Colin Walters’ love of science began at the age of 13 when his aunt took him to a lecture by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Now a freshman at Marietta College, Walters of Hilliard, Ohio, is taking the first steps toward achieving his goal of working for a large aerospace company, thanks to the Rickey Scholarship.
The Rickey Scholarship in Physics is a renewable full scholarship for up to four years that is awarded to students majoring in physics. Recipients must not only demonstrate academic excellence, but also consider pursuing graduate studies and a career in science or technology. The scholarship was established by David M. Rickey, class of 1978, Jan Nielsen through their J&D Family Foundation.
Walters, along with Aditya Shah from Birgunj, Nepal, are this year’s recipients.
For Walters, specializing in physics will help him learn to tackle complex problems and work as a team. He is confident that these skills, along with his accompanying math major, will one day prepare him to work for SpaceX or NASA, or to work with rocket engines or materials at a private military contractor.
In the meantime, Walters hopes to spend a summer studying dark matter and dark energy through a research grant – a benefit Rickey Fellows are automatically eligible for.
“I would absolutely love to dig deeper into this subject and try to understand how it affects our worlds”, Walters said.
Tom Perry, vice president of communications and brand management at Marietta College, said the scholarship is offered through Marietta College and has been awarded since 2001 primarily to high school students entering high school. university as well as students who study and excel in physics. .
âIt varies depending on the number of students it’s assigned to,â Perry said.
They had a year where it was not awarded to a year when they had four recipients.
âThere is an academic component to coming out of high school and a student can earn it after being here as well,â Perry said. âIf a student comes here and decides to major in physics after their first year, they can also qualify and apply for that and maintain the grades, they can also be lucky enough to get it.
âWe’ve had a few. ”
Marietta College has had three recipients who earned it after their freshman year.
There is a process by which applicants compete for scholarships on Marietta College Scholars Day, meet faculty members, and go through interviews.
For this year’s other Rickey Scholar, Aditya Shah, being awarded the scholarship allowed her to come to America for college. When Shah, who grew up in Nepal, told his parents that he wanted to continue his post-high school education in the United States, they told him he had to find a way to pay for it.
“I did it,” he said.
Shah has a passion for physics because no matter where he lives, the subject allows him to discover information that can help the whole world. After graduating from Marietta, he plans to get his doctorate. and continue his personal research in the fields of electromagnetic and quantum physics.
He also plans to return to Nepal to teach and encourage the next generation of scientists by bringing a more hands-on – and fun – approach to the subject.
As he adapts to a new language and culture, Shah is grateful for the personalized experience Marietta offers. Nepal and the United States are “Complete opposites”, he says, and being in a small college gives him an advantage.
Ultimately, her first semester at Marietta was the fulfillment of a long-held dream.
“It’s a great trip for me” he said.