Joshua Hunt, Dublin High School alum and Liberty University freshman, is among the 2% of Boy Scouts to earn the title of Eagle Scout. After speaking with Hunt about what it takes to become an Eagle Scout, it is not surprising that only 2% are up for the task. After moving to Dublin from Hawaii at the age of 12, Hunt didn’t know anyone in his new home and saw the boy scouts as a perfect opportunity to gain a sense of belonging and make new friends. Not only did the boy scouts provide Hunt with a new group of companions, but with invaluable life skills as well.
During his time with his Dublin Troop 905, which is student-led, Hunt participated in a diverse array of activities in the pursuit of his merit badges. Some of the merit badges Hunt earned included personal management, camping, hiking, swimming, personal fitness, rifle shooting, archery, and even fingerprinting. While most people easily associate activities like camping with the boy scouts, Hunt said, “you learn a lot of life skills from being in the scouts that many people don’t ever think of.” For example, to earn his merit badge in personal management, Hunt set a budget that he was required to adhere to for 90 days and learned about how bonds work in the process. Hunt also discovered interests and talents that he never knew he had before, like his knack for rifle and shotgun shooting. “Getting a merit badge can really help you form new interests,” said Hunt, “they can also help you figure out what kind of career you want in the future.”
We continue our popular Women in STEM Series of interviews with MIT physicist Dianna Cowern, known to millions of YouTube viewers as Physics Girl (created with the support of PBS Digital Studios). Dianna is a science communicator and educator who received her BS in physics from MIT before researching low-metallicity stars at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and designing iPad apps as a software engineer at GE. She then pursued her career in STEM outreach working as an educator at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center and as a physics outreach coordinator at UCSD. Her work on Physics Girl has been featured on the Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, Popular Science, and Scientific American blogs.
OneDublin.org: At what point, in high school or college, did science and physics click?
Dianna Cowern: “It was a series of things in high school where physics answered the questions I’d be asking about the world. I do remember a moment during an astronomy class where we were learning about neutron stars. I’d learned about neutrons, protons and particles and found out that neutron stars are so dense that the neutrons are basically touching. That was mind-blowing because of how far apart these particles are in an atom, and that a neutron star has so much mass and so much gravity that the neutrons touch. That was the moment when I went yup, I’m a nerd – I love this stuff!
“I was really lucky in high school, my physics teacher was fantastic. I credit her for being one of the key reasons I pursued physics in college. Unfortunately we didn’t get to E&M [electricity and magnetism], we just did classical mechanics in high school. I also took a conceptual course on quantum mechanics from a teacher at my high school who had earned a physics degree at MIT.”
OneDublin.org: How do you counter the perceptions that ‘physics is too hard’, ‘I could never handle physics, or ‘I’m not smart enough for physics’?
It was always my dream to travel to impoverished countries and help people through healthcare and education. My grandfather passed away due to a skin infection during a trip to Vietnam, a country without great healthcare, and I was inspired to provide healthcare to those in need. My weeklong medical mission trip through Hands Up for Haiti was easily one of the best and most life-changing weeks of my life. Hands Up for Haiti is a non-profit and medical humanitarian organization whose mission is to provide healthcare, guidance, and education to those of Northern Haiti. As an upcoming second year pharmacy student I’ve had doubts about being in pharmacy school because I was not a big fan of giving drugs to people. I was always interested in providing disease prevention through nutrition and health education to avoid taking drugs. However, Hands Up for Haiti opened my mind to the wonders of medicine and helped instill a passion for helping children and their families through clinical pharmacy and health education.
For our first six nights in Haiti, we stayed at the Open Door Ministry hostel and the place immediately became like a second home even though the living conditions were very different from my home in the United States. For instance, the sink water was not safe to rinse our mouths in so it was crucial to use bottled water when brushing our teeth. Showers were like military showers since water is very limited. In addition, mosquito repellent was to be worn from day to night, and we slept with mosquito nets. Before we knew it, putting on mosquito repellent became second nature. Living in these conditions opened my eyes as to how fortunate Americans are to have easy access to clean water.
DUBLIN, CA–As a result of his hard work, determination, and focus, Robert Morales, a DeVry University Class of 2016 graduate and Dublin High School Class of 2013 alum, started work at Stanford Medical Center as a biomedical engineer this summer. Morales sat down with OneDublin.org to share his experiences in the biomedical field and how he got to where he is today. Just three years ago, Morales chose to enroll in DeVry University in Fremont because of DeVry’s expedited program in biomedical engineering. DeVry’s program, which has no long breaks, allowed Morales to finish his undergraduate degree in three years instead of four. Morales explained that the expedited program was beneficial because it requires focus and there is not much room for distraction.
