Meet Alexis Puyleart ’19
Major: Physics (pre-med)
Minor: Biology
GPA: 3.82
Graduation date: May 2019
Hometown: Onalaska, Wis.
Organizations, activities and awards:
  • Honors Program
  • Honors Program Torch Leader (Mentorship Program)
  • Michel’s Hall Service Program
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Society of Physics Students
  • Colleges Against Cancer
  • Emerging Leaders
  • Tutoring Certification
  • Trustee Scholarship
  • Physics Teaching Assistant 

Proudest achievement at St. Norbert:
Overall, my proudest achievement is being a successful physics major. Originally, I was going to be a biology major, but in talking with my high school physics teacher, I made the snap decision to try physics one day. I never took calculus in high school, and suddenly I found myself in a physics course that used calculus as its primary language. I was taking calculus at the same time, but physics was using concepts before we learned about them in my calculus class. With some initial help from Michael Olson (Physics), I succeeded, and I was hooked. I have been a physics tutor and a teaching assistant from that time forward. I worked in the optics lab with Erik Brekke (Physics) the summer after sophomore year, fixed two 3D printers, and this past summer I worked at Northern Illinois University studying ionic liquids. As a part of the research at NIU, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to spend a few days at Argonne National Laboratory using the multi-million-dollar Advanced Photon Source with Nicholas Mauro (Physics). Overall, challenges have continued to arise, and I am proud to say that I was able to overcome them all.
Plans for the future:
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a medical doctor. Some of my earliest memories include playing with toy medical kits or reading anatomy books. Overall, I am not entirely sure what type of physician I want to be, but I know I want to be a physician that is there for their patients and community. I want to be the kind of physician that sees the whole patient, not just their physical ailment. Someday, I would also love to be responsible for ushering in the next generation of medical professionals by either teaching medical students or working with residents in the hospital setting.

What I’ll remember most about SNC:
When I was thinking through this question, my mind kept wandering back to the people with whom I have shared my time at St. Norbert College. They have certainly made this place feel like home from the very first moment I stepped on campus. I love that this is a place where people offer a smile as you pass them while heading to class or hold doors open for you as you enter a building. Whether it is staying up late to figure out a physics problem or 15 people in a room proofreading each other’s philosophy papers, people are always willing to collaborate and lend a hand. This extends to the professors as well. It never ceases to amaze me when I see them wandering through the halls of GMS late into the evening; they are always approachable and willing to answer questions. Communio is not just something we preach here, it’s something that we practice day in and day out, and that is what I will remember most about St. Norbert College.
What my scholarship means to me:
The universe is filled with an infinite number of mysteries, and we have only tapped into one percent of one percent of those mysteries. I came into college expecting to walk away with answers to some of these questions, but I learned very quickly that getting an answer to one question leads to 10 more questions. I learned that the search for the answer is never over, and if I think I have the answer, the answer could change at any time. My scholarship has given me the tools to more deeply explore the mysteries of the universe. As a result, I will continue to be a lifelong explorer of the world around me. I have always loved learning about “life, the universe and everything,” but now I have the intellectual means to explore these things myself.