BS '10 Physics
Erin Stranford graduate May 2010 with degrees in both physics and applied mathematics. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, she came to TU as a National Merit Finalist and received the TU Presidential Scholarship, the university’s most prestigious student award. During her senior year at TU, she received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships worth more than $100,000.
She is now enrolled at Cornell and plans to complete her Ph.D. in optical physics. Her professional goal is to become a research scientist and professor at the university level specializing in quantum optics.
While at TU, Stranford was an officer in the Society of Physics Students and has been actively involved with the Journal Club, the TU physics department’s outreach program for local high school students. Her undergraduate research at TU investigated new ways to detect environmental toxins through chemical sensing waves — research that helped her prepare for the NSF fellowship and beyond.
“A main component of the NSF application is describing past research experiences, so I was able to discuss the research I have done at TU and at summer internships,” Stranford said.
Working with her faculty mentor, Associate Professor Scott Holmstrom, her research is a collaborative effort with the Naval Research Laboratories and Johns Hopkins University. She also has conducted research at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and at the University of Colorado.