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Physics Major Keziah Sheldon Receives Fulbright Award


May 17, 2019

Drexel physics major Keziah Sheldon

Senior physics major Keziah Sheldon was one of three College of Arts and Sciences students and alumni to be awarded a Fulbright Study/Research award this year. The award supports nine months of full-time research sponsored by the Fulbright Program, the United States’ flagship international educational exchange program.

With her Fulbright award, Sheldon will be in the lab of Philip Walther, PhD, at the University of Vienna, Austria. She will be working on the construction of a single-photon detector, technology that has potential to impact fields ranging from quantum computing and data transfer to astronomy.

Sheldon has been active in research since her first-year STAR Scholarship project with Gordon Richards, PhD, professor of physics. She has continued to work with him on a project that explores the possibility of using quasars as cosmological-distance probes — work that culminated in her senior thesis “Can quasars be used for cosmology?” In 2017, she was a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) student at the Dunlap Institute at the University of Toronto, working on a quasar luminosity function cosmology project. Sheldon has presented her research at several conferences, including PhysCon, the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, and national meetings of the American Astronomical Society and the American Physical Society.

In her department, Sheldon has been active in the Women in Physics Society (WiPS), of which she has served as both president and vice president, and the Society of Physics Students. She coordinated the WiPS-hosted series “Happy Science Fun Night,” an informal event for undergraduate and graduate students to discuss their research.

In addition to her physics involvement, Sheldon is a cellist and has been in the Drexel Symphony Orchestra since 2014, serving for two years as cello principal. In 2016, she won the group’s solo competition with her performance of the first movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto. During her Fulbright, she plans to interact with the local music community in Vienna through ensemble and group performance. She has many other interests including coffee roasting (and drinking), writing science fiction, and restoring manual typewriters.

We wish Keziah congratulations and the best of luck with her Fulbright!