Undergraduate Physics student awarded N.C. Space Grant

Jaden Miller, Physics, Undergraduate student

From Salisbury, North Carolina

Going into his junior year at Appalachian State University, Jaden Miller has made an impression after being awarded an Undergraduate Research Scholarship by N.C. Space Grant. Miller, who is majoring in physics, has a passion for his field and wants the chance to learn more about how a research lab environment functions.

The N.C. Space Grant Undergraduate Research Scholarship, is awarded to students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that support NASA’s Mission Directorates. The annual program provides $8,000 per student to fund an active research activity.

“The grant has helped me focus on my research instead of having to delegate time between a job and lab work,” said Miller.

Miller is pursuing a B.S. degree in physics with a concentration in applied physics. He is motivated by his love of space travel to determine the effects of cosmic rays on astronauts traveling outside of our atmosphere. His research uses a technique called optical tweezing to monitor how human cells are affected by radiation.

 “Jaden is a highly motivated and driven individual. I've been impressed with how quickly he mastered the usage of our custom-made instruments and measurement techniques. I can't wait to see the impressive work that Jaden will accomplish with the N.C. Space Grant support,” said 

Dr. Brooke Hester, undergraduate program director and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The global pandemic has had an impact on Miller’s ability to conduct research over the past summer, but he has taken advantage of resources available to him, “I have not been able to enter the lab throughout the entire summer, so most of my work has been online working on gathering data pertaining to radiation and cell deformation. I have also been working on optimizing the code in the programs that we use to automate the lab.”

Following the completion of his Bachelor's degree at Appalachian, Miller hopes to work in a lab research setting, working on anything physics-related. In the meantime, he looks forward to his research for the next year, "Working on this project has been an amazing opportunity that I am very grateful for.”

Miller and an Appalachian graduate student, Lia Phillips, both received awards this year. Phillips, majoring in engineering physics, received an N.C. Space Grant Graduate Fellowship for her role in automating a laser tweezer raman spectroscopy system. 


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 https://physics.appstate.edu.

By Sophia Woodall
Sept. 2, 2020


Jaden Miller
Published: Sep 2, 2020 3:06pm