If you are an alum of our programs, we would be delighted to hear about your news and, if you wish to share it with the community, we’ll work with you to get it included in our departmental Friday Flyer. Feel free to reach out to anyone you know in the department.

Our physics alumni include:


James Cronin – Professor of Physics and Nobel Prize winner

Donald Clayton – Professor of Physics and recipient of the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal

Bryson DeChambeau – Winner of the 2020 US Open Golf Championship

Mariam Ishaque – Neurosurgeon in the UVA Health System.

Alonso GutierrezChief of Medical Physics at Miami Cancer Institute

Shannon Clardy – Professor of Physics and principal oboist with the Little Rock Wind Symphony

Stephen Ornes – Science writer for Discover, New Scientist, CR magazine, Science News for Kids and other outlets

Lee Pondrom – Professor of Physics, discovered fundamental characteristics of mesons

Roy Holt – Experimental Physicist, pioneered the study of the nucleon


Other alumni have gone on to graduate school at universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Caltech, Vanderbilt, and of course SMU. Our graduates obtain jobs in a very wide variety of careers, such as research and teaching in academia, medical physics and medicine, software development, the US military, finance and banking, electrical and mechanical engineering, law practice, project management, business analysis, marketing, theology, ...

Full list of Physics Department Alumni

Here are some of the things our recent graduates have written about their experience with SMU physics:

“I didn't enter as a physics major, but I loved Modern Physics so much I decided to do it. Prof. Hornbostel was a special teacher and person. The small classes and dedication of the faculty to quality instruction prepared me for graduate school in Applied Physics at Caltech and really brought the subject to life for me.  It was where the foundation of my critical thinking was developed.”

“My most significant memories would include being sent to CERN as part of my Hamilton Scholars research on the ATLAS Project with Dr. Ye.  The entire physics faculty was a constant source of encouragement and support.”


“Thanks to taking Debunking Pseudoscience with Mr. Cotton and Dr. Scalise, I am now despised by many New Age homeopaths and energy healers from my hometown. I couldn’t be happier.”


“I want to thank the physics department, for giving me the opportunity to return after 2 years to finish my degree, and Dr. Vega, my adviser, the only person of the physics department I could speak Spanish with!”


“My greatest achievements at SMU were studying a new way to find the Higgs boson with Dr. Sekula, research I presented at the American Physical Society (APS) conference, and being President of the SMU Society of Physics Students (SPS).”


“I used to be the student who always skipped Dr. Stroynowski's intro mechanics class and thought I could get by in Dr. Sekula's electricity and magnetism class without having to learn vectors.  Then I became a teaching assistant for Honors Physics, received the Wiley Scholarship award for excellence in physics, and went to graduate school. Dr. Sekula and Dr. Cooley were especially instrumental to that change….which eventually turned into them being incredible mentors for me to this day.”


“One of my most significant memories was the astronomy class I took at SMU-in-Taos; being able to be fully immersed in what I was learning--like being able to use a telescope to view the phenomena we were learning about in real time--is something that I really appreciated and inspired me to go into astronomy research for a summer. “


“Professors Sekula and Scalise were guiding, patient and practical. Both taught me a ton about physics and about myself. I would not have been able to make it through college without them.”


My most significant memory is learning a lot in what is really a short period of time.  I am really proud of my accomplishments here at SMU in the physics department.”


“As an international student who never went to a school further than 10 miles from home, I came to the U.S. alone and started college at SMU. I learned lots of great things from all of my professors, my research mentors, as well as my classmates here.”


My favorite memories are definitely the SPS trips we went on to Berkeley, Fermilab, and Brookhaven National Labs.  They were great adventures and seeing the research and hearing the lectures at the labs was inspiring.  I also distinctly remember the Debunking Pseudoscience class. Watching Professors Scalise and Cotton reveal the truths behind tricks and scams really ingrained a sense of the importance of critical thinking that has served me well.”


“My most significant memory is when our wedding was an official SPS event, particularly notable in that we did not, in fact, serve pizza”. Physics major April Andreas (née Kramer) married physics major Derek Andreas.