Why did you choose to attend FSU to pursue a graduate degree?
I came across the Department of Scientific Computing at FSU and became intrigued by the various applications/concentrations and opportunities offered. I heard about the Fire Dynamics program at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute and how it is a partnered degree in Scientific Computing and became immediately interested in this research and it’s importance in the world today..
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
I am a first-generation college student and the first in my family to pursue a PhD. I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue higher education, although I’ve had some turns in the road along the way. Setting an example for the younger generation in my family is what keeps me going.
Importance of your research and work
My research deals with simulating major wildland fire events to further understand the parameters and physical variables that play a role in their inception and development. I specifically study cloud microphysics and microstructure of clouds that form above wildfires (pyrocumulus/cumulonimbus clouds). These clouds can further develop into severe thunderstorms with lightning that may ignite more fires. Being able to investigate fire-atmosphere interactions and mechanisms is crucial to being able to fully understand how these phenomenon develop.
Advice for prospective graduate students
Do it! Do your research and meet with faculty and students before deciding on where to go. Graduate school is an exciting time of self-discovery and delving into a specific area of research. You make so many valuable connections and amplify your network!
Accomplishments during graduate career
I presented research at the end of my first semester at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. I also participated in the Computational Physics Summer Workshop at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM at the end of my first year. I made so many professional connections and am now working as a Graduate Research Assistant at LANL with an FSU alum from my program as my mentor.
I would eventually like to be a professor at a well-reputed research institution. I am hoping to gain experience working as a Staff Scientist at a research lab before working in academia, since having experience in the work force would allow me to become a better overall researcher and would allow me to better understand how to help students.
Right now, I am receiving funding through Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Graduate Research Assistant. I have also applied for several fellowships.