Physics, UCLA Senior (Airman, Air Force)
In the past five years, Allen transitioned from serving in the Air Force to being a full-time college student at UCLA. During his time in service, he occasionally spent his free time visiting a local bookstore and it was there he found the book For the Love of Physics by Walter Lewin. Reading this book Allen was introduced to the most fascinating facts he had come across and was immediately fueled to pursue a degree in Physics.
Allen joined the military because of a “gut feeling” more than for any specific reason. At the age of 18, he felt it was the right thing to do. During his time in the Air Force, he learned the importance of priority - making sure he completed what needed to be done before doing what he wanted (or didn’t want) to do. This important lesson has allowed Allen to consistently stay focused through times of hardship.
Joining Veterans in STEM, the strongest component for Allen has been leadership and guidance. It has helped him to better navigate his college experience. Allen’s biggest struggle while transitioning was keeping up with fellow classmates academically and socially. Having veteran representation in STEM provided a community where he was able to connect with others who were also experiencing their most significant transition yet. Having a group of veterans that understood the rigor of pursuing a STEM degree while transitioning has been a large comforting factor for him.
If Allen could introduce diversity into the field of science, he would be honored to introduce universality. He realizes science experiences breakthroughs when it’s taken past its limit, requiring extensive work and dedication, but this sometimes closes the door to others. Physics is loaded with topics that would fascinate anyone, and Allen would like to deliver and present it in a manner that would resonate with all.