Joe Svejkosky ′11
Major: Physics and Computer Science
Hometown: St Louis, MO
Fun Fact: While studying in the French Alps last year, Joe got a personal tour of CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.
What brought you to Rhodes?
When I was looking at colleges, my dad and I decided that I needed to go to a place that would make me a well-rounded person. When we saw Rhodes, it had everything I was looking for—small class sizes, personable professors in the Physics department, a fun Greek life and, most of all, a solid liberal arts foundation. I knew that I already had a pretty good understanding of math and science, but I wanted to be a better writer. I believed that Rhodes could do that, and it has.
How did you get interested in Physics?
In high school I was always interested in understanding how things work at the most basic level. Many people consider Biology a scientific basis for the social sciences. The basis for Biology is Chemistry, and the foundations of all Chemistry are really just principles of Physics. Physics is the backbone of everything, and all of its fundamental equations can fit on a napkin. That’s always amazed me. When I got to Rhodes, I accepted a Taylor Fellowship in the Physics Department, where I get to do research alongside Rhodes Physics professors. Right now, I’m working on testing Professor Shubho Banerjee’s theory of charged static spheres.
Besides research, what else are you involved in?
I played varsity football for three years. I’m also the physical fitness officer for the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which means I help design and coordinate the workouts we do.
That sounds like a pretty full schedule. What’s your secret?
Well, it’s definitely been difficult dividing my time among all these activities. I guess what it really comes down to is good planning, prioritizing, and perseverance. My offensive line coach, Coach Ellingsworth, was a big inspiration to me. Every time we struggled with something, he told us to do whatever gets the job done and that we should never make any excuses. I’ve really taken that to heart.
Do you have any big dreams for the future?
Right now my dream is to be a second lieutenant in the Air Force working either on physics or cyberspace technology. Over the summer, I attended an internship at The Air Force Research Lab that dealt mainly with issues of cyber security. They bring a handful of the top recruits every summer. It was fantastic, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.