Significant changes, Fall 2018

Significant changes over the past year

Melissa Mitchell has been our administrative assistant for the past year. Melissa comes to us after working at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as an administrative secretary. Prior to this, she worked remotely for 15 years as a medical transcriptionist – 5 of those years for Adventist Health/Florida Hospital and 10 years for Novant Health. After both of these positions were outsourced, Melissa felt it might be time to “reinvent her wheel”, and this led her to the Wake Forest University family.

Olin Physical Laboratory
Olin Physical Laboratory

Melissa has many joys and interests in her life. She loves spending time with family (including her dogs) and friends. She enjoys gardening and yard work, antiques, interior decorating, and planning social events, not only for those close to her personally but for the Physics Department as well. The following quote sums up her feelings about coming to work with us: “I am thrilled to be a part of the Physics Department! I feel at home in this amazing group of people, including faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to a wonderful future here.”

In last year’s newsletter it was mentioned that Richard Williams has retired, but is keeping his laboratory space for two years.  We hired an instructor named Bin He to temporarily replace him. Dr. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. His dissertation was on Higgs phenomenology and new physics beyond the Standard Model. After that he taught as a visiting professor at Central Washington University and then at Central Michigan University.

Our part time administrative Assistant, Lesley Whitener has moved on. She is now working full time for the Computer Science Department. Lesley joined the Department in 2015 and we have really enjoyed working with her.  She has been incredibly helpful. We wish her well in her new job.

When Lesley joined us she replaced Heather Chapman who had worked in that position for a few years. Now they’ve switched and Heather is Lesley’s replacement. We are very happy to have Heather back.

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 rising junior and biophysics major Bingrui (Zach) Zhang passed away. We mourn the loss of a wonderful person, friend, student, colleague and researcher. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.

Zach joined the Physics department in the fall of 2017. He had taken several classes in the Physics department and he worked as a researcher in the Guthold/Bonin lab.  He was an excellent student, and an enthusiastic, deeply involved student-researcher. He had also won a $4000 URECA fellowship to be a full-time researcher in the Guthold/Bonin lab for the summer of 2018. Zach is remembered as cheerful, hard-working, helpful to everybody, and also as very inquisitive and interested in his research project. He was working on the characterization of electrospun nanofibers that might be used in tissue engineering and biomedical research. His goal was to go to graduate school in biomedical engineering.

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