Pursuing a Passion

Interview and story by Christian Kiemele, Nelson Weller Intern

Kit FieldhouseBefore he came to UM, Kit Fieldhouse planned to study astronomy. But his love for math pushed him towards majors in both physics and math.

“Initially, I was interested in studying astronomy and computer science, since computer science was my jam in high school,” says Fieldhouse. “The more and more I took math classes, however, the more and more I found those interesting.”

Fieldhouse enjoys the “puzzle” aspect of math, solving problems by finding the right piece. He also loves the ability to directly apply math theory to the world around him through physics.

“I’m just trying to pursue that passion that I found in myself,” he says. “I’m finding that, the more I do so, the more I enjoy this whole field.”

As a senior in high school, Fieldhouse had the opportunity to work with Dr. Daniel Reisenfeld in the UM physics department. Dr. Reisenfeld encouraged him to apply for the Shallenberger Scholarship. The award supports incoming freshmen who plan to study physics. The scholarship was created to honor the late G.D. Shallenberger, who was a physics professor at UM from 1923-1960.

The award has not only helped Fieldhouse pay tuition, but also helped him focus on his major.

“The main important thing about getting this scholarship, and others like it, is I don’t have to worry about a job in college,” he says. “It allows me to specialize and focus more, which I enjoy immensely.”

When it comes to his future, Fieldhouse says it’s wide open, thanks in part to his scholarships.

“[Private support] has allowed me to dig in more with my majors,” he says. “Now, I can definitely see myself going to graduate school. The reduction of that financial stress has helped me feel a little bit more secure and know that I can pursue math and physics as a career.”

Fieldhouse also says he believes donors will help UM reach new heights.

“I feel like the way we make sure that we are competitive is to make sure that we’re investing back into the college and the students,” he says. “Donating to scholarships is one of the most efficient ways to do that.”

Do you have a UM story you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it! Share it with us today.