St. Olaf College | News

Three students named Rossing Physics Scholars

Kevin Dalla Santa ’14

Three St. Olaf College students have been named Rossing Physics Scholars for 2013-14.

Kevin Dalla Santa ’14, Rebecca Gobel ’14, and Leah Roth ’14 will each receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation through the Rossing Fund for Physics Education Endowment.

The award is given to outstanding physics students selected from across the nation.

Rebecca Gobel ’14

Dalla Santa is majoring in physics, mathematics, and music. This summer he will continue working with St. Olaf faculty members Bob Jacobel and Knut Christianson ’05 — whose work with a research team in western Antarctica has garnered international media attention — to study the response of glaciers to climate change.

Gobel is majoring in physics, mathematics, and economics. Like Dalla Santa, she has worked alongside Jacobel and Christianson the last two summers in the St. Olaf Center for Geophysical Studies of Ice and Climate (CEGSIC). She presented that research at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting.

Leah Roth ’14

Roth is majoring in physics and computer science. She recently completed an independent research project, with guidance from St. Olaf faculty member Amy Kolan, investigating marginal networks. Roth also worked extensively with former faculty member Angela Reisetter on research for the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and has worked alongside researchers at both the University of Chicago Materials Research Center and the University of Minnesota Department of Agronomy and Crop Research. Roth has presented her research at several symposiums.

All three St. Olaf students plan to pursue graduate degrees — Dalla Santa in physics, Gobel in applied mathematics, and Roth in soft condensed matter.

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.