Katie Vasquez - Undergraduate 2020

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month 


Why did you choose to concentrate in Physics? And what specifically drew you to Astrophysics?

I knew I wanted to study astrophysics since I was the 13 years old. I saw a Stephen Hawking documentary and completely fell in love with the vast mysteries of the universe. It was an incredible moment of realizing how small and insignificant we are, and yet how much as humans we have accomplished and learned about the universe and how much more we can figure out. The curiosity of astrophysicists is astounding and I wanted to learn as much as I could about what else is out there, and what we can do to push forward space exploration.

What are you hoping to do in your next chapter after Brown?

While I love physics, I have also found that I have a passion for entrepreneurship. In my next chapter, I hope to work in consulting to gain more exposure to different industries. After that, I either want to work for an aerospace company or start my own business.

This year's Hispanic Heritage Month theme is "Hispanic Heritage: A History of Serving our Nation". Can you share with us how you have served and would like to continue serving your community?

I have served my community during my times as academic chair and co-president of the society of Hispanic engineers. We are a space that supports Hispanic students of any major to develop their professional skills and in their path after college. We have visited high schools in Rhode Island to help underprivileged and first generation high school students on the college application processes. In the past, we have volunteered with kids while putting on a mini science fair and experiments.

What are some of your favorite things about your Hispanic culture?

Great question! Obviously the food is huge. I could eat tacos, tamales, and churros all day. I’m also a huge fan of Dia de los Muertos because it represents the strength of a family bond, and how deep those roots go. I’m always impressed by the commitment to ancestry and respecting your elders.