2020-21 Physics Mentors

About the Program

The Miami University Department of Physics is dedicated to ensuring all new and current students get the most out of their undergraduate experience. Our department is uniquely distinguished by our commitment to undergraduate teaching, our high volume of involvement in undergraduate research, and our various departmental programs and clubs into which students are encouraged to get involved.

We are pleased to be able to offer a mentoring program to our incoming freshmen, transfer students, and students new to the department. The mentor program was implemented by students for students. It is comprised of upperclassmen student volunteers. The program's goal is to aid new students in their transition into the department by acting as a bridge between students and faculty, providing guidance on class scheduling, aiding in the involvement of undergraduate research, and diminishing the social gap between upper and underclassmen.

The Department of Physics is a closely knit community and our goal is to ensure all new and current students feel welcome. Future students...we look forward to meeting you!

Contact Orion Kolev to become a mentor!

Boyd Colbrunn

I am a junior biological physics major with a co-major in premedical studies and a minor in disability studies. I am in the honors program at Miami, and I do research with Dr. Vishwanath. Additionally, I am philanthropy chair of Delta Epsilon Mu, Miami’s pre-health fraternity. Going down a pre-med track while majoring in physics is not a common path, and I would love to pass on the advice I received from upperclassmen when I began.

Olivia Kline

I am a sophomore biological physics major and I am also a part of the pre-health co-major. In the winter of 2019, I became a proud member of Dr. Vishwanath’s Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging Methods lab. This fall, I began work as a contact tracer for Butler county through Miami University and, needless to say, my work has kept me quite busy. While the vast majority of my time is spent studying for what feels like every STEM class under the sun, I am also involved with the College Democrats and Paws 4 a Cause Miami here on campus. While I selected biological physics on a whim, expecting to change my major early in my studies, my love for physics has only grown thanks to my experience in Miami University’s Kreger Hall. I am so grateful for the wonderful group of scholars that I have met in my time at Miami and I look forward to expanding that network further as a 2020-21 physics mentor. I am always eager to chat about classes, coursework and of course physics and it is my hope that I can impart what modest knowledge I have gained onto the next group of Miami physicists!

Orion Kolev

I am a fourth-year double major in mathematics and physics with a minor in spanish. My pronouns are he/him/his. I'm an honors student and currently in Dr. Blue's research lab; I was previously in Dr. Samson's lab. I am serving as president of Miami's Astronomy Club for my third year. In the past, I was president of Pi Mu Epsilon, Miami's mathematics honorary. In addition, I work as a supplemental instructor (SI) for PHY 191/192 and on-campus for the Miami libraries. This year, I will also serve as undergraduate rep at physics department meetings. I entered Miami planning not to study physics, so declaring a major was very unexpected. Since then, the physics department and Kreger have become foundational parts of my time at Miami. I hope to help students find a home in the physics department, especially those who may not be taking traditional paths in their studies. I'm always willing to help students with questions about Miami, physics or otherwise. If I don't have an answer, I'll find someone who does.

Junjiang (Jim) Li

I’m a senior triple majoring in physics, computer science, and mathematics. I have worked under Dr. Samson’s lab for the first two years and briefly transferred to Dr. Mirza’s lab before joining a lab in the computer science department. Personally, advices from upperclassmen about research and academics have greatly benefitted me, and the mentor program serves as a fantastic channel to pass these advices on and to help new students achieve the most out of their time at Miami.

Alison Page

I am a sophomore majoring in Biological Physics with a Neuroscience Co-Major. I am currently a part of Dr. Blue's research group and I work as a Supplemental Instructor for PHY 191 and 192. I currently serve as the secretary for Dance Theatre, a performing arts organization. I have really enjoyed my time in the physics department at Miami so far, and I hope to help show new students how wonderful of an experience it can be. The curriculum for the Biological Physics major is unique in that it pulls from many different sciences and comes with many different paths and opportunities. Since it is a smaller major I hope to connect with incoming majors to help them navigate this.

Kyra Stillwell

I am a sophomore physics major minoring in mechanical engineering. I am a member of the University Honors Program, the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, the Society of Physics Students, and I’m also an undergraduate associate for a section of UNV 101. Currently, I do research in Dr. Khan’s Magnetic Materials lab. The physics department offers a ton of resources and opportunities, and having guidance from upperclassmen last year really helped me to take advantage of them and make the most out of my education. Though this is only my second year at Miami, I’m excited to share what insight I’ve gained so far and get to know some of the newer members of the department!

Antonio Vazquez Lim

I'm Antonio (he/him/his) and I'm a third-year triple major in physics, philosophy, and psychology in the Honors College and the Academic Scholars Program. I used to be in Miami's student government, one year as an on-campus senator, and one year in cabinet as the Secretary of Infrastructure & Sustainability. I've taken a year off to focus on my academics and research. I am currently researching in the psychology department and hope to be involved in Dr. Mirza's lab in the near future. Don't expect to have everything figured out as an underclassman—it took me two years to find my path. I entered as an engineering major and changed it to a political science major because people said I couldn't do physics and math. Two years went by before I switched back because my wonderful Calculus I professor showed me that math and physics could be easy if you're truly passionate about them. The physics department has been one of the most welcoming groups I could have imagined, and there are so many resources to help you along your way!

Scott Wenner

I am a first year graduate student. I graduated from Miami University in spring 2020 with my BS in physics. During my undergraduate studies, I did research in Dr. Bayram's Laser Spectroscopy Lab and helped her and the graduate students in the lab with their experiments and research papers. For my masters, I will be working with Dr. Bali. Apart from physics, I am able to continue my passion for figure skating as a member of the Miami Intercollegiate Skating Club. When I was a freshman, I remember being intimidated by the upperclassmen and faculty in the physics department. I went to mentor meetings and realized the physics upperclassmen really do like to see younger people working in physics and they are all eager to help the younger students succeed. I hope by being a mentor, I can welcome you into the department, make you feel more comfortable, and give you some insight from my experiences during my time here at Miami.

Skyler Wright

I am a senior engineering physics major pursuing a computer science minor. I am a member of the Miami University Honors Program and the president of the Society of Physics Students. I am the treasurer of the Miami University Astronomy Club and I am currently doing computational research in Dr. Samson’s lab. Being an engineering physics major is an overall strange experience, what with its different pathways and such, so I hope to help any upcoming majors understand those pathways a bit better, so they know all their options moving forward. I also hope to bestow some knowledge and insight on how to get better involved in the department and all the many experiences it has to offer.