Quilcene graduate named WWU 'Outstanding Graduate' for work in physics, astronomy

Posted 7/21/15

Kodiak Murphy of Quilcene was honored by Western Washington University as an Outstanding Graduate for the 2014-15 academic year at spring commencement, Saturday, June 13.

Faculty members from …

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Quilcene graduate named WWU 'Outstanding Graduate' for work in physics, astronomy

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Kodiak Murphy of Quilcene was honored by Western Washington University as an Outstanding Graduate for the 2014-15 academic year at spring commencement, Saturday, June 13.

Faculty members from dozens of academic departments and programs select one graduate to honor as the Outstanding Graduate of the year. Selection is a high honor based on grades, research and writing, service to the campus and community, and promise for the future.

Murphy was named Outstanding Graduate in Physics and Astronomy; he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics.

Murphy spent three years working in the lab of Janelle Leger, WWU associate professor of physics and astronomy, making significant research contributions in their work on plasmon polariton waveguides and presenting results at national conferences. He was also very active in outreach, diversity and building community across STEM disciplines, notably through his work with the Physics Club, the Women in Physics club and the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. He was also a teaching assistant in physics and the recipient of the Oscar Edwin Olson and James and Joann Albers scholarships.

Next, Murphy is to move to California to begin the Ph.D. program in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he will conduct research in atomic, molecular and optical physics. Murphy is a graduate of Quilcene High School and Olympic College, and the son of Debbi Gottschalk.

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