Physics Major: Hannah Tanquary
Hannah Tanquary came to be a Physics major at Eastern Illinois University through an unusual journey. She started college as a Music major at Olney Central College in Olney Illinois. During her first year she found that she was becoming increasingly unhappy with her Music major. She happened to take an Astronomy course to fulfill a physical science requirement. Her reasoning was that Astronomy would be much easier than Physics because of her lack of confidence in her Mathematical abilities.
She became very intrigued with Astronomy and it soon became her favorite class. She began to realize that she actually did have a love for science. Perhaps more importantly, that course showed her that Mathematics was science's most important tool and not something to be despised or feared. This realization slowly changed her hatred of Math into a deep appreciation and respect for the subject. She then took the general Physics course more aimed at Physics majors. She found that she did well, and so began to seriously study Physics and Astronomy.
After discussions with various teachers, including her Music teachers she came to the conclusion that she should change majors from Music to Physics. She completed her work at Olney Central College with an Associate’s Degree and decided to continue her studies in the area of Physics. At that point she came to EIU in order to seek her bachelor's degree in Physics with an Astronomy concentration.
She has now completed her first year at EIU and is on track to complete her degree. She is advised and mentored by Dr. James Conwell who has helped her to make the transition to EIU. She joined the Astrophysics research group led by Dr. Conwell and adjunct professor Robert Holmes. They have been working to refurbish a 30” telescope. Recently this telescope has been up and running. It was especially satisfying for Hannah and the team to get images as a result of their hard work. This research has helped to confirm that Hannah made the correct choice in changing majors and also in coming to EIU.
(Photos by Jay Grabiec)