For Students

Students are why I am here at Mount Holyoke. I love the community of students, faculty, and staff, and I love teaching. That said, this means I have large administrative demands, of which I am less fond. I want to help you learn and launch your career. Please help me help you by looking through these guidelines.

Are you thinking about graduate school in physics? Read this about the GRE. 

Are you looking for a letter of recommendation?

  1. Before we begin, a) have you thought carefully about why I am one of the top 3 people who should write you a letter? b) is your deadline at least three weeks away? and c) have you asked me for a letter yet? Assuming a) and b) are good, go ahead and ask (email or in person both fine). Fine print: occasionally I will be unable to write the letter for some reason. But usually I am able to, especially if a) and b) are good.
  2. Once I’ve agreed to write a letter, set up an appointment with me ASAP to discuss what you are applying for. We may do this over phone or Skype if you are off-campus.
  3. Instructions for getting the letter(s) delivered painlessly!

Are you looking for a course website or syllabus?

  1. Current courses are on Moodle.
  2. If this is for a past course but you are still a MHC student, you should be able to see old courses on Moodle.
  3. You can email me your request. Please verify steps 1 and 2 have failed before doing so. Be specific about what you need in your email.

Are you trying to make an appointment or come to office hours?

  1. Open office hours are listed at the top of Moodle sites and on my office door (Kendade 219).
  2. Private appointment sign-up here:
  3. You can email me for an appointment. Please verify steps 1 and 2 have failed before doing so. Please suggest several time windows over several days in your email.

Are you interested in doing research with me?

  1. Awesome! If at all possible, tell me of your interest in person so it’s on my radar.
  2. Go to the lab website. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to formally register your interest. Fill out the form!

Do you want me to come to your game or performance?

  1. Awesome! Please invite me (really us). Students often assume we (professors) already know about campus events or don’t want to come to them. Sadly, neither is true!
  2. If I can’t make it this time, don’t assume that means I’m not interested. Please invite me to the next one!

Email policy:

  • Please read and digest my emails thoroughly. I will extend you the same respect.
  • Before you send me an email, double-check that your question is not addressed in the syllabus/website nor can be answered by another student or PLUMs mentor. If this is a question better addressed in person, I suggest coming to office hours or making an appointment. I cannot give essay replies to long questions.
  • All this aside, when in doubt, go ahead and send the email.  I would rather have the communication happen over email than not happen at all.
  • I am only active on email M-F, 9-5 pm. (And only when I don’t have class, meetings, or other work scheduled.) If you have an emergency, I prefer you let me know IMMEDIATELY over email. But bear in mind I may not be able to reply until the next business day.
  • Generally, I do my best to clear my inbox. If you have not received a reply within 48 hours, feel free to resend your message.