Alumni Profile

David Rodriguez-Perez, Class of 2015


Physics Major

I graduated from Gonzaga in 2015 with a B.S. in Physics. After Gonzaga, I moved down to New Orleans to pursue my Ph.D. in Physics at Tulane University. My research group focuses on quantum simulation and quantum computation, with a particular interest in topological quantum states.

I cannot imagine having a better experience studying physics at any place other than Gonzaga. What made my time here so great was without a doubt the size of all my classes. Not only does this make it easier to meet classmates and get to know them at a very personal level, but it also allowed me to meet my professors in a very similar fashion. I have professors at Gonzaga that I would consider friends, which makes it really easy to not only consult them for academic advice, but also for life advice. This is something that I do not see happening with friends from other institutions.


Pasha Tabatai, M.S., Class of 2011


Physics Major

I graduated from Gonzaga in 2011 with a B.S. in Physics. After graduation, I enrolled in Georgetown University where I received my M.S. in Physics in 2014 and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics. My research interests include studying materials that exhibit complex solid and liquid-like behavior (e.g. gels, suspensions, and polymers); this is best described as the field of Soft Condensed Matter. In particular, I have focused on the gel formation of reconstituted silk protein for use in tissue engineering.

My experiences in the Gonzaga Physics Department were vital to my success as an experimental physicist. Through many of the advanced lab courses, I was given the freedom to explore. As a result, I developed the ability and desire to design and solve real problems. Gonzaga’s physics professors trusted me to work through problems on my own, but they were always available when I needed help.


Dr. Kristine Pelatt, Class of 2002


Mathematics & Physics Majors

I graduated from Gonzaga in 2002 with a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics. After graduating, I earned an M.A. in Mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics at University of Oregon. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Physics at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.

My experience at Gonzaga gave me a strong foundation for my academic career. I gained the knowledge necessary for graduate level courses as well as the experience and confidence to continue trying when a concept is confusing. In my physics courses, I learned that I am capable of mastering complex and challenging theories. My physics professors also provided me with the support I needed to complete my studies when my younger sister underwent treatment for leukemia. The academically and emotionally supportive environment in the Gonzaga Physics Department made my success possible.


Graham Lelack, Class of 2019


Physics Major

After graduating from Gonzaga I plan on pursuing my Ph.D. in Physics.

My experience with studying physics at Gonzaga has been fantastic. It is not a very large major and therefore allows for a close relationship not only with the Physics professors, but the other Physics majors as well. These connections allow for a great learning experience, as there is always somebody who you can come to for help. All of the professors are always willing to help you succeed and genuinely care about your progress. I have enjoyed all of my physics classes because they have challenged me and made me grow both in my thinking and as a person. My experience with studying physics at Gonzaga has enhanced my time at Gonzaga and I could not imagine going to any other University.



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