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I was first exposed to the idea of science when my grandparents took my brother and me in at eleven years old when I realized my grandpa and I shared the same enthusiasm in physics. He is a retired engineer from Busch but he wanted to be a physicist when he was younger. He had to be an engineer for financial reasons so he never had a chance of reaching his dreams; however, he sparked that interest in me by teaching me about the wonders of the universe. We used to sit out on the deck and look at the stars through the telescopes, delving into deep conversations about formation and evolution of the stars.

As I aged, my interest had changed its focus to learn more about the formation and evolution of galaxies. It is still a broad subject but I hope to refine the focus or to explore other avenues. I am open to change and open to learning more in general about the universe. Our knowledge about the universe is always changing and evolving; I want to be on the frontline to explore new ideas and details about space (more specifically: galaxies). I hope to continue to further my education in physics by attaining a Masters degree in astrophysics and continue on to PhD in Computational Astrophysics. My ultimate goal is to keep learning and expanding my knowledge about the universe through research.

First taste of research was at University of Michigan during Summer of 2015, just before I transferred to Albion College from Jackson Community College. I was a part of the program at U of M called Community College Student Fellowship Program, which fostered students from community colleges and helping them learn how to manage their time wisely. I had an opportunity to present my poster Exploring the Suns Interior at the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at which I have achieved a blue ribbon. After I transferred to Albion, I got an opportunity to do research with my academic advisor and professor, Dr. Zellner during Summer 2016 and throughout my senior year at Albion College. I had an opportunity to go down to Grapevine, Texas to present my poster Glycolaldehyde and Ethylene Glycol on Nearly Isotropic Comets. I am currently writing my senior thesis based on this research as well as presenting my poster in Elkin Isaac Symposium Day at Albion College in late April.

After I transferred into Albion College, I have joined Muslim Student Association (MSA), Asians Awareness Group (AAG), Hillel (Jewish Club), LGBriTS (college gender and sexuality minorities group), and Astronomy Club. One of my goals in these groups is to draw attention and show the importance of intersectionalities in minorities. As we focus on each issue, it is important to keep in mind that many of us have more than one disadvantage as well as privilege others may not have. As a deaf, trans person on college campus, I face disadvantages in more than one direction and I am not alone. I try to help educate others on campus about important issues and what we can do about them. It is important to be aware of them in the science fields, so we can try to help one another through these challenges. I would love to learn more from different perspectives and finding ways to help as well as help bring more attention to diversity in astronomy and physics fields. I am currently in the process of changing my name legally (from Hannah to Jayden). I am deaf with a cochlear implant, which does pose its own unique challenges, which I love to overcome.

Jayden’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Albion College - Bachelor in Arts, Physics

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 27

ACT English: 29

ACT Math: 29

ACT Science: 25

GRE Quantitative: 153

GRE Verbal: 146


Watching Hulu/Netflix, building things, walking

Tutoring Subjects


Algebra 2


Basic Computer Literacy

College Algebra

College Physics

Computer Science


Drum and Percussion

Earth Science


High School Computer Science

High School Physics



Microsoft Excel





Technology and Computer Science