Robin Johnson

Physics Major Named Top Student at Nuclear Science Summer School

August 30, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Robin Johnson of Peoria, a senior physics major at Illinois Wesleyan University, was named the top student at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual Summer School in Nuclear and Radiochemistry, which takes place in Upton, N.Y.

Johnson was one of 12 scholars invited to the Brookhaven National Laboratory site this summer.  San Jos State University in San Jos, Calif., hosted another 12 students.

Founded in 1984 in order to foster undergraduate interest in nuclear science, the six-week summer school, which is sponsored by the ACS and the U.S. Department of Energy, offers 24 student fellowships in the amount of $3,000 each year.

A graduate of Dunlap Community High School, Johnson was recognized for her exceptional coursework and active interest in nuclear science during a banquet at the end of the summer school.  Additionally, she will be introduced to the nuclear sciences division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at the national ACS meeting in March.

Johnson’s interest in nuclear science stems from the potential use of nuclear power as a major energy source, and has grown to include nuclear medical technology, which is used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Both topics were addressed during the program, which incorporates field trips to facilities that use nuclear technology and lectures by prominent nuclear scientists from across the nation in order to educate undergraduates about advances in nuclear medicine, nuclear power, fundamental particle physics and environmental radiochemistry. 

According to Johnson, the program is one of the few opportunities for in-depth undergraduate study of nuclear science in the United States.  “The Department of Energy is excited about getting people into the field, because they need to find energy sources,” Johnson said, pointing out current rising gas prices. 

Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181