Former Intern Sammy Howell Accepted to Ph.D. Program at Duke University

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Interns at the Earth and Planets Laboratory complete their research alongside world-class scientists. From left to right: Asmaa Boujibar, Robert Hazen, Sammy Howell, Shuang Zhang, and Shaunna Morrison.
Wednesday, December 02, 2020 

After spending the summer of 2019 at the Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) studying space dust, Samantha “Sammy” Howell has been accepted into a Ph.D. program at Duke University, where she will study civil and environmental engineering.

“This is the kind of outcome that we love to see for our summer interns," wrote staff scientist Robert Hazen in an email, ”Sammy was a great colleague and it looks like her career is soaring.”

Howell graduated from Washington College in 2020 with her B.S. in physics and a minor in computer science, mathematics, and psychology. The summer before her senior year, Howell joined EPL as a summer intern.

As the culmination of her internship, Howell presented a poster entitled "Database Development and Analysis of Stellar Silicon Carbide Grains" with her coauthors, postdoctoral fellows Asmaa Boujibar and Shuang Zhang. She also worked with staff scientists Larry Nittler, Bob Hazen, and Shaunna Morrison on this project to collect, refine, and analyze the large and growing data resources on remarkable microscopic grains of “stellar minerals”—crystals that formed billions of years ago in the outflow winds from stars elsewhere in the galaxy.

In addition to receiving the standard Duke Ph.D. training and financial support, Howell was nominated by the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for a Sloan Scholarship from the Duke University Center of Exemplary Mentoring.