Ambassadors Program


The Graduate Recruitment Ambassadors are a group of graduate students dedicated to supporting applicants to Princeton Physics. First and foremost, they are regional points-of-contact for any questions, comments, or concerns that arise during the application process. In addition, the Ambassadors host webinars and Q&A panels to introduce students to grad school and life as a graduate student. Ambassadors also conduct regional activities (for example: region-specific webinars and office hours). Our Graduate Recruitment Ambassadors are assigned a specific region, but feel free to reach out to any Ambassador you'd like to connect with!

image of Jim Wu

Jim Wu

  Jim Wu:
  • Region: Far West (WA, OR, NV, CA, HI, AK) and Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)

image of Diana Valverde Mendez

Diana Valverde Mendez

  Diana Valverde Mendez:
  • Region(s): Far West (WA, OR, NV, CA, HI, AK), New England (ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, MA)
  • Regional Affiliation: My sister lives in the suburbs of Austin so every year I spend some time in Texas.
  • Office Hours: I’m pretty flexible so send me an email and we can set-up a meeting. 
  • Bio: I’m a fifth-year Ph.D. student working in experimental biophysics. I study diffusion inside live bacterial cells with the aim of understanding more about the physics of the inner components of the cells. I use a combination of molecular biology techniques, optics, computer vision, and statistical analysis for my work. Outside of lab, I love to spend time in nature: hiking, kayaking, bird watching, scrambling up piles of rocks, you name it :). I also enjoy puzzles, reading, cooking, and baking. I’m originally from Costa Rica and have been in the US since the start of my Ph.D.

image of Justin (Gage) DeZoort

Justin (Gage) DeZoort

  Justin (Gage) DeZoort:
  • Region(s): Southeast (WV, VA, KY, AR, TN, NC, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL, PR)
  • Regional Affiliation: Undergrad at the University of Virginia, grew up in Alabama
  • Office Hours: If you’d like to chat, please sign up for a 15-minute time slot here:
  • Bio: I’m a third-year Ph.D. student working in experimental particle physics. Most of my research pertains to CERN’s Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector, and I’m specifically interested in using machine learning and modern computational techniques to search for particles and improve particle tracking. Outside of physics, I love to play guitar (mostly in progressive metal spheres), read, run, and train for calisthenics. 

 Suren Gourapura  
Suren Gourapura:

  • Region(s): Great Lakes (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH)
  • Regional Affiliation: Undergrad at The Ohio State University
  • Bio: Hi! I’m a second-year graduate student working on experimental cosmology in Bill Jones’ group. In undergrad, I worked on neutrino astrophysics, machine learning techniques, and applying them to evolve antennas for radio frequency neutrino detectors. When applying to grad school, I was looking for anything from continuing neutrino astrophysics, to dark matter, to computational GR. In my free time, I like road biking, cooking, gaming, and powerlifting. If you have questions about my experiences or anything else, please feel free to ask me questions via email!

image of Junyi Zhang

Junyi Zhang

  Junyi Zhang:
  • Region(s): Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)


Suren Gourapura 
Hichem Bouchamaoui:

  • Region(s): New England (ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, MA)
  • Regional Affiliation: Undergrad at Boston University
  • Bio: I'm a 2nd-year grad student working in high-energy experiment with Prof. Jim Olsen. I work with CERN, specifically the CMS experiment, a huge particle detector in an underground tunnel between Switzerland and France. I'm from Tunisia so I'm always happy to help international students with their questions. Outside of research I like tendies and making bread.

Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee:
  • Region(s): Rocky Mountain (MT, ID, WY, UT, CO),  Southeast (WV, VA, KY, AR, TN, NC, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL, PR)
  • Bio: Hello! I’m a 1st-year grad student working in experimental condensed matter physics with Professor Ali Yazdani’s lab where I perform scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy on novel 2D materials. Outside of work, I love playing and listening to music, cooking, and playing sports.


Bennett Greenberg

Bennett Greenberg

  Bennett Greenberg:
  • Region(s): Mideast (NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC)
  • Regional Affiliation: Undergrad at Rutgers, grew up in NJ
  • Bio: Hello! I'm a 2nd-year grad student working in experimental high energy particle physics, on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, with Professor Dan Marlow here at Princeton. For CMS, I've worked on physics analyses, hardware testing, and firmware development. As an undergrad I also dabbled in computational materials science. Outside of physics, there is nothing because physics encompasses everything in the universe. But when I'm not working, I enjoy making really good jokes (such as the previous sentence), rapping, playing sports (especially baseball, wiffleball, basketball, cricket, and ping pong), and banana. 



  • Regional Breakdown:

  • Far West: WA, OR, NV, CA, HI, AK
    • Ambassador(s): Jim Wu, Diana Valverde Mendez
  • Rocky Mountain: MT, ID, WY, UT, CO
    • Ambassador(s): Ryan Lee, Gage DeZoort
  • Southwest: AZ, NM, OK, TX
    • Ambassador(s): Diana Valverde Mendez, Jim Wu
  • Plains: ND, MN, SD, NE, IA, KS, MO
    • Ambassador(s):  Ben Weiner
  • Great Lakes: WI, MI, IL, IN, OH
    • Ambassador(s): Suren Gourapura
  • Southeast: WV, VA, KY, AR, TN, NC, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, FL, PR
    • Ambassador(s): Gage DeZoort, Ryan Lee
  • Mideast: NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC
    • Ambassador(s): Ben Weiner, Bennett Greenberg
  • New England: ME, NH, VT, CT, RI, MA
  • Ambassador(s): Hichem Bouchamaoui, Junyi Zhang

image of USA map & Ambassador regions highlighted in different colors