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Utsav Patel – From Rutherford to Duke University

Mr Moore received a letter from a past student Utsav Patel – Class of 2013. He is currently studying at Duke University.

Enjoy the read…

Dear Mr Moore,

I started my PhD in particle physics at Duke University in the Fall semester of 2018. The journey to my PhD was long and arduous but at the centre of it all, my time at Rutherford College played a huge role.

The impact of a high school in a person’s life can never be overstated. It’s the place where we spend our formative years before finally taking on the world as adults. I was lucky to attend Rutherford College. The environment and the support present in those 5 years was key in giving the tools necessary for me to be successful and flourish as an independent person. The unique structure and organisation of Rutherford allowed for a plethora of opportunity to be given to its students. During my years I participated in an international science school which was held in Sydney, I competed against Auckland’s best in sports and debating. I was also given the opportunity to participate in Model United Nations.

At Rutherford I was given the freedom to choose what I wanted to do. I knew it was particle physics I would pursue. It was here that I learned the important life skills to be the person I am today. Turns out, Mr Moore’s speeches during assembly were really inspiring and those mini philosophy classes were useful in the long run. The “V-formation” and the “Diamonds from Pebbles” speeches especially stood out as they represented key concepts such as working with others and seizing opportunities. Year 13 me, would be slightly surprised that I still read those excerpts 5 years later.

I am loving my time at Duke University, I will continue my journey in life with the ultimate goal of contributing to society in a significant manner. I am and always will be grateful to the teachers, my peers and you Mr Moore for being the perfect school and role models through my high school years. Rutherford has shaped me into not only a good physicist but a great human being.

Thank you again, Mr Moore.

Best Wishes,

Utsav Patel

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