Who we are

CU-Prime is a growing, evolving organization with lots of amazing people working hard to make it happen! Here's a little bit about who we are, in no particular order...


Mentorship Team

We help to build community between students of different levels of study by matching graduate/undergraduate mentors with mentees and by organizing group activities like museum trips, barbecues, and more! To get in touch with us, feel free to email mentorship@cuprime.org.


Morgan Aire


Morgan is an undergrad Physics student. She became involved with CU-Prime by taking the class. Now, she works with the mentorship program. Morgan is a Colorado native and enjoys all of the stereotypical Colorado hobbies such as: hiking, skiing, and hammocking. 


Anna Estes


Anna is an undergrad Astrophysics student. She had some great CU-Prime mentors her freshman year, and has been involved with the program ever since. Anna works with Dr. MacGregor on stellar flare research, and is also very passionate about social justice. She enjoys running, hiking, singing, and painting, too. Anna will be graduating May 2021.


Lucas Kolanz


Lucas is an Engineering Physics undergrad student. He enjoys hiking and plays intramural soccer. Lucas was introduced to CU-Prime by taking the CU-Prime class. The next year he taught the class and since then has been CU-Prime’s Network Fellow (liaison with Access Network).


He works in a theoretical AMO group with Dr. Andreas Becker as an undergraduate researcher.



2020 Class Team

We are the instructors for the Fall 2020 iteration of CU-Prime's class, PHYS 1400! To get in touch, email us at phys1400@colorado.edu.


Emily Hoang


Emily is an undergraduate Physics student. Before moving to Colorado, she lived in Pennsylvania. Emily started her involvement with CU-Prime after taking the class, and now works as a PHYS 1400 instructor. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, learning languages, and playing guitar.

Ian Leahy


Ian is a current PhD student studying experimental condensed matter physics. He is involved with the CU-Prime talk series and will be an instructor of the PHYS 1400 class in Fall 2020. In his free time, he likes to hike, play guitar, and rock climb.


Sarah Stevenson


Sarah is a current PhD student in the Physics Department. She is one of the instructors for PHYS 1400 this fall. When not doing science, she might be found playing the flute or the organ, drawing, or searching the mountains of Colorado for her favorite animal, the pika. She grew up in Houston, Texas.


Sarah works in the lab of Prof. Nils Halverson on instrumentation for observational cosmology.

 
Alex Toma


Originally from Nevada, Alex is a current undergrad in the Physics and Math Departments. He is one of the instructors for PHYS 1400 this fall, after attending the class his freshman year. He conducts Superconductive Electronic research at NIST under their Physical Measurement Division.


In his spare time he can be found studying music, history, and looking for new interactions to have.



Talks Team

We are the organizers for CU-Prime's biweekly talk series! If you'd like to help out with the planning, setup/tear-down, eating free pizza, or giving a talk, feel free to reach out to us at talks@cuprime.org.


Ian Leahy


Ian is a current PhD student studying experimental condensed matter physics. He is involved with the CU-Prime talk series and will be an instructor of the PHYS 1400 class in Fall 2020. In his free time, he likes to hike, play guitar, and rock climb.


Tyler McMaken


Tyler is a current PhD student in the Physics Department. He was an instructor for PHYS 1400 in 2019, and he currently helps run CU-Prime’s talk series and acts as CU-Prime’s Assembly Fellow. Tyler’s originally from Ohio, and in his free time he can be found playing piano, harpsichord, or organ at his church and in ensembles with the Music Department.

 

Tyler works with Andrew Hamilton in JILA studying quantum effects inside black holes.


Facilitation Team

We help to organize and plan all other aspects of CU-Prime not mentioned above, including funding, communicating with the Physics Department and the Access Network, planning retreats and diversity workshops, and more! Any questions about CU-Prime can be sent to us at cu-prime@colorado.edu.


Ben Pollard


 Ben is a postdoctoral researcher in the Physics Department, working in the field of Physics Education Research. He studies teaching and learning in physics laboratory courses. He also finds time for bassoon playing, choral singing, ice skating, rock climbing, backpacking, and skiing. Ben grew up in State College, PA, and went to Pomona College majoring in Physics and Computer Science. He earned his PhD in Physics at CU Boulder, working in the experimental nano-optics lab of Prof. Markus Raschke.


Ben works with the Lewandowski Group.

Katie Rainey


Katie is a PhD candidate in the Physics Department. Through her time with CU-Prime, Katie has taught PHYS 1400 (2015, 2018), helped with organizing logistics for the Talk Series, acted as an Access Assembly Fellow, and facilitated Diversity Workshops. When not helping with CU-Prime, Katie spends most of her free time doing her trademark acrylic nails, dying her hair crazy colors, running, and watching Netflix. 


Katie works with the Physics Education Research Group. She wants to use her future-PhD to teach high school and is working towards her teaching license through CU Teach.

Ran Brynn Reiff


Brynn is a current PhD student in the Physics Department. He got his Physics BA at CU, but didn’t join CU-Prime until grad school. He’s a big Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan and an avid gamer across mediums (video games, board/card games, pen-and-paper RPG).

 

He works on diversity workshops and logistics (funding, google drive, etc.) and is involved with two other equity groups at CU, R^3 and JEDI.

 

He works in the Ultrafast AMO Theory Group with Andreas Becker and Agnieszka Jaron-Becker, studying high-harmonic generation through numerical simulations, with a focus on efficient extensions to larger atoms and gas jets.
 
Miranda Thompson


 Miranda is a current PhD student in the Physics Department. She’s originally from Michigan and enjoys backpacking and cross-country skiing. She was an instructor for the CU-Prime class in Fall 2019.




We also want to acknowledge all the contributions from past CU-Prime organizers—these are the people who have made CU-Prime possible and have helped it to flourish from its founding to the present!

(A list of these alumns is coming soon)