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OC student to attend prestigious astroparticle physics summer school

Divyesh Dagia

The sky is the limit for Okanagan College physics student Divyesh Dagia, who is set to attend the Canadian Astroparticle Physics Summer School (CAPSS) this May.

The intensive week-long session is designed for astronomy, physics and engineering undergraduates and will introduce them to the current topics in the field of astroparticle physics at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and virtually at SNOLAB. Only 20 students from across Canada are invited to attend the session each year.

Dagia, who will complete an Associate of Science Degree at OC this month, learned about the summer session after his professor shared the opportunity with the class. With the encouragement of a classmate, he applied for the session.

“The day I learned I was accepted into CAPSS was the best for me,” says Dagia. “From the classes I have taken at OC, I know that the seminar sessions are the ones that I get most excited about. With the CAPSS program, I am looking forward to learning what other researchers and professors are working on, as well as meeting students who have similar interests.”

Dagia, an international student from Dubai, attended his first year at OC while living at home. COVID-19 travel restrictions may have put a damper on Dagia’s ability to attend courses on campus, but he was a diligent student.

“Despite being 11 hours ahead during his first year of studies, he attended lectures in the middle of the night,” says Kevin Douglas, Chair of the Physics and Astronomy department. “Once on campus in Kelowna, he has been an eager and enthusiastic student. The summer school opportunity is the perfect meshing of some of his interests.”

“Choosing OC, I knew I would be coming to a smaller school and that was compelling for me,” says Dagia. “There really is a one-to-one interaction that takes place between students and instructors, particularly as you move into second year classes.

“Sometimes learning the concepts behind the sciences can be challenging and that is when a smaller class size can be helpful. For example, on Pi Day (March 14) in my Calculus 4 class, we ate pie and reviewed concepts. Everyone wants to help you succeed.”

Science studies at OC feature a range of university subjects, from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, to Data Science, Kinesiology and Oenology and Viticulture. There are a variety of credentials available, including the Associate of Science Degree – which offers students the ability to transfer directly to third year in any B.C. post-secondary institution.

“At OC, we match up our offerings with the courses students need to pursue their education goals,” says Douglas. “We strive to blend those classes with exposure to research opportunities whenever possible. We want to show students what is out there in the sciences. You can go just about anywhere with your degree.”

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