Academic standout. National award winner. Undergraduate commencement speaker.

These were just some of Nathaniel Steinsultz’s accomplishments while at Suffolk University.

“I’ve been offered a lot of opportunities at Suffolk that I might not have gotten at larger institutions,” said the 2011 summa cum laude graduate. “The faculty and staff here really know how to motivate their students and show them individualized attention. The small class sizes have helped me learn at a challenging pace.”

Steinsultz, a self-proclaimed “science geek,” majored in Physics. He said that, while people tend to apply the term “geek” to those interested in math and science, “it’s exciting to be a geek about whatever it is you’re interested in. … I don’t see what’s bad about that.”

When he first arrived at the University, Physics Department Chair Walter Johnson encouraged him to get involved in research.

The advice paid off when Steinsultz was recognized in 2010 with a Barry M. Goldwater Award for Math, Science and Engineering, a distinction bestowed upon the top 300 U.S. students in those fields.

“The research capabilities that we have (at the University) are at the forefront of science research and relevant and useful to the scientific community as a whole,” said Steinsultz. “I’ve seen a marked increase in Suffolk University’s capacity as a major university institution over just my four years being here.”

Steinsultz, who has been passionate about physics since the fifth grade, will continue his academic journey in August when he begins his doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His goal is to one day become a professor and researcher, and he is particularly interested in nanotechnology.

“There is a lot of promise in the field of nanoscience, and I believe that it will completely revolutionize the future,” he said.