Lidiya Ahmed wins $10,000 Rossing Scholarship

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Lidiya Ahmed (2020) has been awarded the top ELCA Rossing Physics Scholarship of $10,000, having won the $5,000 award last year. The award is granted to top physics students drawn from the 26 ELCA colleges in the country. A physics and mathematics major, Lidiya grew up in Ethiopia where her father, a one-time engineering student, inspired her to pursue her dream of being a physicist. Interested in space physics she found Dr. Mark Engebretson and his impressive research record on-line, which led her to Augsburg.

Her first summer at Augsburg she worked in Dr. Ben Stottrup’s biophysics lab, funded by URGO, where she learned important programming skills and that she “liked to work in a team to solve problems.” Last summer she worked in Dr. Mark Engebretson’s lab studying phenomena that occur at the edges of space, which has given her “an in-depth understanding of the space physics field and the career path [she] want[s] to follow.”

Lidiya is also a LEAD fellow who has worked at many different community-based programs, such as Campus Ministry’s Urban Plunge program, Soup for You, and the Campus Kitchens program. She is currently a STEM peer mentor and has worked as a teaching assistant for Calculus classes and Calc Workshop and was the 3D printing coordinator for the mathematics department last year. Also named a Phillips Scholar, Lidiya will be running a program this summer, under the mentorship of Dr. Rebekah Dupont, Augsburg’s Director of STEM Programs, designed to increase retention of underrepresented students in STEM disciplines. Lidiya is also a Christenson Scholar and will be a Sabo Scholar this coming fall.

After graduating from Augsburg, Lidiya plans to pursue a PhD in space physics. Ultimately, her plans are to “start a space physics department in Ethiopia since [she] believes that there are many young people who don’t get the opportunity to study space physics.”

Congratulations Lidiya! Thanks to her many Augsburg mentors and teachers.