summer (see photo for group of collaborators at the Akershus Castle!).

Yuan Zhang (Ph.D. 2014, Hla) is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

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