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COSAM Student Sets Sights on Future as Physics Professor

Published: 02/12/2019

By: Carla Nelson

Although Auburn University student Sam Levenson has only been a student of the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) for one year, he said he believes he has found his future calling as a physics professor.

Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Sam was a National Merritt Scholar in high school. He chose to attend Auburn after first visiting the University of Alabama.

“I felt like Auburn was an incredible place. Everyone I talked to was really nice and friendly,” he said. “It felt right. I felt like I got a lot more personal attention at Auburn.”

Sam started Auburn as a chemical engineering student, but soon after switched to a double major in aerospace engineering and physics. Sam became a Supplemental Instruction Leader through Academic Support his sophomore year and discovered a passion for teaching. Last spring he changed his major to focus solely on physics.

“That job kind of made me realize that I wanted to go down this road,” Sam said of becoming a professor. “It’s incredibly fulfilling to help people understand physics because I love it so much and I want to share that.”

Sam is currently a teaching assistant for Dr. Minseo Park, teaching the lab portion of Engineering Physics II. He has also conducted research for the last year in the Magnetized Plasma Research Laboratory for Dr. Edward Thomas, Jr., associate dean for research and graduate studies. Sam and another student are building up equipment to run an experiment to test a theoretical model for magnetized plasmas.

“Dr. Thomas has been an amazing mentor,” Sam said. “Working for him has been so rewarding.”

Sam has made the Dean’s List every semester and is on track to graduate after just three years at Auburn in May. He plans to attend graduate school after graduation.

Sam said his last year as a COSAM student has been rewarding.

“There are so many outlets and facilities that COSAM has to help students learn,” he said. “There are so many good resources COSAM has for younger students to learn and get comfortable with the material. And I just can’t say enough positive things about the physics faculty and the physics department.”

 

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