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Pratt Profile: Corey Oses

Corey OsesWhere are you from?

I’m originally from Bloomfield, New Jersey, in the northern part of the state about 20 minutes from New York City.

What was your undergrad degree and where did you get it?

I studied applied and engineering physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. While at Cornell, I had the opportunity to work for two summers in Joel Brock’s research group and learn about x-ray diffraction techniques. 

Why did you choose Duke?

When I visited, I was struck by how beautiful the Duke campus is. And every one was so accommodating. Dr. Zauscher took me to lunch and talked to me for a while. I visited other schools and they were very much about their name and the ranking. It wasn’t that way at Duke.

I realized this was where I enjoyed being and was happy. I feel like this is the right place to be. I’m very happy to be here.

What do you like to do outside the lab?

Corey Oses salsa dancingI really enjoy salsa dancing. Coming into college I didn’t really have an identity associated with being a Hispanic. I understood Spanish well but I didn’t speak it very much. So I took Spanish classes. And I didn’t know how to dance, so I took classes  and I fell in love with dancing.

When you hang out with the dance group, the goal is to enjoy the culture. That was a good way to meet people of the same culture, and speak Spanish and dance. That’s something I plan to pursue here and see how the culture is with people who identify themselves as Hispanic.

What organizations are you involved with?

At Cornell, I was president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. I met with the SHPE advisor at Duke and I would like to get involved. It would be great if we could engage students to work on fellowship opportunities here. Growing the community would be my goal with the organization.

What’s ahead for you?

I would like to learn how to be a good researcher. I’m striving for independence in terms of research—to be able to identify where I want to go, what I’m interested in, and learn more about the field. Identity and independence are what I’m striving for in the next few years. My dream is to make a real impact with my PhD project that can project me into a strong career in either academy or industry. I love the field and my projects, and I hope to continue contributing in any capacity that I can.