2019 UA High School Physics Contest Career Panel

The 43rd Annual University of Alabama High School Physics Contest will be held on Friday, February 1, 2019, at the Ferguson Center on the campus of the University of Alabama. This event is open to all high schools and usually attracts schools from surrounding states as well as many from Alabama. As with last year, we will be holding a career panel to advise high school students about their options if they choose to pursue a Physics degree. The panel will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. in the Ferguson Ballroom.


Our panelists this year include:

John Weis has been an Education Specialist with NASA for the last 14 years. He is currently stationed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In addition to providing online professional development for educators, John is responsible for educational outreach including professional development for pre-service and in-service teachers, community programs, and liaising with state and local education agencies in the Marshall region of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee.

John earned a BS in Science and Mathematics Teaching with an emphasis in Mathematics and Physics from the Florida State University and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton. Before joining NASA education, he spent 10 years as a secondary science teacher in Volusia County, Florida. His areas of specialization include Mathematics, Physics, Earth/Space Science, and Astronomy.

Dr. Adam Hauser research focuses on the interplay of electronic, magnetic, and structural properties in tailored complex material systems. Understanding these complex interactions will result in the next generation of magnetic and electronic materials.  For details, please visit: http://hauserlab.ua.edu/

Dr. Hauser received his PhD in Physics from The Ohio State University in 2010. He won the California NanoSystems Institute Elings Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at the University of California Santa Barbara from 2012-2015. Dr. Hauser joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2015.

Dr. Jeremy Bailin is a theoretical astrophysicist investigating the nature of galaxy formation, studying how the nearly-uniform Universe that existed after the Big Bang transformed over almost 14 billion years into galaxies like the Milky Way. Dr. Bailin is particularly interested in the structure and history of spiral galaxies, their dark matter and stellar halos, and their satellites — small dwarf galaxies and globular star clusters that orbit far from the galaxy.

Dr. Bailin received his doctoral degree from the University of Arizona in 2004. He joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2012.

Dr. Dawn Williams is an astroparticle physicist who uses measurements of neutrinos, cosmic rays and gamma rays from outside the solar system to explore the high energy Universe. Dr. Williams group is developing techniques to identify tau neutrinos detected with the IceCube experiment, the largest neutrino detector on Earth, located at the geographic South Pole, deep in the Antarctic icecap. IceCube was built to detect the most energetic astrophysical neutrinos from objects such as accreting super massive black holes and gamma ray bursts.

Dr. Williams received her doctoral degree from UCLA in 2004. She joined the faculty of The University of Alabama in 2008.

Julie Covin (Teacher/ASIM) is the Physics Specialist for Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM) at the University of Alabama. She works through the UA/UWA In-Service Teacher Education Center with 12 school systems in nine counties in West Central Alabama.  She provides training, equipment and support to teachers of high school physics. ”

Kayla Cole Piepke is a PhD student working in the field of material sciences.

Allie McCarthy is a junior studying astrophysics and aerospace engineering. She plans on getting her PhD in astrophysics.

Other Resources:

American Physical Society (APS): Find physics job listings, education and career advice (e.g.,Why Study Physics?), upcoming workshops and meetings, and career and job-related resources.

American Institute of Physics (AIP): Find employment data for physicists and astronomers, hiring trendscareer options (PDF), and other career resources.

Previous HSPC Career Panels can be found at:

2018 HSPC Career Panel
2017 HSPC Career Panel
2016 HSPC Career Panel

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