Rey was born and raised in Bogota where her family still resides including her parents and one brother and one sister. After high school, Rey was well-prepared in the area of physics and received a degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota in 1999. Later, she studied English in Canada for six months and came to the United States in 2000 in pursuit of a PhD. at the University of Maryland at College Park. Her research in plasma physics continued with her mentor Charles Clark at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Rey was later awarded the American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) thesis prize in 2005. Rey is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Harvard University Physics Department. In 2008, she joined the University of Colorado Boulder research team and was promoted from associate fellow to JILA fellow, then assistant professor. Rey’s research focuses on ultracold systems and optical lattices. She is married to Juan Gabriel Restrepo, a professor at CU Applied Mathematics. Rey has one son, Nicolas, 4. The family spends their free time enjoying the outdoors and going to the movies.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER
The University of Colorado at Boulder is a prestigious university known for both its academics and its research. Founded in 1876 the university is considered a top ranked institution with an enrollment of approximately 30,000. The university is known for its research programs namely, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, JILA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
According to Rey, Gimnasio de Nuestra Señora was a small conservative school. Rey adds, “Discipline was important and I learned from director Elena Cano that the path in life that is more difficult is more rewarding. Rey was an A student who also received large encouragement and guidance from her physics teacher. Rey offers, “Unlike other schools, the food was excellent at my school.”
MESSAGE TO YOUTH
“Find what you like in life and work as hard as you can. It’s important to love what you do.”
“I am from Colombia, and our people have great capability and passion to achieve many things. I feel thankful to the U.S., a country that has supported my work and my research.”