Hannah LeTourneau ventures into science with spunk and drive

Hannah LeTourneau is not as she appears. She is a spunky 5-foot-4 inches student with corkscrew curls and an infectious laugh. She is also a nuclear physics engineering major with minors in math and Spanish.  Being a female in science, LeTourrneau is in the minority. Fifteen out of 98 physics students are female, according to the Spring 2011 Tenth Day Report. That’s 15.3 percent.

Yet her passion for physics is noticeable. Her eyes light up and she smiles when talking about her post-Whitworth plans. Though only a freshman, she already has thoughts of graduate school and hopefully a career in engineering and social justice.

LeTourneau wants to eventually pursue a career in helping others through engineering.

Though physics requires math and she is minoring in the subject, she is not a fan.

“I don’t love math; I use it but I am not a math person,” she said.

Most science major, especially physics, requires several math classes. For LeTourneau receiving a minor requires a few additional classes.

LeTourneau has a personal connection to South America and the Spanish language.

She is a dual citizen in the United States and Peru. Her father was born to United States citizens who were in Peru as missionaries and thus received citizenship.

Her citizenship in combination with her love of travel fuel her learning.

Over Jan Term, LeTourneau visited Whitworth’s Costa Rica campus for the Honors Freshman Trip.

“Costa Rica was great; there were lots of wonderful people,” she said.

LeTourneau hopes to travel more while studying at Whitworth through ISEP. She is considering studying in Sweden or Germany. Its looking like Sweden because Germany is not too keen on nuclear research, LeTourneau said.

LeTourneau is a firecracker of joy with plans to help the world through physics.

Story by Caitlyn Starkey

Photo by Deidre Low

 

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