Three Gusties Recognized by Rossing Fund for Physics Education EndowmentElise Le Boulicaut ‘18, Ben Rorem ‘19, and Xiaoqi Yu ‘19 have been named Rossing Physics Scholars for 2017-2018 for their exemplary work in physics.
Posted on April 24th, 2017 by

Gustavus Adolphus College students Elise Le Boulicaut ‘18, Ben Rorem ‘19, and Xiaoqi Yu ‘19 have been named Rossing Physics Scholars for 2017-2018 for their exemplary standing as students in physics.

Elise Le Boulicaut ’18

Le Boulicaut will receive one of the three $10,000 scholarships awarded by the Rossing Fund for Physics Education Endowment through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation. Rorem and Yu will each receive one of the ten $5,000 honorable mention scholarships awarded by the foundation.

Funded by Dr. Thomas Rossing, the program awards annual scholarships to students enrolled at one of the 26 colleges and universities affiliated with the ELCA who are pursuing an education in physics. Applicants are nominated by their institution’s professors and selected by the foundation based on the student’s academic and research standing.

In the last seven years of the program, Gustavus physics students have accepted 11 of the available scholarships. This year, Le Boulicaut, Rorem, and Yu represent Gustavus as the only institution to receive three awards.

“All three of these students showcase strong academic skills and have excelled in our department. We are very proud of their work,” said physics professor Tom Huber.  “As a department, we understand the importance of participating in outside research for a student’s career and we encourage all of our physics students to pursue these opportunities. Elise, Ben, and Xiaoqi thrived in their summer research positions, each using their skills and experiences to successfully produce strong academic work.”

Le Boulicaut, a junior from Angers, France, conducted research at the College of William and Mary over the summer, where she developed programs and tested models to predict risk of infection in premature infants. “I learned a lot through this experience. I was able to practice finding my own resources, documenting research, and presenting my findings,” said Le Boulicaut.

Ben Rorem ’19

At Gustavus, Le Boulicaut attributes much of her success to the physics department, where she frequently meets with professors, visits tutors, and participates in academic and social events. She recommends the full immersion to future students. “By utilizing the amazing community, you will make the most out of your Gustavus physics education,” she said.

Outside of the classroom, Le Boulicaut sings in the Choir of Christ Chapel and takes private voice and piano lessons on campus. She also leads the Swing Dance Club, Newman Center, and French Club. She plans to pursue a doctorate in physics after graduating from Gustavus. In the future, she hopes to take her strong interest in high-energy particle physics and astronomy to conduct research, teach, and write textbooks in the discipline.

A sophomore from North Mankato, Rorem spent last summer conducting research as a member of the Gustavus First-Year Research Experience (FYRE) Program, which pairs students with faculty to conduct research in various focuses. Rorem worked side by side with physics professor Charles Niederriter to explore wind turbines and the power they produce. In his second year in the program, he has developed important relationships with the faculty. “I have been interested in science my whole life, and Professors Mellema and Niederriter have provided invaluable advice along my path in physics. It is an honor to represent them and receive this award,” Rorem said.

A chemistry minor, Rorem is involved on campus as a Gustie Greeter, a member of the Swim and Dive Team, and a member of the Choir of Christ Chapel. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a doctorate in either physics or engineering. Eventually, Rorem hopes to work in a career focused on wind and solar energy.

Xiaoqui Yu ’19

Yu, a sophomore from Wuhan, China, was also a participant in the FYRE program, where she studied Optical Coherence Tomography with physics professor Steve Mellema. After she sent a cold email, she was offered a research opportunity at the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, China during the 2016 fall semester. During her time back in China, Yu explored her home country, connected with professors and students of various backgrounds, and studied decomposed velocity fields with gravity models.

On campus, Yu is involved at Gustavus through the International Club, Martial Arts Club, and through work with the physics and mathematics departments. Eventually, she hopes to be able to return to Beijing to continue her research. Looking ahead, Yu’s passion lies in scientific research: “In Beijing, I worked with people from different countries but we all shared the common goal of learning more about the universe and promoting the exciting parts of science to the next generation. In the future, I hope to be like Dr. Rossing and not only be able to conduct scientific research, but also be able to encourage young people to pursue science.”

To learn more about physics at Gustavus, visit the department’s website.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


One Comment

  1. Daniel and Debbie Miller says:

    Congratulations to these fine students. As Ben’s Uncle and Aunt, we are very proud of his work ethics toward achieving his goals. We wish him the best as he learns and grows at the college. Uncle Danny and Aunt Dublin Miller