Mandi Crowder ('12) | Physics
Future medical physicist
from Austin, Texas
When honors student Mandi Crowder began looking for a university to study physics, ACU stood out.
"ACU provides so many opportunities that you don't get to experience at other universities, especially the chance to do research as an undergraduate," she says.
I really think the educational level is higher because you have such personal connections with your teachers and your peers. We're learning so much more because of the people around us and the close-knit family we have become.
Since then, she has spent a summer at Fermilab national accelerator laboratory and another summer at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center working with nuclear physics.
"In our summer research at Fermilab, the experience was enlightenment - realizing the reality of physics," she says. "We had been in classes, just learning the foundations, but in research we really learned the applied ways to use physics."
At M.D. Anderson, Mandi served on a team that researched a procedure to treat cancer tumors through internal radiotherapy. She presented her research at a nuclear physics conference in Santa Fe, N.M., in November.
"I was a freshman when I applied to Fermilab," Mandi says. "And it led to other opportunities such as the CEU conference in Hawaii, where we got to collaborate with the physics society in Japan, and learn about different cultures and learn about things going on in labs all over the world.
"It makes me really proud of ACU to know that we have so many opportunities for undergrads," Mandi says. "What I thought was amazing were the opportunities to experience applied physics. So it's not just sitting in a classroom and writing down random equations. It's actually knowing what you're learning and why you’re doing this."
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