Lincoln Pius X Catholic High School

Allison Zastrow ’12

What is your title and workplace?

I am a PhD Student in Planetary Science at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY.

How did you get from Pius X to where you are now?

alison zastrow

I got my Bachelor’s in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis and then decided to go on to grad school and ended up here!

Did you foresee this current role as a possibility when you were a student at Pius X?

Definitely not…but that’s not specific to grad school because back in high school I really had no clue what I wanted to do when I “grew up”!  (Not that that’s any clearer now, although I’m definitely on more of an actual path now.)

How does your faith play into your role?

Grad school can be extremely mentally and emotionally taxing and it can easily take a great toll, so my faith has really been a stabilizing force.  It keeps me grounded when research and deadlines get overwhelming and reminds me about why I’m doing all this in the first place.

When not working, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy reading, rollerblading, and I have a bookcase full of half-finished craft projects.  I also really enjoy going to Broadway shows since I’m only an hour or so away from NYC!

What initiatives or projects are you hoping to start or finish in the coming years?

I’m basically just focused on getting my PhD and not drowning in the process.

What has been your main focus since graduating from Pius X?

Learning!  Obviously, my learning has mostly focused on physics, space and other things related to my research, but I’ve also spent a lot of time learning about religion and how it has developed and been studied throughout history.  Also, I’ve met so many people with different backgrounds and life experiences and they have all driven me to constantly try and understand who we are as people and how we can strive for unity while remaining strong in our diversity.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far since graduating from Pius X?

I played volleyball at Wash U and my senior year I was named the Division III Player of the Year, and that was a really incredible honor.

What memories do you have of Pius X High School?

So many memories!  I have especially fond memories of times shared in Spectrum, French class, winning the volleyball state championship, and basically every day at track practice.