During his three years at DeVry, Morales took every opportunity possible to expand his knowledge in the biomedical field and to meet as many people as he could. In his first year, Morales joined a biomedical club that helped him get a solid grasp on what to look forward to in a biomedical career. During his time with the biomedical club, Morales took on roles such as VP of promotion and was elected president of the club during his senior year. In these roles, Morales got the chance to build his networking and leadership skills.
DUBLIN, CA–OneDublin.org sat down with Dublin High School Class of ’13 and Class of ’15 commencement alumni Natalie and Tatiana Bouri on their experiences attending UCLA together. This upcoming quarter, Natalie will be beginning her fourth and final year at UCLA, and Tatiana will begin her second. Here is what they have to say about their time at UCLA so far:
OneDublin.org: What led you to choose UCLA and what are you studying there?
Natalie Bouri: “Coming out of high school, I knew I was interested in biology and the health field. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do specifically in college other than be a pre-med student, but I was already attracted to UCLA because of the medical center there and how invested they are in health field research. I also had visited UCLA a few years before and had fallen in love with the campus and I thought it would be a really good place to try something new.”
Tatiana Bouri: “I am studying business economics at UCLA and I am considering minoring in entrepreneurship or pursuing a double major in commerce. UCLA initially attracted me because of how incredible and positive the environment is there. UCLA has so many clubs and activities and being in LA for business is really good. UCLA is close to many internships and opportunities to get involved.”
OneDublin.org: How has Dublin High School prepared you for your time at UCLA?
We’ve written about many students and stories of education excellence over the past eight years, but some capture the imagination of the community. Our first profile (written two years ago) of Dublin High School Class of 2012 alum and United States Air Force Academy Class of 2016 graduate Rebecca Beasley has been read over 8,600 times. Given the interest we sat down once again with Ms. Beasley, previously a Cadet and now a Second Lieutenant with a Bachelor of Science in Management and Minor in Spanish, to learn more about her Air Force Academy journey as an upperclassman and where she plans to go next.
OneDublin.org: Describe the moment when President Obama congratulated you at your United States Air Force Academy graduation.
Rebecca Beasley: “There are 40 squadrons and I’m in the 39th, so over 700 people had been recognized before they got to me. I’d been sitting there waiting and anticipating for over two hours, worrying that I’d mess up, that I’d trip or salute wrong. When it was finally time for me to go I spoke with Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, first, and then the President. I really wanted to say ‘Thank you Mr. President’ because how often are you going to get that opportunity? I walked forward and completely lost my train of thought and I think I said, ‘Thank you sir, Mr. President!’; I was a jumble. I remember shaking his hand, saluting him and running off the stage so happy, but I have no idea what he said to me! It was the most amazing experience in the world that was also a complete blur.
“It was really admirable that the President stood and shook every single graduate’s hand and saluted every graduate. We weren’t sure what to expect – was he actually going to stay there for every student? – but he did. It was very cool!”
OneDublin.org: What was the most challenging moment, when it was easier after you got past that point?
In just a few weeks, Wall Street will be the new home to Collin Hartland, a recent Colorado College grad and Dublin High School alumnus. In his interview with One.Dublin.org, Hartland provided excellent insights into how he was able to successfully navigate his years as a college student and his transition to a full-time career. To begin, Hartland spoke about his search for a college to attend as a high school senior. Although many of his peers looked for schools within California at the time, Hartland explained that he wanted to leave California in search for new people and a different perspective. With the help of soccer, Hartland was introduced to Colorado College, a university that provided him with just what he was searching for.
At Colorado College, Hartland majored in mathematical economics along with multiple computer science courses. One of the most unique aspects of his school, and a factor that drew Hartland into attending, was Colorado College’s block semester plan. Instead of taking all of his classes at once during a semester, the block plan allows students to take one class at a time, from 9 am to noon, for 18 days. Hartland explained that he really enjoyed the block system because it allowed him to focus on one subject at a time, and if he didn’t particularly enjoy a class he did not have to experience it for long. In addition, because Colorado College’s student body is only 2,000, Hartland never had trouble getting into classes he wanted and was able to graduate in the time that he wanted to.