Our Youngest Daughter Chooses a PhD Program

Our Youngest Daughter Chooses a PhD Program

Our Youngest Daughter chooses a PhD program

Our youngest has accepted a lovely offer from Lehigh University to pursue a PhD in Physics. They courted her with not only free tuition and a generous stipend, but also paid for her to come and visit along with her prospective cohort.

There are mentors at Lehigh she is looking forward to working with, and it turns out those mentors she considered working with at other institutions in her chosen subset of Physics, were trained at Lehigh. Lehigh is in the process of growing this grad program, increasing the quantity of both students and professors by 25%. They also graduate most of their PhD students within five years (unlike other universities where they dangle along), and 95% graduate with jobs.

Our daughter’s career goal is to become a researcher, who has no teaching obligations, either in industry or in academia. She is interested in working on various aspects of string theory, quantum field theory, and cosmology, as well as on the computational side of statistical and thermal physics. (She enjoys higher abstract math and string theory operates in eleven dimensions, which makes it interesting.) She wanted to continue in a smaller school atmosphere that had the academics she was looking for, and Lehigh offers this combination. After mulling it over for quite a while, choosing to forge ahead in this way seemed like an obvious choice.

Lehigh is in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with beautiful stone buildings on a hill. Their library is one of the most amazing ones in the country, and I look forward to photographing it on one of my visits. It is also considerably closer to home than her college, so she’ll be three hours away instead of six. We’ll be looking for apartments in Bethlehem after she graduates as an undergrad (with a major in Physics and minors in both Math and Studio Art). She’ll move there in August, after our mother/daughter camping trip for the month of July to northeastern Canada.

We are proud of her hard, focused work in her undergraduate degree, and congratulate her on making this decision to further her education.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Nancy LoBalbo 4 years ago

    This is great news! We have a personal connection with Lehigh via my oldest daughter who went there for her undergraduate work in Architecture. It was a great experience for her and she was picked up by a well known architectural firm in NYC very shortly after graduation. She will love it! We’ll talk more about it when I see you!
    Nancy L.

  2. Nanny 4 years ago

    I’m so grateful for her wonderful intelligence and the good it has brought her. You have reason to be very happy.

  3. Marge Thornton 4 years ago

    What a beautiful demonstration your daughter has made. God certainly is good!!

  4. Maryanne Rupp 4 years ago

    Congratulations to her and a clearly supportive family.

  5. JO GABRIELE 4 years ago

    Congratulations Laura. You are a young woman of many talents both in academics and art. I wish you all the best.

  6. Joseph D Herring 4 years ago

    Congratulations to Laura ! I remember when her her older sister, Virginia, strongly recommended Juniata. It has surely been a good fit. I have the sense that we’ll have more Juniata honors to anticipate for Laura. I am glad that Laura anticipates research in theoretical physics. Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking have helped me to appreciate what we know and haven’t yet learned .

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 years ago

      Like graduating honors? Yup!

  7. Debra Boyer 4 years ago

    Congratulations to Laura! She will find plenty to interest her in this program, exploring the workings of the universe.

  8. Esme 4 years ago

    Congratulations Laura! I find it inspiring how you pursued physics as well as made time for your artistic passions (studio art minor)!

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