The members of the Physics Group often advertise that “physics goes with anything.” More formally, we maintain that there is no academic endeavor where the creative problem-solving approaches introduced in physics are detrimental. In ten years of physics majors at Roanoke, we can list the following double majors: biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, math, music, philosophy, psychology, and spanish. Some of those are expected, but others on that list leave us impressed with the giftedness of our aspiring physics majors. Ok, how about Theater Arts?
Physics majors Luke Poore (Junior) and April Raab (Sophomore) held major roles in the College’s recent presentation entitled “Nightfall with Edgar Allen Poe.” As a dramatization of some of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous works, Luke was a lead actor while April was the stage manager. When asked about how the performance went, Luke responded, “it received raving reviews.” They both have participated in other theater events the College has hosted, and they both enjoy the balance that theater work provides to the physics curriculum. This summer, Luke is planning to complete an engineering internship locally at Dressler-Rand, while April is planning to complete a summer research fellowship (REU) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
As a twenty-something a “few” years ago, Dr. Fleenor was locked into an engineering program with little academic opportunity to explore. He often looked with longing at the “green grass” on the other side of campus (for me, that was philosophy, history, and religion). The liberal arts perspective afforded by Roanoke College makes the “physics and …” mindset quite doable. Granted, the physics curriculum is difficult and time-consuming – we often say “it is a seven-course meal and not fast-food.” We are constantly thankful that our physics majors are academic pioneers, that they are ever-creative.