Hanna Mark


Tarrytown, NY

Academic Interests

My academic interests right now are Physics with a possible double major or minor in Art.

Fun Fact

I once spent 9 months drawing people with architecture grafted onto their bodies.

When people meet me, they often characterize me with bold descriptors, commenting on my non-traditional fashion choices, my extroverted personality, my involvement in Inside Joke (Duke’s sketch comedy club) and Duke Ballroom Dance Team, or my penchant for walking in different activist parades.  I love to lean into discomfort and experience life in different ways every day.

At the crux of all my disparate passions is a desire to figure out how the universe tics.  As a result, I have always been enamored with cosmology and physics. When I was younger, It was always a special treat to stay up to watch Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmology” series in my parents’ bedroom or find different TEDTalks about String Theory and the Large Hadron Collider. Now that I am at Duke, I intend to pursue Physics as a major.  Here I can’t wait to engage my professors and take classes on Astronomy and deeper level physics that I never could in high school.

My short term goals are definitely to get an internship or research assistant position over the summer and to meet some of Duke’s new hires in the Physics department, whom I’ve heard specialize in cosmology.  

My long term dream is to work for a big space exploration or research company, like NASA or SpaceX, and to get to work in space myself. Also, I’ve always had a dream to give a TEDTalk on LGBTQ+ figures in STEM.

On top of SPIRE, I ballroom dance and do sketch comedy with Inside Joke (as mentioned before).  I also am a part of MeToo Monologues, which is a Duke group that performs anonymous student written pieces, oftentimes surrounding issues of current events or social identifiers. Lastly, I do some voice acting in a Pulp-fiction styled parody Podcast called Freshly Squeezed Pulp (with another member of SPIRE, Madeleine "Mac" Gagne').

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

Being new to SPIRE, I am excited at the prospect of mentorship and a having guiding hand at navigating professional STEM research. I also am just looking forwards to making more faculty and upperclassmen friends that love STEM like I do. I already can sense that SPIRE is a great community to rely on for support and fun!

Hanna Mark
Hanna Mark