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What our Students Say

Joshua L Hayes, 2000

I graduated in May of 2000 with a BS in General Physics and a minor in mathematics. I went on to UK to get a Masters in Radiological Medical Physics. I worked as a medical physicist in Lubbock TX for 5 years and now I am in Marietta, OH. Life is pretty good. Not married, no kids. One Golden Retriever named Marvin and a Boxer named Colby.

EKU treated me great. Its size was just perfect. Especially as I got to higher level math and physics classes, the classes got smaller and smaller allowing more access to your professors. I had 3 physics classes (E&M, Classical Mechanics 2, and Circuits) where I was the only student. It was awesome. I would never send someone to some huge university to learn physics. Why get lost in the crowd to learn modern physics that was developed 100 years ago?


Tracie Prater

I received my master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in August 2008. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt.

In 2008, I was awarded a NASA GSRP (Graduate Student Research Program) Fellowship to support my dissertation research. My work focuses on process optimization of Friction Stir Welding, a solid-state, autogenous joining process used primarily by the aerospace industry. As part of my fellowship, I work at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama during the summers.

My EKU Physics degree has been a great asset to me in my pursuit of graduate education. The transition from physics to engineering was seamless, a testament to the great instruction I received at EKU. I always dreamed of working for NASA and my EKU degree made it possible.


Jim Riggs, 1985

I graduated way back in 1985 with an A.S. In Pre-Engineering and a B.S. In Applied Physics (Math Minor). I added an MBA in 1994.

My early career was basically entirely attributable to my education at Eastern. I went into manufacturing and worked in engineering. My studies prepared me to actually use all of my academic knowledge and apply it on the plant floor to various processes and operations. I would never have gotten my foot in the door without my degree from Eastern.

I currently reside in Franklin, Indiana with my beautiful wife Debbie and wonderful sons Austin and Owen. I am the Vice President of Manufacturing for NTN Driveshaft where I am responsible for 3 manufacturing plants, 1,800 employees, and $500 million in sales.

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