"The people I know who went into astrophysics only get to do an experiment once or twice a year," Rodarte said. "I can come to the lab and do an experiment every day. It's much more hands-on and fun than I thought it'd be."
Rodarte is a third-year UC Merced graduate student studying condensed matter physics with professors Linda Hirst and Sayantani Ghosh. She's planning to graduate in a couple years.
This year, Rodarte published her first paper in Physical Review B, the American Physical Society’s journal devoted to condensed matter and materials physics. Last year, she was given the Margaret Burbidge Award for Best Experimental Research by a Graduate Student by the society’s California-Nevada section.