Pitt Study Abroad
A physicist by training but an educator by inclination, Alec Stewart grew up at timberline on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington. His family was mostly ranchers and business people whose activities ranged from raising alfalfa and Shire draft horses to selling insurance and irrigation water.
Upon completing high school in Ellensburg, Wash., Stewart attended Amherst College where he majored in physics and discovered liberal education. After graduating with honors from Amherst, he returned to the Northwest to marry the valedictorian of his high school class and attend graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle. There he received a master’s degree (MS) in physics, a master's degree (MSE) in nuclear engineering and a doctorate (PhD) in solid state physics. Following graduate school, he accepted a position as Research Fellow in Physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. At Caltech, in addition to research and publication in low temperature solid state surface physics, he won a teaching prize in the required Feynman physics course.