“Allegheny expects a lot out of their students, and because of that, I’ve come to expect a lot out of myself.”
— Karl Smith
Karl Smith is grateful for the opportunities Allegheny College has granted him. “Someone recently asked me what I was going to be doing with my life following graduation,” Karl recounts. “I explained that I had been offered a position teaching science in sub-Sahara Africa through the Peace Corps and that I had also been accepted into the University of Rochester’s Biophysics Ph.D. program. It suddenly occurred to me that having to make such a difficult decision was what made me one of the unusual combinations I had heard so much about. I also realized that I would not have those tremendous options if it had not been for Allegheny.”
As a Physics major, Karl spent many long hours in the lab working on his comprehensive project – a study focused on building water-cooled modulation coils for an EPR spectrometer. “Physics is a very vigorous field,” Karl explains, “so it helps to work with other students to better understand the information. You form a sort of camaraderie and build lasting friendships. Physics puts you under a lot of pressure, so it is nice to have friends who are in the same place and going through the same thing.”
Karl is a four-year Alden Scholar and a recipient of the Physics department’s experimental comprehensive project award. He also recently accepted his offer to attend the University of Rochester’s graduate program after being extended the prestigious Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull University Fellowship.
During his time at Allegheny, Karl claims that he has always been encouraged to be a well-rounded individual who sees past traditional boundaries. “I have always been told not to box myself in,” he says. “Allegheny expects a lot out of their students, and because of that, I’ve come to expect a lot out of myself.”