Peter Young '18
Major: Physics and Mathematics
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Future physics professor
Member of Raider Programming Board, Raider Robotics, Calliope, Society of Physics Students, English Society and the Honors Program
Minors: Computer Science and German
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Finding Mount Union
I went on a non-official visit, several official tours, and fell in love with the campus. I discovered that numerous members of my church back home are Mount alumni and they all raved about the school. I never really looked anywhere else because Mount just felt right for me. My mom said that my eyes lit up whenever I saw certain parts of campus.
A Friendly Campus
The thing I love most about Mount Union is the diversity and the friendliness. The friends and professors I’ve had so far have been absolutely amazing, and most of them start to feel more like family. I don’t even have class with the majority of my friends, but I still see them every day. And if my friends happen to be busy, there are an endless number of locations and events I can go to where I can meet even more wonderful people. It’s hard to feel alone at Mount.
Events in the Quad
My favorite place is the quad – some of my favorite memories come from there. I love spending time with friends when we have bonfires and outdoor concerts and movies. My favorite memory is Bubble Soccer in the quad last fall. It’s where I first got to hang out with one of my best friends and where I learned how tough but fun it is to play soccer – well, anything – inside a giant bubble.
Mount Union has such a diverse range of opportunities – there are only roughly 2,000 students on this campus, and yet we have 62 majors and probably even more minors. In fact, we have so many minors that there are a few where there’ll be nobody doing one at a time. We can even build our own major at Mount, which is awesome. What makes these majors even better is the faculty to student ratios. Some of our departments are so small that students can get incredible amounts of one-on-one time with professors. Because of this, professors can really get to know you on an academic and personal level. So a student can succeed in any field he or she chooses.
Preparing for the Future
Mount Union has given me the amazing opportunity to get involved with faculty on campus as a teaching assistant. I can improve my knowledge while learning how to teach other students what I know. In addition, each department I am involved with has let me know about so many career and internship opportunities that I cannot even begin to recall all of them.
Leaving a Legacy
I want to be remembered for my involvement on this campus – even though my majors and minors revolve around similar fields, I have contributed what I can to several departments. I’ve consulted for the Computer Science department, aided in Physics labs, and built an entire online version of Calliope, the literary publication of Mount Union. If I could not leave that kind of legacy, I’d love to be remembered as that guy who was around a lot and just tried to make people laugh.
Advice for Incoming Students
Try a lot of things during your freshman year – attend Raiderfest during the first week of class. See what clubs are out there because things you did not like in high school may become one of your favorite things in college and a potential career choice. Never let an opportunity pass you by. To paraphrase of one of my favorite movies, “Listen to the voices… Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.”
My favorite experience in Physics has by far been this medical physics experiment we did in Modern Physics my freshman year. We had to use our skills and equipment to detect an unknown number of radioactive sources in a body (a “locked” cardboard box). The purpose was to test our abilities, but also to show us how Physics could be used in the real world. (This type of physics is a way of detecting cancers and tumors in a person.) The best part of it was getting to collaborate with my classmates, getting to really know them, and getting to enjoy a mutual experience of frustration, tears, and overall accomplishment.
My favorite class so far has to be Discrete Math. The topics were so amazingly advanced and unique, that I never thought they’d have such real world application – Dijkstra’s Algorithm is how GPS devices determine the quickest route, Network Analysis is how the NFL decided how many in-conference and out-of-conference games each team should play, and general graph theory can help layout train routes, tracks, and stations. It’s amazing what you’ll learn and how you can apply it.
My favorite professor on campus is Dr. Melissa Muller. I took Psychology in the fall as my Social Science foundation, and what she taught me truly helped me understand people better. Inside and outside of the classroom, she was extremely helpful to me and my friends as we dealt with personal loss and everyday college struggles. Aside from all the personal help, Dr. Muller was really helpful in helping us understand how a liberal arts education can connect seemingly-unrelated courses together to improve in your overall education.
A Mount Union Education
For me, the best benefits of the combination are critical thinking and social skills. The liberal arts education allows me to become involved with areas of interest that I would not normally be able/know how to get involved with. At the same time, I gain experience that builds connections, expands my knowledge and improves my ability to speak to/interact with other people. To quote one of the best shows of my friends’ childhoods, “You get the best of both worlds.”
I hope that I can go on to obtain my Master’s Degree and PhD in Physics after Mount Union. I hope that I can become a professor at a major university to teach physics to other people, while still doing my own research. At the same time, I also hope that I can continue to improve my writing and become a published novelist in the near future.
The friends and professors I’ve had so far have been absolutely amazing, and most of them start to feel more like family; it’s hard to feel alone at Mount.
- What’s your favorite book?
- My favorite book is “Catcher in the Rye” because it really captures what it’s like to be a teenager who’s about to become a young adult, and the fears we all have of maturity. I think it’s a book that all young adults should read by the time they finish college.
- Where is your favorite travel destination?
- I’d have to say my favorite destination is Los Angeles. Each summer that I work for my father, I get to spend a week on business out there. The best of [being in LA] was seeing Clayton Kershaw throw a no-hitter for the Dodgers.
- What is your favorite quote or motto?
- "When we long for lives without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” -Rev. Peter Marshall
- If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be and why?
- I think it would be awesome to get to be a valet for a country club or something. I could spend an entire day driving around in nice cars and meeting a lot of interesting people.
- What three songs define your music tastes?
- "The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel, “More than Words” by Extreme, “Jezebel” by Iron & Wine