Three St. Olaf students earn Rossing Physics Scholarships
St. Olaf College student Lucas Sletten ’15 has been named a Rossing Physics Scholar for 2014–15, and Owen Puls ’16 and Adam Wood ’16 each earned an honorable mention.
Sletten will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation through the Rossing Fund for Physics Education Endowment. Puls and Wood will each receive a $7,000 scholarship from the foundation.
The award is given each year to outstanding physics students selected from across the nation.
Sletten is majoring in mathematics and physics. He has spent two summers and a semester conducting physics and material science research with St. Olaf Associate Professor of Physics Brian Borovsky ’94 through the St. Olaf Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry program. Sletten has presented research in a variety of settings, including at a Gordon Conference on tribology and at the SeaGate headquarters.
In addition to being named a Rossing Physics Scholar, Sletten also received an honorable mention for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in experimental physics.
Wood is majoring in mathematics. This summer he will continue to advance the research he began last year through a CURI program on geophysics and glaciers with Professor Emeritus of Physics Robert Jacobel and the St. Olaf Center for Geophysical Studies of Ice and Climate. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in physics.
Puls is majoring in physics. He has worked with St. Olaf Professor of Physics Amy Kolan to study the rigidity of triangular spring networks. This summer he will examine soft condensed matter physics at the University of Pennsylvania through a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program hosted by the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter. He plans pursuing a Ph.D. in physics.
Gifts from Thomas Rossing established the Rossing Fund for Physics Education Endowment in the ELCA Foundation in 2005. The goals of the scholarship program are to encourage top students to attend one of the 27 ELCA colleges and universities in the country, and to consider pursuing physics once they are there. Rossing taught at St. Olaf for 14 years, is a professor emeritus of physics at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and is currently a visiting professor of music at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.