Name: Silverio (Silver) Delgado
Host Site: CSU Los Angeles Physics and Astronomy Department
Alma Mater: University of California, Merced
Background: I was part of Dr. Ghosh’s Research lab, where I researched discrete dipole scattered approximations, and studied the absorption, scattering of light by targets with arbitrary geometries and complex refractive index, DDSCAT. I also assisted with Ms. Makiko and her research on liquid crystal nanoparticle composites. Other than doing research, I was a part of UC Merced’s Sports Shooting Club, Physics Club, and assisted in developing the rZA fraternity. I started volunteering at the California Science Center after graduation, as I enjoyed informing guests about the Endeavor missions and the space shuttle itself. After this, I got involved with the CSU STEM VISTA program.
Why you serve: I am really interested in how I can help inform current and future physicists on a whole world of possibilities that a physics degree can grant them. Being from an underrepresented minority, I felt obligated to inform others and encourage them to follow a fulfilling path in the sciences. Every time I was asked a question about the mechanisms involved in the space shuttle, I gave full explanations how things worked. Throughout thesetalks/lectures, I realized that many people are too scared to attempt physics, stating that it was “too hard” or “too complicated” to even comprehend the material. If there was a stronger connection between physicists and current students, then everyone can understand that a physicist isn’t just a researcher but could possibly become an engineer, lawyer, marketing expert, artist, novelist, CEO, astronaut, or business owner! With the involvement of both alumni and students, we can promote internships, mentoring opportunities, and an overall awareness of how great a physics degree can assist any underrepresented minority. That is the reason I serve.
Lessons Learned: Throughout the beginning of my service, I learned first hand the saying “It’s not what you know but who you know.” This became not just a saying but a way of life. Starting off with no connections to the school, I was quickly introduced to the whole staff and faculty, which quickly became a daily routine of hellos and pick up games of basketball. From my previous experiences this was a great step up from my usual routine of working alone.
Legacy: Near the end of my service, I would love to have groups of alumni working with their selective schools, promoting partnerships, internships, career opportunities, mentoring and donating to promote self-sustaining organizations. After I leave, I would love to hear how great the organization has sustained itself. It will be great to see more connections between organizations and the physics students at the schools, providing better opportunities for the students. In the end, a long time from now I would love to hear, “Boy Silver really helped us out in building a great network of alums to help guide these up and coming students”.