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Physics

Your classes will be small classes, led by faculty members who know you as an individual. Lab work in state-of-the-art facilities will be central to your studies. As a senior physics major, you will conduct an in-depth research project with a faculty member. The projects often produce work that is presented at professional conferences or published in scholarly journals. Astronomy is offered as minor as part of the Physics Department.

Isabella Schoning '16
Isabella Schoening '16

A student’s mix: Physics, Russian and a Gillman award

A regimented academic path? Why? Isabella Schoning ’16 was interested in so many things during her first year at Hamilton she took courses in seven departments and not one was physics. Still, she’s managed to double major in physics and Russian studies – and study abroad.

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Schoning went to St. Petersburg, Russia, an experience supported a Gilman International Scholarship Program award. She is a dean’s list scholar and the 2014 recipient of the College Scholar Athlete Award. She’s also worked as a College tour guide, taught English to refugees and is a member of the women’s varsity tennis team.

She says she was a late bloomer when it comes to physics and didn’t take any physics courses her first year. Still, she managed to make it a major and engage in her other wide-ranging interests. “I love all of my (physics) professors. The classes are definitely rigorous, but I found that the challenge creates an even tighter community among the students in the class. Every week we meet up outside of class to work on problem sets together,” Schoning says.

Stephanie Higgins Bealing ’04 presenting at a Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs Awards ceremony, just before she won an award.
Stephanie Higgins Bealing ’04 presenting at a Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs Awards ceremony, just before she won an award.

A graduate’s progress: more degrees, a new direction

Since her Hamilton College days, physics major Stephanie Higgins Bealing ’04 has earned two advanced degrees and launched two businesses. “Studying physics definitely prepared me for all of the problem solving that is needed when you run your own show,” she says.

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After Hamilton, Bealing studied materials science engineering, with a focus on fuel cell research, at the University of Connecticut’s Institute of Materials Science. She also did research at Imperial College London. Bealing landed a job at Rolls-Royce in the United Kingdom, but after a few years returned to school to earn a master’s in business administration from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. That’s when she fell in love with entrepreneurship.

“I founded my own company, Replacement Lens Express, in 2010, and am very happily self-employed. Last year I started another company, Little Red Golf Shop, which I hope will meet with the same success as RLE,” she says.

Bealing’s minor in studio art played a role in her trajectory, even though she says she nearly failed ceramics.

“My ceramics professor was slightly baffled that I could comprehend quantum physics yet I couldn’t throw a decent mug. He encouraged me to look into ceramic engineering, which is what led me to UConn.,” she says.