Prize Recipient

Ilse vanMeerbeek

Ilse vanMeerbeek


Background:

I was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and am currently a sophomore at Amherst College in Massachusetts. I enjoy studying languages and dance, but science and math have always been my strongest subjects. I am also an athlete, having participated in basketball, track, and cross country. Currently I do crew in college. I love to travel, partly due to the fact that my family background is very diverse. Because of my desire to learn about life outside of the US, I spent my junior year of high school in France, which was an unforgettable experience. While abroad, I did not have the opportunity to study science, which I missed. When I returned to the states, I began my studies in physics to realize that it is my favorite branch of science.

After completing my first year of physics at the college level, it is clear to me that pursuing this subject will be a challenging and rewarding experience. At first, the challenge discouraged me, but now it makes me more determined to learn more and excel. Physics has always fascinated me, even before I knew what the study of physics even was. From simply observing the motion of a basketball after shooting it or looking up at the stars, I have always asked myself questions about how things are. For once, I can start answering many of these questions without asking my mother! I hope to be successful in this field, and somehow help to advance our worlds knowledge of our universe.