Summer Research – 2016 REU at Penn State

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years I was able to attend a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at The Pennsylvania University. I learned so much from this experience and had a lot of fun while doing it. My graduate student mentor explained new concepts really well and I learned so much about what graduate school is about. I was able to gain experience in what doing research is about by completing my own short research project and presenting; through a 5-minute talk and at a poster session (me and my poster at right).


Abstract of project: Abstract_2016_S.Lewis


Image created from my research



First Year, Spring Semester Reflection

I was quite surprised by how quickly spring semester flew by. Again, I learned a lot from my classes, and with each semester that passes I learn more about how to study and schedule my time to achieve a nice school, work, life balance.

First Year, Autumn Semester Reflection

          Coming into OSU I was extremely sure about some things and couldn’t stop worrying about other things. I was confident I wouldn’t get homesick but I worried about being able to make new friends. I was determined to keep on top of my assignments and study a lot and not forget to contact people at home every once in a while but I doubted I would actually be able to do all of these things. Overall I was confident that my base personality wouldn’t change.

          Now that the end of the semester has come I can see how things really turned out. I realized that I do actually get homesick and that it’s easy to make friends if you just go up and introduce yourself to new people. I did keep on top of assignments but didn’t study or contact people at home as nearly as often as I had wanted. Although I think my base personality hasn’t changed, I did realize a lot more about my values and traits than I knew before. I realized that when I want to be I can be very outgoing and friendly and I also realized that there is more to studying than doing the homework and reading the book. The biggest thing I learned this semester was that people aren’t always what they seem to be on the outside and that anyone can have an interesting story to tell. I really enjoyed the many talks I had with people that came from all over the world. I look forward to next year and more opportunities to discover more about myself and the people around me.

Guiding Words – Challenge by Donna Waltz


This is a work of art called Challenge made by Donna M Waltz, a digital artist and scientist. While I was with my father at a convention, Waltz’s works interested us so we went over and started talking with her. At that time I was not sure what I wanted to do in college and then later on in life. I was conflicted because I enjoyed both scientific things and artistic pursuits, such as playing my piano and drawing landscape pictures. This came up as we were talking with her and she pointed out to me that just because you choose to become a scientist it does not mean that you cannot also pursue the arts. Although it seems very obvious now, back then I felt that choosing one thing would mean giving up the other. Now, whenever I look at this picture hanging up on my wall, I am reminded about the duality and even multiplicity of many things. One thing doesn’t define anyone’s personality, dreams, or interests. Just because you are a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t have skills and knowledge of and obtain great enjoyment from the arts. Like Waltz signed on the back of my work, “You can be an Artistic Scientist!”.



“G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where I will write about how my planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.


G – Global Awareness

In the future I plan on doing research abroad and then to continue collaborating with people from around the world as I continue my career. I love how everyone has such a variety of backgrounds and stories that allows them to bring a unique perspective to a problem and help find a solution that actually works.


O – Original Inquiry

I am currently communicating with a professor to decide if I would be good fit for their lab group. If so I will be doing research with his group. I plan to actively engage in research in any way I can each semester and even summers. After graduating I plan on continuing on to graduate school and then pursuing a career in research.


A – Academic Enrichment

This past summer (2016) I attended a research experience for undergraduates (REU) at The Pennsylvania State University. This experience really engaged me in learning about new concepts and how they applied to my research project. I plan to pursue more such experiences every summer that allow me to learn things that I might not learn in the classroom and apply these things to real world problems.


L – Leadership Development

I am currently involved in the Solar Education and Outreach club. Last year (Spring 2016) I became a co-project leader. With club input, I and my fellow project leader will develop and lead projects for the group to work on. I plan to gradually assume more leadership responsibility in this club. At my current job at Traditions at Kennedy and 12th Avenue Bread Company I help teach new students that come in and am learning more and more skills that I can then teach to others. In the future I plan on being able to lead my own research group and so will continue to develop my leadership and mentoring skills.


S – Service Engagement

As part of the Solar Education and Outreach club, one of our main goals is to help teach young students about the amazing power of solar energy. Another is to help bring this solar energy to people who may not have access to the many opportunities that come with electricity. As I continue to go through my education and career. I want to continue bringing light to those without and find other ways to help improve the lives of people, near and far, while improving our environment and preserving the world for those to come. Continuing in my career I want to pursue research that can help improve the lives of everyone around the world by making things better and more accessible.


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Welcome to my artifacts page. Posted here are some items that I consider to represent little pieces of my academic interests, achievements, and life-views. Feel free to take a look around.

About Me


I am from Fairview, WV. I have always been homeschooled so I’m a pretty good independent learner and everything at OSU is a very interesting experience for me. I am a sophomore majoring in Physics and plan to go on to graduate school and pursue research. My first summer doing research through an REU at Penn State has got me really interested in Computational Physics. I am looking forward to getting more involved in undergraduate research and learning more about research and gaining research experience.