Home grown in Kenosha, Wis., Danielle Weiland ’14 has been familiar with Carthage for a while. She got to know the campus while attending her high school’s football games, which were played at Keller Field.
But it was the research opportunities for undergraduate students that got Danielle interested in attending Carthage as a student. Research opportunities are available to all students, regardless of their class year, she said. She jumped into research right away, and is now a veteran member of the Carthage Microgravity Team, conducting research for NASA on a zero-gravity aircraft.
Danielle has always known that she wanted to major in physics.
“I enjoy physics more than any other subject,” she said. “When a problem works out, it is like an entire new world has opened up. Everything about physics is amazing.”
She says the biggest strength of the Carthage Physics and Astronomy Department is the department’s dedicated faculty. “They make us what we are and help us succeed, no matter what our goals are,” she explained.
As a member of the Carthage Microgravity Team, Danielle traveled to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in 2011 and 2012 to present and run an experiment that she and her fellow students designed.
“The hard work paid off once we got to Houston for the zero-g testing,” Danielle said of the year-long research process. “We got to meet tons of great people who work for NASA who can help us get internships there in the future, and even an astronaut.”
After graduation, she hopes to attend Embry-Riddle University in Florida for Aerospace Engineering and continue doing experimental research for NASA.
“To work for Boeing and continue doing research for NASA.”
“My favorite professor so far is Dr. Jean Quashnock because he keeps the class entertained while he teaches.”
“My favorite class so far was Calculus I with Professor Aaron Trautwein because I was scared of that class in high school, but Prof. Trautwein made everything less scary. I ended up receiving a perfect grade.”
“Right now my toughest class is Differential Equations because I have only had Prof. Trautwein teaching math so far at Carthage. It’s hard to get used to another math professor’s style.”
“Along with the Microgravity Team, I am in Society of Physics Students (SPS) and hope to be the president of SPS my senior year.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“My favorite moments are definitely the late nights spent in B-2 trying to focus on getting our microgravity research done.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“How close everyone in the Physics Department is.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Don’t be afraid of physics. It’s tough, but the teachers are there to get you through until you graduate.”