Aspiring nuclear physicist Marie Blatnik of CSU Honors Program wins NSE Award
Marie Blatnik, an Honors Program student at Cleveland State University who is majoring in physics and electrical engineering, has won the National Student Exchange’s Bette Worley Student Achievement Award.
Blatnik won’t graduate until 2015. But when she does, she’ll already have a wealth of experience in her chosen field: nuclear physics.
“I feel like I’ve had the opportunity to go out and see my future,” said Blatnik, seen here at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Named after NSE President Bette Worley, the NSE Student Achievement Award recognizes up to three students annually who demonstrate outstanding participation in the exchange program.
After learning about the NSE through CSU’s Center for International Services and Programs, Blatnik chose to further her nuclear-physics studies during the 2012-2013 academic year at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, where she did research involving the detection of Cherenkov photons and assisted with particle detector upgrades at nearby Brookhaven. The detectors are used to track the subatomic mess created when the lab’s huge accelerator smashes together the nuclei of atoms. This demolition derby at nearly the speed of light creates a plasma of subatomic particles.
“We make the largest machines in the world to probe the tiniest parts of the universe,” Blatnik said. “It’s really awesome!”
Her work at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven led Blatnik to continue her research this month at Fermilab, outside Chicago, the top laboratory in the United States for the study of particle physics.