Photo of students and professors collaborating on the Scanning Electron Microscope

Meet Josh Sedarski ’24, applied physics - materials science

Pursuing a passion for physics, made possible by the STEM scholarship

"It was my junior year in high school, I remember they released the first image of the black hole," Sedarski, an applied physics major, recalled. "It was invisible, but you could see it, or parts of it. We were slapping the universe in the face with what we could do. I remember thinking—I'd been back and forth with architecture and engineering—'well, it's all physics now.'"

Sedarski knew he wanted to pursue physics in higher education, and he took college costs into account as much as a school's robust physics program. When he learned about Hamline University's STEM scholarships through a friend, he applied that same day.

"I heard back about two weeks later that I got in, but it wasn't until the summer that I received a call from my admission advisor—while I was making hot dogs," Sedarski remembered. "He asked if I was sitting down, and he told me I got the STEM scholarship. It was a huge weight off my back. With that scholarship, I could declare and go to Hamline." 
 

If you ask that first catalyzing question, things can happen for you really quickly like they did for me. I love the department so much because of how much I've invested."

 

 

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Photo of applied physics student Josh Sedarski

Since then, Sedarski has immersed himself in every aspect of physics at Hamline. From inheriting a lead-detection research project from a graduated physics student, to working at the college's physics summer camps for high school students, he's seen how a spark of initiative can grow into a fire of possibility.

"If you ask that first catalyzing question, things can happen for you really quickly like they did for me," he said. "I love the department so much because of how much I've invested. I see a whole lot of value in the things that we do because I have personally had touch points in so many of our projects."

As he looks to the future, NASA's Artemis program—the US's project to return astronauts to the moon—is a guiding light for Sedarski. However, even if he misses while shooting for the moon, he knows he'll land among the stars of countless opportunities in the physics field, both personal and professional.

"The field of research that has taken my interest has a lot more opportunities than just NASA. I'm interested in the US Department of Energy and the US National Lab, too," Sedarski said. "And I'd love to buy my own telescope components and travel to places with excellent dark skies to see the sky in its pristine form. Places like Namibia, Germany, Iceland."

Highlights

Learn about Hamline's physics degrees, discover how our STEM scholarships make college affordable, and explore high school opportunities in our physics summer camps.