Alumni Spotlight

Where do our alumni end up after graduation? In this edition of Spectrum, we're catching up with two graduates who are making names for themselves in their respective fields.

Catching Up With Corina Wack, Ph.D. - Biology ’12

Corina Wack"I am currently an assistant professor of biology at Chowan University, a small, liberal arts, Baptist university in Murfreesboro, N.C. I teach general biology, anatomy and physiology, and critical thinking courses. I am also the faculty advisor for the Science Club and the Rotaract service organization. I have been a finalist for the Alpha Chi Teacher of the Year Award, an award chosen by students, since I started teaching here in 2011 and was the finalist for the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, an award chosen by faculty members, in 2012."

“Duquesne's culture of fostering teacher-scholars helped me to obtain a tenure-track faculty position directly out of graduate school. Unlike other graduate programs in science, Duquesne emphasized the importance of being a good teacher. I learned a great deal about teaching and refined my teaching skills while I was a teaching assistant at Duquesne. I had a great mentor, Sarah Woodley, who was not only an example of a great teacher for me to follow but also fostered my skills as a teacher and researcher. I also learned new teaching strategies from the workshops provided by the Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE). Additionally, the process of writing a teaching portfolio for the graduate student teaching award through CTE was an invaluable learning experience.

Catching Up With Jason Jackiewicz, B.S. - Physics ’98

Jason Jackiewicz“Since 2008, I have served as assistant professor at New Mexico State University in the Department of Astronomy. After graduating from Duquesne in 1998, I worked on a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed-matter physics at Boston College. I received my doctorate in 2005. I entered a rather new field for my postdoctoral work, studying seismology of the sun, or helioseismology, using my training in theoretical physics and mathematical methods to solve problems for determining the interior state of the sun. My postdoctoral work took place in Goettingen, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research. After three years, I fortunately found a faculty position at a major research university in Las Cruces, N.M.”

“My work involves theoretical and applied seismology to the sun, stars and giant planets. Seismology, the study of primarily acoustic waves and their interactions with their surroundings, is the only way to determine precise interior properties of stars, thus allowing for the testing of theories of stellar evolution and structure. With an abundance of seismic data for the sun and many stars, this field has really prospered in the past decade and provided important discoveries in stellar astrophysics.”

“Duquesne University really provided me an opportunity to explore my interests and determine my future in several ways. My experience in the physics department was crucial for giving me the skills and background to be accepted into a top graduate school and to subsequently prosper in the program at Boston College. The physics faculty at Duquesne has broad expertise and I've used what I learned in those courses in many different situations. In addition, during my undergraduate time I took advantage of a study abroad program at Duquesne to spend more than a semester in Rome, Italy to learn the language, art and culture of that amazing country. I have since returned to Italy many times, doing research in Roman universities, visiting past friends and giving talks at meetings. That experience has been extremely important to me. Finally, as a scholarship golfer at Duquesne, I met one of the most influential people I have ever met, the late Nellie King, the golf coach at the time (and former Major League Baseball pitcher and Pirates radio announcer). Our friendship during and after our time together at Duquesne has always been a strong one, as he taught me so much about being a professional (not just in baseball, or golf) and a good human being.”

“The broad liberal arts education that I was able to obtain at Duquesne has helped me find a successful career that I never would have been able to otherwise.”

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