Shane Waterman, '14

Hometown: Chelmsford, MA
Degree: BS, Physics

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I wanted to attend a smaller institution where I could more easily connect with the student body while pursuing a fulfilling career as a student. I really liked the idea of the seven-week terms because it requires extensive planning and a lot of hard work. I couldn't be happier with my choice.

How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to you during your time at WPI?
In the field of physics, if you can work out the theoretical aspects of your work, that's fantastic. There is certainly a large area of physics that requires beautiful theoretical work, which one can really appreciate. However, the magic of the field comes when you can truly see the applications of your work in real-life scenarios.

One of the best parts about the WPI Physics department is that the professors are always open to having undergraduate students work with them in their laboratory settings. In my experience, the practice of physics strongly reinforces the understanding and appreciation of the theoretical aspects of physics and the subject as a whole.

What do you think are WPI’s greatest strengths?
WPI's biggest strength is its sense of community. No other college or university I've visited has such an interconnected student body. We are small enough where we can have that bond, but at the same time large enough that we have diverse groups of students with interests in almost every area.

How have the professors in your department impacted your studies and your life?
I've had many great experiences with professors at WPI. One professor in particular who has been extremely helpful to me, both for school and for my future career, is Professor Stroe. Every opportunity she gets, she informs us of different conferences or poster presentation sessions she thinks would be beneficial for us to attend. If we express interest, she does as much as she possibly can to help us make it a reality. She has also helped me and other students greatly with scholarship opportunities.

What are your research projects?
I work with Professor Izabela Stroe on two separate but related research projects. One, which I am most involved in, is investigating the role of the hydration shell in protein dynamics. The second project is working to create a detection method for Alzheimer's disease using dielectric relaxation spectroscopy by observing certain properties of one of the proteins that is known to be linked to Alzheimer's.

What do you hope to do when you graduate? What would be your ideal job?
I plan to attend graduate school to get my master’s degree in physics. My planned career is a medical physicist. I plan to eventually get my PhD in physics; whether I go to work for a few years first or go directly to get my degree is something I will decide at a later date.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participate in at WPI:

  • I am a brother of the Delta Sigma Phi chapter of Alpha Chi Rho at WPI. I hold the position of risk management officer there.
  • I am on the Homecoming Cup Planning Committee for 2012.
  • I am going to be a community advisor for the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • I am being trained for the Student Support Network through the Student Development and Counseling Center.

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • WPI New Greek Member of the Year Award, 2011
  • Second Place: Nuclear Physics Laboratory at the Massachusetts’s Science Olympiad States Meet (captain)
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