From Nursing to NASA

charityEven when Charity Woodrum was a nurse, her heart was in quantum mechanics and her eyes were on the stars. Finally, after reading everything she could find by Stephen Hawking, she made the bold decision to go back to school and become an astrophysicist.

“I chose the UO because it has a strong physics program, the best in the state,” said the junior from Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

A recipient of the UO’s donor-funded Weiser Undergraduate Research Prize, Charity spent 10 weeks this summer on a prestigious internship with NASA, where she joined the hunt for gravitational waves.

She says she couldn’t have pursued her passion without help.

“I come from a very low-income family, so scholarships and financial aid are vital,” she said. “As a mom with a two-year-old, another vital component making my education possible is the UO’s excellent, affordable Moss Street Children’s Center. I am so grateful.”

Charity’s NASA internship and ongoing research are featured in CAScade, the magazine of the UO College of Arts and Sciences.

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