Rachel Fulda – 2022 Outstanding Junior (Physics)
Rachel is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a minor in Photography. She is member of the Auburn University Honors College and received last year’s Outstanding Sophomore award in Physics.
Rachel conducts research with Auburn’s Comet Research Group and Dennis Bodewits, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics. Her research focuses on studying the composition of comets, and she is currently working on processing data from Comet 19/P Borrelly that she has taken with NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility.
In 2020, Rachel founded the Astronomical Society at Auburn University, or ASAU, with the purpose of educating both students and the local community about new developments in astronomy. After two years, ASAU now has over one hundred members from several departments across the university, and it became an official Auburn organization this year. ASAU hosts star parties, guest lectures, movie nights, and astronomy lectures, all to teach people more about the field of astronomy. Rachel says leading ASAU has allowed her to meet so many amazing and kind people and gave her the privilege of sharing her passion for astronomy.
Rachel is a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon, an International Engineering and Technical Sciences Sorority for women in STEM. She works hard to be a good role model for her peers by hosting study groups and one-on-one tutoring.
Outside of the classroom, Rachel has a small business and enjoys putting her photography minor to use by taking travel photos and graduation portraits for students. She has been taking pictures since her freshman year of high school.
After graduation, Rachel plans to pursue a PhD in Astronomy. She hopes to become a researcher who furthers our future through new technology and exploration in space, and she wants to become an ambassador in outreach for young minorities interested in the physical sciences.
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