Abbie Strack ’24

Undergraduate Student

Words: Kailin Richardson ’20
Photos: Tony Hughes

Abbie Strack ’24

Applied Physics Major

From golf launchers to a community that makes space for everyone, Abbie Strack ’24 loves to design and build things.

An applied physics major, Strack has wholeheartedly invested in the department. For two years, she joined the LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) project to help create 3D archaeological mapping for Wheaton’s dig site in Israel. Last year, she worked with Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Kelly Vazquez in data processing and analysis on diabetes cells. And this year, she’s on the cabinet for the Society of Physics Students.

Through these experiences, Strack has explored a wide variety of fields and roles, playing a part in archaeological innovation, pursuing cures in medical physics, and leading and mentoring her peers. Yet in a community of driven students, Strack is unassuming and warm, passionate yet modest about her accomplishments.

With this attitude, she engages other students who aren’t sure of their place on campus. Strack moved from Japan to the United States at age 16, but she didn’t attend international orientation when she arrived at Wheaton. She wasn’t sure where she fit in. During her sophomore year, she joined MuKappa, a club that creates community among students experiencing cross-cultural transitions. Since then, she’s been able to “draw students in when they’re uncertain where exactly they fit at the start.”

This opportunity gave her a broader vision for helping the pieces of a community work together. “I got to build good relationships with my cabinet and meet new people, but I also definitely saw the grand scheme of big events,” Strack said. “You can see as someone hosting that there are people who are doing fairly well socially, but there are also a lot of people who are shy.” Now, she looks out for ways to provide support to fellow students as they find their way at Wheaton.

Whether working with professors, mentoring freshmen, or developing a female physics and engineering circle, Strack has discovered a deep value for relying on those around her. By zooming in on the microscopic details and stepping back to envision a flourishing community, she’s contributed to her field and relationships. Slowly but surely, she builds the things that matter by being open to exploration and connection.

To learn more about physics at Wheaton, visit