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