BOONE, N.C. — As a physics major in the applied physics concentration at Appalachian State University, Nykesha Fyffe ’17 got excited about the problem-solving focus of her field. After all, her goals are to improve people’s lives and solve the problems of the future.
Fyffe is now pursuing a master’s in industrial and systems engineering at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. She plans to pursue a career in project management after graduating in 2019.
Fyffe credits the faculty members of Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy for opening her eyes to the knowledge and skills she’ll need in her future career. She said the opportunity to work as a research assistant with professors in the department — Dr. Jennifer Burris and Dr. Brooke Hester — was one of her most valuable experiences at Appalachian.
“Since working with them, I’ve developed problem-solving skills that helped me succeed in all of my classes,” she said.
In her master’s program, “my interdisciplinary background allows me to approach problems differently than others that have strict engineering experience,” Fyffe said. “When I bring up potential solutions, it allows others to think about things differently and opens more possibilities in brainstorming.”
“My passion is helping others,” Fyffe said. “I’m looking forward to having some hands-on experience in project management.”
She said that working with others on group projects while at Appalachian helped prepare her for large-scale projects she’ll encounter in her master’s program and in her future career.
Fyffe is appreciative of the healthy and safe learning environment that she experienced at Appalachian. “That has pushed me to look for that type of environment in my future career, and also to make sure I am providing a good working environment for those around me,” she said.
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.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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