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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi

Physics Student Ambassadors

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Nick Kruse

Headshot of Nicholas Kruse.

An ambassador for both the College of Liberal Arts and the Sally McConnell Barksdale Honors College, Nick Kruse is an aspiring physical chemistry professor. Nick is equal parts researcher and Star Wars fanatic. When he’s not spending his time building the latest Lego model or debating Clone Wars lore, he likes to spend his time attending UM football games, swimming, and playing classic rock on the piano.


Why did you choose to major in physics and chemistry at UM?
When I visited campus in the Fall of 2017, I was blown away by the research being performed here by the physical chemistry faculty. After a private tour of the research labs with Chemistry Department Chair, Dr. Tschumper, UM rose to the top of my list of potential universities. But it wasn’t until the following spring that I made my final decision after meeting with Physics Department faculty, Dr. Bombelli and Dr. Labuda, as well as my current chemistry research advisor, Dr. Nathan Hammer. This was the one university that I felt truly cared about both its students and research, and that is why I came here.

Has UM provided any leadership opportunities?
The leadership opportunities at UM are seemingly limitless. I am the treasurer of the Society of Physics Students, the fundraising chair for the National Society for Leadership and Success, and I am a member of multiple committees in the UM Chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom.

What are your career aspirations?
After I complete my baccalaureate studies, I plan to attend graduate school, attain a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, and then become a research professor in the subject.

Favorite role model?
Professor Hammer and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Go-to meal in Oxford?
As someone with a constant craving for hot wings and Mexican Cuisine, I go back and forth between El Agave and Buffalo Wild Wings.

What are you binge watching?
How I Met Your Mother, Jack Ryan,and Breaking Bad.

Hollie Arnsdorff

Hollie Arnsdorff

Earning two degrees – physics and chemical engineering – Hollie is a member of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. She held a manufacturing engineering intern at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems in Tupelo where she was a member of a project and design team for building a new plant. For a Griffin, Inc. internship, Hollie helped implement an enterprise resource planning software. On-campus, she has been a lab assistant for the MakerSpace at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence.


Why did you choose to attend UM?
I attended summer college for high school students before my senior year of high school and fell in love with Ole Miss! When I got the phone call saying I got into the CME, I knew I couldn’t go anywhere else.

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I come from a family of engineers, my parents are mechanical engineers and my sister is an industrial engineering, so in high school I knew I wanted to study engineering. I loved my high school AP chemistry class so I decided on chemical engineering. Originally, I was pursuing a double major with chemical engineering and business, but after taking Phys 212 (electromagnetism) my sophomore year and talking with my professor, I decided to pursue my second major in physics instead of business. My decision to pursue an emphasis in manufacturing happened the moment I got the phone call about my admission to the CME. From faculty with extensive industry experience and connections to a factory floor for student projects with limitless capabilities, I fell in love with the CME on my very first tour.

What are your career goals?
Currently, I am an engineering intern at General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group. I hope to begin my career with them after I graduate since they have so many fascinating ongoing projects. Otherwise, I hope to stay within the defense industry and find another company who will utilize my academic studies in chemical engineering and physics just as well.

Have you had an experience that made you feel empowered at UM?
My choice to double major in majors that are in two different schools, liberal arts and engineering, was a very big commitment for me. However, after succeeding in my first semester where I was enrolled in the maximum course load, I knew I would succeed in my goal to finish my double major within four years at UM. I was met with much support from my advisors and professors, and I haven’t looked back.

Is there a professor who has been particularly helpful to you?
Within the physics department, Dr. Labuda, my advisor and instructor for two physics courses so far, has been especially helpful. She is always eager to help anytime I have needed help with assignments, and she has been a great resource for advice. Being in class with Dr. Labuda has made her love for teaching and her care for her students obvious, and that is something that cannot be undervalued.

What do you like to do outside of school (hobbies, interests)?
I love running and exploring nature! The Whirlpool Trails near campus are a great place for a weekday run after class, and Wall Doxey State Park is only a 30 minute drive, so it’s perfect for a weekend long run.

What is your favorite place to eat in Oxford?
Volta Taverna is by far my favorite place to eat in Oxford. I highly recommend their walnut and goat cheese salad!


Also see our “Featured Undergraduate Student” page.