The MCSP Department, and the physics group in particular, were excited to welcome back Roanoke alumnus Jake Bennett to campus on February 4! Jake is currently doing graduate research at the University of Indiana at Bloomington in experimental particle physics, and in fact has planned his Ph.D. defense for this April. In addition to having lunch with his former profs Rama Balasubramanian and Matt Fleenor, and dinner with relative newcomer Dan Robb and three current physics students (Brandon Peterson, Chris Teeple, and Alex Cowan), Jake presented an MCSP Conversations Series talk titled “What’s the Matter? How experimental particle physics can shed light on the fundamental structures of the universe.” Jake described the currently accepted Standard Model of particle physics, including the quarks, leptons and force carrying particles, and also outlined how his current research may lead to an extension of fundamental particle physics beyond the standard model through the study of exotic states of matter such as charmonium. It was a treat to catch up with Jake and to hear him talk about how his liberal arts education at Roanoke (plus some good old fashioned hard work) have served him well in graduate school at the University of Indiana!