This spring, each department in the University of Arizona's College of Science nominated an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during their time as a Wildcat. We are pleased to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next up in the senior spotlight series is Justin Hink.
Hometown: Marana, AZ
Degrees: Physics and Astronomy
College of Science: Why did you choose your area of study?
Justin: At Marana High School, I started learning physics sophomore year. My teacher, Mark Calton, taught me Newton’s kinematic equations. I thought it was fascinating to learn so much about the motion of objects from a few initial conditions. I had started an engineering club with Mark where we created trebuchets, a duct tape water bottle, a duct tape boat, and many other projects. I used my introductory physics knowledge to know how much force our trebuchet was applying and the distance the golf ball would travel. I wanted to learn more. I went through two years of AP physics classes learning thermodynamics, optics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, of course, all in a simplistic manner. I was able to take an Astronomy course with Mark as well. My physics classes and teacher got me out of my bubble and convinced me to put in the effort necessary to take on and achieve this degree.
COS: Tell us about a class or research project you really enjoyed.
Justin: The most memorable research project I have worked on throughout these four years of college was with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). I have worked with them since the summer after my junior year. This was the first time I had to search through textbooks and teach myself a topic for research. This experience gave me an abundance of opportunities, from seminars to writing papers, all the way to a poster presentation at Rice University. This internship even led me to learn more about medical physics and change the direction of my career.
COS: What is one specific memory from your time at UA that you'll cherish forever?
Justin: I will always remember going up to Mt Lemmon with a group of astronomy friends. They had an 8” telescope so we could see the rings of Jupiter. It is a whole new experience to see the rings in person rather than a nice picture online. Surprisingly, it was my first time on Mt Lemon, even though I have lived here my whole life.
COS: What is next for you after graduation?
Justin: After graduation, I am working with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility over the summer. Then, I am moving on to UCLA this coming Fall. I was accepted into their Department of Physics and Biology in Medicine to work towards a Medical Physics Ph.D.