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Physics Graduate Mentorship Program (PGMP)

Mission Statement

“The Physics Graduate Mentorship Program (PGMP) was founded by UF physics students to facilitate the building of community and a robust peer-to-peer resource network for graduate students within the physics department.

Our goal is to improve the professional and social development of the graduate student community through frequent interactions including seminars, panels, presentations, and the sharing of snacks and meals. We regularly host events within the department that are designed to help our peers through all aspects of their careers.

Arriving in Gainesville for the first time, help with homework and exams, choosing courses, preparing for a conference or talk, writing a paper or dissertation, finding housing, and accessing key campus resources such as health and wellness services. These are challenges common to all physics graduate students. Our program is designed to help you through these challenges by leveraging the knowledge and experience of your fellow classmates.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the mentors listed below. We look forward to hearing from you!”


PGMP Organizers

Alex Schachtner

Alex Schachtner

Office: NPB B69
Office phone: 352-846-3122
Email: schachtner@ufl.edu
Advisor: Andrew Rinzler

Research Interests: Novel light emitting-transistor technology, carbon nanotube thin film deposition, image and micrograph statistical analysis.

Bio: Alex came to study physics at UF after completing the 2014 Materials Physics REU Program. As a co-founder of the UF Physics Graduate Mentorship Program, he is passionate about improving the community for his colleagues. In his spare time, he enjoys playing drums, painting, and anything fitness related.


Suzanne RosenzweigSuzanne Rosenzweig

Office: NPB 2014
Office phone: 352-846-3133
Email: srhelfrich@ufl.edu
Advisor(s): Darin Acosta and Jacobo Konigsberg

Research Interests:  I am currently working to develop upgrades for the Phase-II endcap muon trigger, including the ability to trigger on displaced muons, which may lead to interesting new physics observations. I will also soon begin working on analysis of a Higgs decay channel.

Bio: Suzanne transferred to UF at the beginning of her junior year of undergraduate and enrolled in the graduate program in 2017. She has a diverse background in physics, with work experience in a biophysics experiment lab, a condensed matter experiment lab, and a high energy experiment group. She enjoys reading, hiking, and playing the piano.


Jake Rosenzweig

Office: NPB 2014
Office Phone: 352-846-3133
Email: rosedj1@ufl.edu
Advisor: Andrey Korytov

Research Interests:   Jake is performing a precision measurement of the Higgs boson mass using 2016-2018 (Run2) data collected from the CMS detector and looking for evidence of new particles which may be produced through exotic Higgs boson decays.

Bio:   Jake grew up in Jacksonville, FL, earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UF in 2011, and joined the UF physics graduate program in 2016. Fun fact: he met his wife, Suzanne, in Prof. Pierre Sikivie’s quantum mechanics class – talk about romantic! Jake is grateful to “pay it forward” by mentoring fellow grad students. What gets him jittery with excitement? Programming, life hacks, board games, and hiking on mountains.


1-on-1 Mentors

Hoda AklHoda Akl

Office: NPB 1228
Office Phone: 352-392-1668
Email: hodaakl@ufl.edu
Advisor: Steve Hagen

Research Interests: Quorum sensing is a fancy name for communication in bacteria that is dependent on their population. Hoda’s projects involve understanding how information flows through the circuits of the bacteria and, through that, understanding what purpose the design of the circuit serves.

Bio: Hoda’s interests outside of physics: Reading, writing, cooking and getting my heart rate up due to reasons other than anxiety, like playing volleyball and rock climbing. If you are interested to know more about Hoda’s research, please reach out to her.


Ioannis Michaloliakos

Office: NPB 2110
Office Phone: 352-392-9849
Email: ioannis.michalol@ufl.edu
Advisor: Bernard Whiting

Research Interests: Gravitational Waves and Cosmology

Bio: Third year graduate student.