California State University-Chico
Aysen Tunca Memorial Scholarship
I am a senior at California State University, Chico, finishing my BS in Professional Physics and a minor in Mathematics. I am from Kent, Washington, where I was born to Vietnamese boat refugees as the eldest daughter of six children. I attended Scripps College for Women in Claremont, California, before moving to Chico. After time in the workforce, I decided to return to school in 2015. It was at Chico State that I was first introduced to the Society of Physics Students. Since becoming a member, I have served as the President of Chico State’s SPS chapter, as well as the department representative in the College of Natural Sciences’ Student Senate. Under Chico State’s Physics Summer Research Institute, I conducted research in the field of biophysics—focusing on the surface free energy of marine algae cells. In the spring semester of 2017, I was inducted into Chico State’s Sigma Pi Sigma chapter and had the honor to be the first woman physicist to be commencement speaker in Chico State history. For my dedication and leadership in the Chico State community and the Physics Department, I have also been awarded the College of Natural Sciences’ Outstanding Student Leader and Exemplary Student Awards. I am passionate about using my leadership skills to support scientists around me; after graduation, I would love to continue contributing to the scientific community through technical management.