In addition to studying physics, graduating senior Khalida Alexander has served in the US Army, raised purebred beagles and competed as parachutist.

Renaissance Woman

May 8, 2013

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Perhaps one of the most interesting and bright students you will ever meet, Khalida Hendricks will be graduating after four years at North Carolina State University with degrees in physics and mathematics and a minor in Middle Eastern studies.

Khalida grew up in Los Alamos, N.M., and entered the military after completing high school. She stayed there for 12 years while learning Arabic and later competing as part of the US Army parachute team. Eventually, she decided to give up her active-duty military career to study theoretical high-energy physics.

This led to her enrollment at NC State. During her undergraduate career, she has worked alongside professor Chueng Ji in high-energy physics, completed two summer internships at Fermilab and Jefferson Lab, finished the Physics Honors Program, been inducted to Phi Beta Kappa, and continued working as a non-commissioned officer in the Army Reserve.

Outside of physics, she went to the World Championship in Parachute Accuracy in 2010 with the USA Skydiving team and is a proud owner of three purebred beagles that she actively presents at dog shows. She still skydives at the occasional football game with the All Veteran Parachute Team. Upon graduation, she will be joining the physics department at Ohio State University and plans to pursue a doctorate in theoretical high-energy physics.