Tonawanda News — He found his first job in the field as a research associated and then assistant professor of physics at the University of Minnesota.
Marshak said he went to Minnesota for the job, but he ended up staying for a very different reason.
“I thought I’d come here for a while and then I’d move back East and then the usual thing happened,” he said.
He had been in Minneapolis for about a month when he received a letter from his aunt that a friend of his cousin’s — a girl — would be moving to the city to go to school.
“At first I thought it was pathetic to go meet a girl but I was desperate,” Marshak said with a laugh. “We’re still together 42 years later.”
At first he didn’t leave Minnesota because his wife, Anita Sue Kolman, was in graduate school. And then they didn’t leave because they had their first child, Rachel, and the school’s child care was so good. And then came along their second child, Adam. Now he’s a grandfather of three.
Marshak’s profile on the University of Minnesota’s website lists accomplishment after accomplishment he’s achieved since working there. He was responsible for founding the school’s underground laboratory at Soudan, Minn., in 1979, and then supervised the expansion of the laboratory twice, once from 1984 to 1986 and again from 1999 to 2001.
“During the past 25 years, this laboratory has added about $100 million to the economy of an underdeveloped region of the United States,” the school’s website said.
He works in large collaborations with 100s of people testing neutrinos and their possible role in the evolution of the universe at the time of the big bang.
Marshak says he’s an experimental physicist, meaning “I don’t sit in my office and think great thoughts, I go out and measure things.”