Outstanding Seniors at the College of Science: Justin Hink

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This spring, each department of the University of Arizona College of Science named an outstanding senior who went above and beyond during his time as a Wildcat. We are happy to share their stories as they reflect on their time at UArizona. Next in the senior spotlight series is Justin Fink.

Justin Hink

Hometown: Marana, AZ

Degrees: physics and astronomy

College of Science: Why did you choose your field of study?

justin: At Marana High School, I started learning physics in the second year. My teacher, Mark Calton, taught me Newton’s kinematic equations. I thought it was fascinating to learn so much about the motion of objects from a few initial conditions. I had started an engineering club with Mark where we created trebuchets, a duct tape water bottle, a duct tape boat, and many other projects. I used my introductory knowledge of physics to find out how much force our trebuchet applied and how far the golf ball traveled. I wanted to know more. I took two years of AP physics courses learning thermodynamics, optics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, of course, all in a simplistic way. I was also able to take an astronomy course with Mark. My physics classes and my teacher took me out of my bubble and convinced me to make the necessary effort to undertake and obtain this degree.

CS: Tell us about a course or research project that you really enjoyed.

justin: The most memorable research project I worked on during those four years of college was with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab). I’ve worked with them since the summer after my junior year. It was the first time I had to search through textbooks and learn a research topic myself. This experience has given me an abundance of opportunities, from seminars to writing articles, to doing a poster presentation at Rice University. This internship even led me to learn more about medical physics and change the direction of my career.

CS: What is a specific memory from your time at UA that you will cherish forever?

justin: I will always remember going up Mount Lemmon with a group of stargazing friends. They had an 8 inch telescope so we could see Jupiter’s rings. It’s a whole new experience to see the rings in person rather than a nice photo online. Amazingly, this was my first time on Mt Lemon, even though I’ve lived here all my life.

CS: What’s next for you after graduation?

justin: After graduation, I work with the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility during the summer. Then I’m moving to UCLA this fall. I was accepted into their Department of Physics and Biology in Medicine to do a PhD in Medical Physics.

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