Student Profiles

Marcus Forst '18

Avondale, PA

Hello, my name is Marcus! I am, as I like to say, a red-shirt junior Physics major at Temple. I started in the class of 2018, but was diagnosed with cancer and had to be pulled out of class at the end of my 2015 spring semester. I eased back into school by taking 2 classes in the Spring of 2016. The Fall of 2016, I came back to school as a full time student. I am still getting monthly chemotherapy which makes me tired for a week but I have figured out how to manage this along with my classes. I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, professors, and advisers — without whom I would not be able to be in school. I have twice been a part of summer research programs at Temple, most recently as a Diamond Scholar. I grew thin films of Molybdenum Disulfide and characterized them using Atomic Force Microscopy. I currently work in Dr. Maria Iavarone’s Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Lab. My proudest achievement is that I created an event at my high school — called AG Talks —where alumni, current students, and teachers give TED Talk style presentations in which they share stories that convey ideas. After the talks there is a reception with food and alumni-manned information booths where people discuss the talks, reconnect with each other, and ask questions of the returned alumni. This was the first space in my community where these different people could come together to exchange opinions and ideas. I have a wide variety of interests that include: physics, math, people, basketball, trombone, music, movies, food, cars, watches, Boba Fett, Harry Potter, Philadelphia Eagles Football, rock climbing, yoga, and a bunch of other stuff like dragons and magic. Life, in its full majesty, interests me. As far as my college experience, I have had a wonderful time at Temple. The people — classmates and faculty both — have welcomed me, taught me, and allowed me to grow into the person that I am today. We have helped each other through the best and worst of times. Living in the city has offered me the opportunity to play in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, eat excellent food, and shop at fancy stores. On the flip side, it has also exposed me to the realities of poverty and discrimination that were often hidden from me within my upper-middle class suburban upbringing. For both of these perspectives, I am grateful. Most of all, Temple has challenged me to be the best that I can be—to dream big instead of settling for what I know that I can accomplish without risk. I feel like I can do anything that I put my mind to, and I am brave enough to face failure; At this point, I have nothing to lose. Feel free to read my blog (, my website ( or email me! I will happily answer any questions to the best of my ability.