Lilly Flewellen Furman University

Class of 2015
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.

We went to China for two weeks, where we had an opportunity to learn from local and Furman professors in Suzhou, an Eastern province in China.

Life as a Physics Major

  • Why did you decide to be a physics major?

      One of my high school teachers was very influential, and I developed an interest in physics through them. When I arrived at Furman, I talked to Dr. William Brantley and he encouraged me to pursue it.

  • Best experience in the department?

      Visiting to the American Astronomical Society two years in a row. We had an opportunity to present research about supernova remnants in front of about 300 people. The conference was great venue to collaborate and network with other physicists.

  • Favorite class

      Intro to Modern Physics. Dr. Susan D'Amato is a great professor. She's very organized and her class was fascinating. Even as an introductory class, it got me thinking about what I want to study and pursue in graduate school.

  • Favorite professor

      Dr. David Moffett. He makes himself available between classes, and has our interests at heart.

  • Career goals

      I'm going to graduate school for theoretical astrophysics. Once I've earned a Ph.D., I'd like to be a college professor.

  • Research/Internship experience

      I've done research with Dr. David Moffett for the past two summers, and tried to absorb everything I can from him about astronomy to ensure that it's what I want to pursue in my career. We've learned how to work in the planetarium, and we've conducted supernova remnant research – measuring the expansion and then mapping the magnetic field of the interstellar medium.

  • Study away experience

      As a freshman, I participated in the Summer China Experience. We went to China for two weeks, where we had an opportunity to learn from local and Furman professors in Suzhou, an Eastern province in China. We then spent a week touring Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai.

Best of List

  • Best study location:

      I like to go up to the Flat Rock Village Bakery in Flat Rock, N.C. They have great food, and a good atmosphere. It's a small venue, but there's enough background noise to keep me focused on my work.

  • Favorite Activity:

      I've been a rock climber for quite a few years. I also enjoy reading for pleasure, and going to Asheville.

  • Favorite place to eat:

      I really like Treats in Travelers Rest, S.C., for their green juice.

Helpful Tips

  • Choosing a major:

      I got lucky and knew what I wanted to do before I arrived at Furman. But the best advice I could give is to take care of all your general education requirements as a freshman and sophomore so you can get a wide variety of experiences. That way, you don't have to worry about them later on, and you'll know what you want to do.

  • Studying:

      Be organized. Find a good study spot, and figure out if you can study well with music or friends. Be sure to take enough breaks so you don't get bogged down.

  • Getting involved on campus:

      It's very easy to come in as a freshman and join every club available. But if you do that, you'll quickly become overwhelmed. So pick two or maybe three favorite pastimes and commit yourself to those.

  • What isn't in the brochure:

      I came to Furman with the expectation that this university would be the same Furman from my parents' years, and it wasn't. Times change and I've had my own experience—and I appreciate that.

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