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Science Scholar

Jessica gained a rare combination of scientific skills and experience at Earlham.

In addition to strong course work in both chemistry and physics, the double major also benefited from a semester at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and summer research experiences at Earlham, the University of Rochester and Brookhaven National Laboratory where she earned the Outstanding Student Award.

Back on campus, she was also the last surviving human in a campus-wide “Humans vs. Zombies” game.

Jessica was a McNair Scholar at Earlham — an opportunity that helps low-income, first generation college students and those from under-represented racial and ethnic groups prepare for graduate study. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the program offers students special monitoring and requires them to complete a summer research experience.

“With my work with Earlham, my nuclear chemistry summer study and engineering study at Oak Ridge, I have been able to find my niche, and I found that I align pretty well with nuclear chemistry,” says Jessica.

“The combination of physics, chemistry and engineering definitely puts me on a different tier,” says Jessica, noting that she was recruited for post-graduate opportunities at Fermi National Laboratory and Northwestern University before choosing to continue her education at Indiana University.

“Being able to explain how our world works is what drew me to science, and with the guidance of my professors, I have been able to start on a career in the pursuit of such knowledge. The ability to use this knowledge to do extraordinary things is such a big motivator. After all, science was considered magic until it was discovered.”

Jessica Vadas

Jessica Vadas 2013, Graduate student in nuclear physics at Indiana University

B.A., Earlham College

Hometown: Hammond, Ind.

Major at Earlham: Chemistry and Physics

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