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Science and Faith Strengthen Prof

Dr. Drew Overholt, associate professor of physics, physics student advisor
Student & Alumni Stories

Why I teach:

My trajectory has always been an interest in science. I like how numbers explain things concretely. Originally I was going for an engineering degree in college, but once I took my first physics class I was hooked. I was so excited to see how in the last 300 years physics has been used to explain so much that happens in the universe.

Study of physics is almost a form of worship. As I learn more about God’s creation, I learn more about Him and my faith is strengthened. The deeper I get into physics I find it even more interesting than I could have imagined as a young college student. 

Recent Work:

Probably the coolest thing I’ve done professionally is research on the comet impact. It’s like CSI Mammoth. We examined the event when the North American mammoths died about 13,000 years ago. There are a lot of debates about the cause. Everything from climate change or a big rock falling from the sky, to humans eating them. Really! We did forensic science on a possible “murder weapon”—in this case a comet impact, by studying the radio isotopes in ice cores. More research is needed, but if elements so rare that they are only formed far away, beyond our solar system, past Pluto, are in the ice core, then that’s the smoking gun.

And speaking of Pluto, although it’s always been my favorite “planet,” the scientists had it right when they reclassified it as a dwarf planet. If you include Pluto with the other planets, you have to include a lot of others nearly the same size.

Personal:

Overholt is married to Jo whom he met as an undergrad at Southern Nazarene University. They have a two year old daughter named Elise who loves the elephants at the Kansas City Zoo. A self-proclaimed board game nerd, Overholt also incorporates games in the classroom and was part of a study last semester on the ability of games to enhance learning. He’s also a karate black belt and likes working on his 1957 MG A in his spare time.

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Fall 2017

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