Remembering Zach Brunt

Zach Brunt, courtesy of Yale Daily News

EDIT: Zach’s mother has informed me that there will be a memorial service held for Zach this Saturday at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA. Please click through this link to view the invitation and to RSVP.

The physics community lost an amazing member this week, as Zach Brunt, a freshmen in the Davenport College at Yale, took his life on Wednesday afternoon. See these two articles at the Yale Daily News which give  information about Zach and his passing.

I just wanted to take a moment to remember this amazing young man. I’ve known Zach since he was in the 3rd grade and one of my younger brother’s best friends. From reading several memorials of Zach, as well as statements from his friends and family, it is clear that we all think of Zach as one of the most vibrant human beings we have ever met. His enthusiasm was as infectious as his smile, and his wisdom and compassion far exceeded his years.

The most common reaction to situations as devastating as this is to mourn; to wear black, to cry, and to wail “what if’s,” lamenting time lost. Instead, the communities that knew Zach are rallying around his memory. We are wearing vibrant colors (Zach was known for many years for sporting fluorescent orange constantly) and we are singing praise for one of the most wonderful people to have touched our lives.

I would like to ask you, dear readers, to keep Zach’s family and friends in your thoughts, prayers, meditations, or however else you choose to send energy towards others.

With all the love in the world,

Amelia Plunk

Zach and his friend Daniella were voted “Life of the Party” for senior superlatives. In the background see Mr. Curtis, the wonderful man who taught 6th grade at the elementary school we both attended. On the right you can see my father and his fiancée.

Students at our high school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), rally around Zach’s memory by wearing vibrant colors and gathering around the flagpole.

Zach had friends around the country, and probably around the world. William and Mary students celebrate the life of their good friend.

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About Amelia Plunk

I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in physics and chemistry, and am now pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. I am fascinated by all things science, and value highly educating oneself on current issues in science, not just on the classroom concepts. As a woman in science I recognize the hurdles that we have to overcome to push ourselves to the top, and thus I hope to inspire other young women, and individuals in any of the minority communities, to make their way in this field. My goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in materials science and to become a professor at the college level. While I love research and hope to never stop contributing to my field, my true passion lies in teaching and spreading knowledge and excitement about science. I am an advocate for women in science and a queer-friendly individual. My blogs are all safe spaces for anyone and everyone.

Posted on April 20, 2012, in Personal Messages and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you Amy for such a sweet thoughtful blog post on Zach.

  2. Amy, this is Zach’s mom. I am heartbroken but these tributes help us smile.Thank you for the kind words, They mean so much to us.We will be holding a remembrance ceremony on April 29 in case you know anyone who wants to attend. Here is the link:

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