SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Forrest Myers, Physics and Astronomy

SAFE Grant Student Spotlight: Forrest Myers '20, Physics and Astronomy

Forrest Myers was an undergraduate student from North Wilkesboro, N.C. 

Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) fund recipient 

Project: “Optical trapping of gold nanoshells for studying optical binding”

With SAFE funding, Myers was able to spend part of his 2019 summer studying gold nanoshells as part of the BiyOSeF group at Appalachian State University. During that time Myers was able to practice alignment of the optical tweezer apparatus in campus labs and optimization of position detection. With the assistance of his mentor, Dr. Brooke Hester, associate professor, Physics and Astronomy, Myers measured the interparticle forces under differing conditions to find the conditions for maximized forces. Knowledge in these kinds of techniques gave Myers useful experience to more efficiently conduct later experiments. 

“Having a SAFE grant was what allowed me to spend time doing this research. Without it, I would not have been able to travel to Boone to work on research every week. This was an exciting experience for me as my first paid job in the field I plan to spend the rest of my career in,” said Myers. 


About The SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of Physics and Astronomy 
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at

Compiled and written by Barclay Ann Blankenship and Ellen Gwin Burnette
Nov. 23, 2020

Forrest Myers after graduating from Appalachian. Photo submitted
Published: Nov 23, 2020 1:27pm