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Georgia Votta ’21 and research poster

Georgia Votta ’21 with her poster “Characterizing a Charged Particle Detector Telescope,” research she conducted with Augustana physics professor Dr. Nathan Frank, at the 2019 American Physics Society’s Division of Nuclear Physics fall meeting in Arlington, Virginia. 

Augustana junior awarded $10,000 Rossing Physics Scholarship

Georgia Votta ’21 has been awarded a $10,000 Rossing Physics Scholarship for 2020-21.

She is from Essex, Ill., and is majoring in physics and applied mathematics. She is one of only 11 students nationwide to win a Rossing Scholarship. 

“Physics has always been the most fascinating subject to learn about,” Votta said. “We are able to study the most fundamental processes that help us describe the way our universe works. 

“Learning unique ways to think about and solve problems has been very rewarding. I truly cannot imagine myself doing anything else!”

She has a bright future ahead in graduate school and as a research physicist, according to Dr. Nathan Frank, the physics professor with whom Votta collaborated. Dr. Frank added, “We look forward to seeing what field within experimental nuclear and high energy physics she chooses to pursue.”

He said their project is to develop and test a new charged particle detector system for nuclear physics research, which will then be used at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory based at Michigan State University. Their work is supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Coming from a small high school, Votta knew she wanted to attend a small college. “Everyone here is so genuine, and it was easy to see that each student's well-being and success is deeply valued,” she said. 

“All of my professors have been so supportive of me both as a student and as a person. It is inspiring to learn from those who are so passionate about what they teach,” she said. “Dr. Nathan Frank, Dr. Cecilia Vogel, Dr. Andrew Sward, Dr. James Wetzel, and Dr. Jon Clauss—I am immensely grateful to them for all they’ve done for me.”

In addition to her courses, Votta is secretary of the Augustana Physics and Engineering Society and plays trumpet for the Augustana Symphonic Band and the Augustana Symphony Orchestra. 

Other recent Augustana winners of the Rossing Physics Scholarship include John P. McDonaugh in 2019 and Adam Gronewold in 2017.

The application process for Rossing Scholarships is initiated annually in late autumn. Awards typically are announced in early April. 

Dr. Thomas D. Rossing created the scholarship fund through the Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Awards of $5,000 and $10,000 go to exemplary physics students attending one of the 26 ELCA colleges and universities, to be used for tuition.


Kirby Stockwell

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