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Gravitational wave

Class of 2023 graduate says Mason Science prepared him in ways he didn’t expect

Mohamed El Gazzah
Mohamed El Gazzah. Photo provided.

Congratulations to Mohamed El Gazzah who graduated this May with a BS in Physics and a minor in mathematics. Get to know a little about Mohammad before he leaves Mason to pursue his master’s degree this fall.

Why did you choose your field of study?
I chose to study physics when I was 14 years old. Initially I just enjoyed reading, thinking and talking about physics with my high school physics teacher. However, as I continued to learn, I gained a passion for it. I continued to study and learn it independently while continuing to discuss the topic my high school teacher. When it came time to apply to college, the decision was already made for me. 

What have you learned (inside or outside the classroom) that really surprised you?
The most shocking thing I’ve learned is that the opportunities offered around the country are infinite. There’s never a lack of something you can do better in—all you have to do is look for it and try. 

What is your most memorable Mason moment?
My most memorable moment was during my sophomore year when my friend was leaving for the army. The day before leaving, my friends and I spent the entire 24 hours together—talking, driving, walking, and enjoying each other’s company. It was an emotional day, but also a great time talking about our time at mason and where we’d be in a few years. 

What are your plans after graduation?
I am going to pursue my PhD in Physics and Materials Science Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

How has the College of Science prepared you for those plans?
It prepared me in ways I didn’t expect. The College of Science allowed my experience at Mason to be unique and fulfilling through the people I’ve met, the professors who shared their experiences, the classes I took, and my participation in research.

Please share any internships, job, or volunteer experiences.
I’ve been a part of the Condensed Matter Physics research group since October of 2020 and participated in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program for three semesters. I conducted research throughout the summer in 2022 and worked in a bioengineering group doing computational science. I volunteered to serve as a speaker on several student panels, and I traveled around the country to share my work alongside researchers from around the world.