Luther College students named Rossing Physics Scholars

April 7, 2020

Two Luther College students have been named Rossing Physics Scholars for the 2020-21 academic year. Third-year students, Aiden C. Berdahl ’21 and Nicholas A. Behrens ’21 will each receive $5,000 from the Thomas D. Rossing Fund for Physics Education. Each year the foundation makes scholarships available for exemplary students in physics.

Berdahl, a physics and political science double major and math minor plans to attend law school after graduating from Luther with the goal of becoming a patent attorney. He said he enjoys studying physics because “no matter how much you read or learn you will never run out of new and fascinating concepts.”

“I feel incredibly grateful not only for Dr. Rossing’s generosity, but also for the honor of being nominated by the physics faculty. The scholarship gives me invaluable flexibility in how I approach my education, and I certainly won’t take this opportunity for granted as I finish my physics degree at Luther College,” said Berdahl.

Behrens, a physics major with chemistry and math minors, plans to attend graduate school after graduating from Luther. His ultimate goal is to pursue a career in physics or engineering that will allow him to uplift humankind and benefit the planet.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the marvels of the natural world. I’m motivated by the progressive innovation of technology and the sustainable conservation of the environment, in order to understand ways of improving the quality of life for all,” says Behrens.

Behrens says it is a great privilege to receive this award and credits his Luther professors.

“My commitment to the study of physics has been sparked and supported by my four phenomenal professors. Each of them generously shares their abundant, specialized knowledge and talents in order to help me advance mine. Through their mentorship, they provide invaluable guidance and encouragement, as well as open doors to a realm of formative opportunities. From the very beginning, they have inspired me to envision myself as a physicist, by exploring the frontiers of science and becoming actively engaged in this close-knit community. I’m indebted to the Luther faculty for their dedication to helping me to grow as a student and as a person,” said Behrens.

The Rossing scholarship is made possible through gifts from Thomas D. Rossing, Luther class of 1950, who created the scholarship fund through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Foundation.

After graduating from Luther, Rossing earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from Iowa State University and served as professor of physics at St. Olaf College and Northern Illinois University. Now retired, he is currently a visiting professor at Stanford University.

About Luther

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact.