Amazing Students

Whitney Ingram

With a passion for research and nanoscale science, Whitney Ingram plans to graduate in spring 2015 with a Ph.D. in physics. Though she’s spent her fair share of time in a laboratory, she’s also been involved in various capacities with the UGA housing department.


Stone Mountain, Georgia

High School:

Stephenson High School

Degree objective:

Ph.D. in Physics

Other degrees:

B.S. in Physics

Expected graduation:

Spring 2015

University highlights, achievements and awards:

As a UGA “Double Dawg,” I have been able to enjoy a wonderful undergraduate experience here at the University of Georgia as well as my first year as a graduate student in the physics department. As an undergraduate student, I was a member of the science organization, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, since the second semester of my freshman year in 2008. Through this organization I have had the opportunity to do research during the semester, which I did every semester until I graduated. I have competed in and won several poster and oral presentations associated with this organization. I placed first in the Florida-Georgia Alliance for Minority Participation in Miami, Fla., in 2009 and first in an oral presentation in Ft. Valley, Ga. One of my most memorable experiences was presenting my research in Phoenix, Ariz., at the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. During the summer of 2009, I participated in UGA’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Through this organization I was able to work in Dr. Yiping Zhao’s lab under the supervision of Wilson Smith, one of his graduate students. During the following summer I participated in the CURO summer research fellowship program, where I continued to work in Dr. Zhao’s lab. Through this experience I was able to place my first co-author publication. I also presented poster and oral presentations in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 CURO symposium. During the summer of 2010 and 2011, I had the opportunity do an internship with the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors directorate in Ft. Belvoir, Va. In 2010, I won the Linville L. Hendren Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Proficiency in Physics.

Aside from research, I have always been involved with UGA housing as an executive board member in Morris Hall and ECV. During my junior year in 2010, I was the associate director of programming for NRHH and also a C.L.A.S.S. advocate in Brumby Hall in 2010 and 2011.

Current Employment:

Graduate laboratory teaching assistant

Family Ties to UGA:

I am the first in my family to attend the University of Georgia.

I chose to attend UGA because...

As an undergraduate I choose this school because I wanted to stay in state and live away from the city while experiencing UGA’s excellent reputation in academics. As a graduate student, I choose UGA because it has a strong graduate program, and I enjoyed the program and knew the professor I wanted to work with in the physics department.

My favorite things to do on campus are...

...go to football games and attend the variety of events on campus such as comedy shows and dance performances throughout the year.

When I have free time, I like... spend time with friends, relax and watch TV, nap and go to an aerobics class at Ramsey if I can catch one.

My favorite place to study is... the physics building. There is always someone in there! But if I feel like studying alone, I prefer the fourth floor of the SLC or my room.

My favorite professor is...

This is a difficult question! Although I have never technically been his student, I have worked with Dr. Zhao for more than three years as an undergraduate and will be continuing research as a graduate student. He was definitely a major reason why I chose to stay here at the University of Georgia. He has been an encouraging and motivating mentor; he and his graduate students have played a major role in developing my passion for research and nanoscale science. As a student, one of my favorite professors was Dr. Lewis. His class was both challenging and interesting. His teaching style was clear, captivating; and his passion for teaching was evident. It still is a very memorable class for me.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with...

...I would love to share it with Michael Jackson. He revolutionized the world with his music, and I am a big fan. I would have loved to have met the man behind the music and learn why he was so passionate about his music and dance.

If I knew I could not fail, I would...

...use my knowledge to create some form of permanent and clean renewable energy. It’s something that concerned me even as a child.

If money was not a consideration, I would love to... There are so many places I would love to see and experience in my lifetime both in the U.S. and internationally. For instance, I would like to see the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls or go white water rafting in Alaska…the list could go on forever!

After graduation, I plan to...

...get a job as a full-time government researcher or a job in industry, but my plans are flexible.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be... my first football game. It was unlike any other football game I’ve been to.

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