David Webb was the Col. James G. Boswell Scholarship winner in 1973-the year he graduated from Corcoran High School.
Webb, 63, currently resides in Davis. After graduating from Corcoran High, David attended U.C. Berkley and received an A.B. in Physics in 1977. He continued his education and received his Master’s of Science degree in Physics in 1982 from University of Maryland in College Park. He went even further and a year later received his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from the same university.
“I was an engineering major for about two-years and then changed my major to physics in my junior year. After graduating from Berkeley I started graduate work in physics at the University of Maryland. I worked in theoretical physics for two-years and then changed to experimental solid state physics,” Webb said.
After completing his graduate work in Maryland, Webb did his postdoctoral research at Stanford University from 1984-1987. From 1987 to 2016 he taught physics and did research in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Davis. He moved from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to Senior Lecturer.
“My research focus for the first 15 to 20 years was in solid state physics leading to about 40 publications of my work. After that I switched to the tenured Senior Lecturer position and changed my focus to physics education for the last 10 years of my work at Davis. I’m still doing education research in my retirement and have several more publications in this field,” Webb commented.
David retired at the end of 2016.
He has been married to Kristine Bell since 1987 and they have two dogs that take up much of their time. David’s parents, Jones Webb and Evelyn Webb, are both deceased but lived in Corcoran until their deaths.
David was grateful for the opportunities that winning the Boswell Scholarship afforded him.
“The Boswell Scholarship gave me considerable financial freedom in my undergraduate career. That freedom is part of how I could decide to change my major in my junior year,” Webb added.
He also has advice for future Boswell Scholars?
“Find a field of work that you like, that you’re good at, and that society needs. Keep working to improve yourself in this field but don’t be afraid to change directions when it makes sense to you to do that,” he said.
The annual scholarships are provided to Corcoran High School seniors by The James G. Boswell Foundation. The foundation began offering the scholarships in 1956.