Willie Julkes ’20, Mesa, Ariz.
What has your experience at Concordia been like?
The courses are tough, but the small class sizes have allowed me to have one-on-one time with faculty. Because Concordia is a smaller college, I get to be a two-sport athlete and I’ve been able to get the financial aid support that I need, which allows me to stay focused on my classes and do the best I can.
What activities are you involved in?
I am on both the football and track & field teams. I'm a part of a couple of faith groups, Athletes In Action (AIA) and Cru. I am also in the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and have a work-study position.
Tell me about the research you conducted this past summer.
My research was on plasma physics. We made plasma systems and created plasma to see if we could handle it and do so in a safe manner and also to use these plasma systems to test known theories and gain a better understanding of plasma physics. Our overall goal is to eventually add a plasma experiment to an upper-level undergraduate physics lab.
Did you work with other students or professors? If so, how did working on a team affect your research?
I ran this research experiment with another senior physics major, Alex Brueske. We both are under the mentorship of Dr. Matthew ArchMiller. Working with others, these individuals especially, made the experience more fun and allowed us to divide and conquer at times when needed, matching certain tasks to certain people’s skill sets.
What do you plan to do with the results of this research?
I’m going to use this experience as a resource for later in life if I happen to go into a field where knowledge of plasma physics or vacuum systems is needed. In regard to the experiment itself, it is up to the next group of students to build off of our research until it is ready to be added to an undergraduate physics lab.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I’ll either head to graduate school for engineering or find a job as an engineer.